African fest to focus on film careers

English, Portuguese sections steadily growing at Fespaco

JOHANNESBURG — The 19th edition of Fespaco, the leading pan-African film and television festival, will take place Feb. 26 to March 5. Theme is Training and Professional Stakes in Africa.

Held every second year in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the festival has historically had a Francophone focus. But the English and Portuguese sections are steadily growing.

There was a strong South African presence at the 2003 event for the first time. That contingent should be even bigger for 2005 as a special focus on South Africa cinematography will form part of the program.

The majority of the films featured at the 2005 fest will examine movie professions, training challenges and opportunities within an African context.

Included in the program are an African feature and short film competition; an African professional TV-video film competish; a diaspora film competition; a panorama of cinemas from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific; the 12th African Intl. Film and Television Market; a sidebar on training and professional stakes; a 50-year retrospective on African cinema; and docu film master classes.

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