Entertainment of Wednesday, 4 March 2009
From: Francis Ameyibor, GNA Special Correspondent, Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou, March 4, GNA - The French Government has outdoored an African film industry rejuvenation package with the establishment of a 10-million Euro African Film Development Fund (AEDF). The fund is captured under the new French policy for the support of African Cinematography Industry, which is currently facing a financial crisis.
Mr Alain Joyandet, Secretary of State in-Charge of Cooperation and Francophone countries, said this at the on-going 21st edition of the Pan-African Film Festival (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso.
The one-week festival on the general theme: "African Cinema, Tourism and Cultural Heritage" seeks to challenge all stakeholders in the African film industry to get more involved in the conservation and enhancement of the African cultural tourist heritage through the power of film.
Mr Joyandet said the Film Development Fund would be managed by an international committee to be set up next year, stressing that about 60 per cent of the fund would be used for "Greatest Film Projects" while about 40 per cent would be used to support debuting films and poor producers.
As part of the package, the best film would be screened in at least 50 film theatres in France.
Mr Philippe Savadogo, Burkinabe Minister in-Charge of Culture, Tourism and Communication, described the film industry as a tool for the promotion of African personality, identity and traditions. He urged stakeholders in the industry to use the platform to project and erase the negative image of the continent as captured mainly in the Western media.
Mr Savadogo called on African filmmakers to use their powerful weapon to showcase the pride of Africa through positive image enhancing films.
Mr Michel Ouedraogo, Special FESPACO General Delegate, urged participants and organisers to move the festival to maturity after 40 years of celebration.
He said: "It's a must for African filmmakers and stakeholders to ensure continuity built on the spirit of Pan Africanism." Meanwhile, Ghanaian films have been absent in the array of films for the one week competition. Films from host country Burkina Faso, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Congo, Nigeria, among other countries, have taken centre stage at the festival movie theatres.
However, students of the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), School of Communication Studies and School of Performing Arts are participating in the students fair and exhibition workshops. On the sidelines of the festival is the congress of Africa Federation of Film Critics.
It is being attended by participants from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Algeria and Senegal.