JOHANNESBURG — South African filmmakers were making their presence felt at the 18th biannual Fespaco Pan-African Film and TV Festival, which opened Feb. 22 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Approximately 3,000 delegates from more than 80 countries were expected to converge on the capital of the West African country for Africa’s premier film festival.
Fest usually features predominantly French-language films. This year, however, the number of English-lingo pics and English-speaking delegates has been boosted by South Africa, which has sent its largest delegation ever to the fest.
For the first time, South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is hosting an official South African stand in partnership with paycaster M-Net, distributor Film Resource Unit and the Dep. of Arts and Culture. The largest number of South African films ever screened at Fespaco is being shown.
The increased South African presence is welcomed by Fespaco. A Fespaco spokesman notes there is not as much financial support for feature production in Africa’s English-speaking countries as in the Francophone nations. The latter benefit from funding by French institutions keen to promote French-language film-making.