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‘Halfaouine,’ ‘Tilai’ Faves At Africa Festival

Heavy-duty media coverage and enthusiastic public response helped the seventh annual Vues D’Afrique sell out several times during its April 22 to 29 run.

Some 115 films from 53 countries unspooled at three venues, which seated 1,000.

Especially popular were the two jury favorites – Tunisian pic “Halfaouine” by Ferid Boughedir and “Tilai,” by Burkina Faso’s Idrissa Ouedraogo. The pics shared the prize for best feature.

The top five awards have no cash prizes attached, but they often translate into theatrical distribution for films and broadcast rights for tv programs.

The annual best docu winner is bought and broadcast by prize sponsor TV Ontario. This year’s hung jury decided to buy and air a Congo film by David-Pierre Fila, “Le Dernier Des Babingas,” and David Achkar’s pic from Guinea, “Allah Tantou.”

“Le Dernier Des Babingas” also shared best short film prize with Tunisian pic “Le Casseur De Pierres” (directed by Mohamed Zran).

The best feature and best short prizes were split “because we tried to reflect the distinctness of both Arab and black Africa,” per jury prez Michel Coulombe.

Irene Lichtenstein-Fall grabbed the prize for best Creole film with “An Ale,” and TV-5 Quebec Canada awarded the best African tv program prize to Nigerian show “Lelee, l’Ainee De La Famille” (directed by Abdoua Kanta).

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