Africa's top cinema event announces strong lineup for competition

© Laura-Angela Bagnetto/RFI

From Angola to Senegal, no fewer than 15 feature-length movies have been nominated for the top prize in next month's Fespaco pan-African film and television festival, held in Burkina Faso.

Launched in 1969, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco) draws thousands of movie fans and professionals from across the continent.

It is also closely followed by the US and European movie industries, which scout the event for new films, talent and ideas.

A total of 170 films are competing across 11 categories in the 25 February-4 March event, including short film, documentaries, TV series and animation, organisers said on Friday.

Cinema for peace

Under festival rules, films chosen for competition have to be made by Africans and predominantly produced in Africa.

This year's theme is "African cinema and culture of peace" – an invitation, according to organisers, to reflect on how movies can encourage reconciliation in troubled times.

Fespaco's host country Burkina Faso is in the grip of a seven-year-old jihadist insurgency that has killed thousands of people and driven around two million from their homes.

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