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Title:FESPACO in a time of Nollywood: the politics of the 'video' film at Africa's oldest festival
Author:McCain, Carmen
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies (ISSN 1751-7974)
Geographic terms:Burkina Faso
Abstract:This paper discusses the Festival panafricain du cinéma de Ouagadougou (Fespaco) on the basis of the author's impressions during the 22nd edition of the film festival in 2011. It provides information on the film categories at Fespaco 2011, Africa's video revolution as an 'invisible industry', audiences at the 22nd festival, Fespaco in the digital age, European funding, the rise of Nollywood, and Fespaco and Nollywood genres. The author argues that Fespaco seems to be torn in several directions. It self-identifies as 1) an international film festival that seems to privilege an elite European art house film aesthetic and audience; 2) a national Burkina Faso tourist attraction; and 3) a pan-African cultural event that celebrates progressive politics and 'third' cinema. The only acknowledgement of the popular digital form sweeping the continent was a 'TV/video film' competition category to which were relegated 24 films. Nigeria's sprawling (video) film industry was practically absent. The author sees this as problematic if the festival hopes to promote an innovative pan-African cinema independent of Western funding structures. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]