Fifteen films bid for top prize in Africa's premier film fest

Fifteen feature-length movies are vying for the top prize in next month's FESPACO festival, Africa's top cinema event, the organisers announced Friday.

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 February 25-March 4 event, including short film, documentaries, TV series and animation, FESPACO said.

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, say the 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.

Following are the feature films vying for the Golden Stallion of Yennenga -- a trophy named after a beast in Burkinabe mythology:

- "The Planters' Plantation", directed by Dingha Eystein Young (Cameroon)

- "Our Father, the Devil", Ellie Foumb (Cameroon)

- "Ashkal", Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia)

- "Under the Fig Trees", Erige Sehiri (Tunisia)

- "Sira", Appoline Traore (Burkina Faso)

- "Abu Saddam", Nadine Khan (Egypt)

- "Bantu Mama", Ivan Herrera (Dominican Republic)

- "Mami Wata", de C.J."Fiery" Obasi (Nigeria)

- "Maputo Nakuzandza", Ariadine Zampaulo (Mozambique)

- "Our Lady of the Chinese Shop", Ery Claver (Angola)

- "Shimoni", Angela Wamai (Kenya)

- "Simin Zetwal", David Constantin (Mauritius)

- "The Blue Caftan", Maryam Touzani (Morocco)

- "The Last Queen", Damien Ounouri (Algeria)

- "Xale, Les blessures de l'enfance", Moussa Sene Absa (Senegal)

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