ⓘ Cinema of Burkina Faso


ⓘ Cinema of Burkina Faso

The cinema of Burkina Faso is one of the more significant in Africa, with a history that spans several decades and includes the production of many award-winning films.


1. History

The cinema of Burkina Faso is an important part of the history of the post-colonial West African and African film industry. Burkinas contribution to African cinema started with the establishment of the film festival FESPACO Festival Panafricain du Cinema et de la Television de Ouagadougou, which was launched as a film week in 1969 and gained government support and permanent structures in 1972. It is the largest film exhibition venue in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than half a million attendees, and takes place in odd numbered years in March. Burkina is also one of the countries producing the most feature films in Africa. Many of the nations filmmakers are known internationally and have won international prizes. For many years the headquarters of the Federation of Panafrican Filmmakers FEPACI was in Ouagadougou, rescued in 1983 from a period of moribund inactivity by the enthusiastic support and funding of President Thomas Sankara In 2006 the Secretariat of FEPACI moved to South Africa but the headquarters of the organization is still in Ouagaoudougou. Between 1977 and 1987 Burkina Faso housed a regional film school, Institut dEducation Cinematographique de Ouagadougou INAFEC, which was instigated by FEPACI and funded in part by UNESCO. But eighty percent of its funding came from the government of Burkina Faso; no other African country participated in its funding and few sent students.


2. Todays cinema

In the late 1990s, local private production companies began to proliferate and digital production became increasingly prevalent. By 2002 over twenty-five small production companies existed in the country, many pooling their resources and expertise in order to produce. The best known directors from Burkina Faso are: Mamadou Djim Kola, Gaston Kabore, Kollo Daniel Sanou, Paul Zoumbara, Emmanuel Kalifa Sanon, Pierre S. Yameogo, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Drissa Toure, Dani Kouyate, and Regina Fanta Nacro. Burkina also produces popular television series such as Bobodjiouf. The internationally known filmmakers such as Ouedraogo, Kabore, Yameogo, and Kouyate make also popular television series.


3. Distribution

Many films shot in Burkina Faso by local directors have found distribution in Francophone Europe and several have received assistance from the French Ministry of Co-operation. However, while these films have won awards in Europe and are regularly featured in African Studies courses, in Africa itself they are little known outside of academic circles.


4. Festivals and schools

Burkina Faso hosts the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou FESPACO every two years in Ouagadougou, Burkina Fasos capital.

In 2005, director Gaston Kabore, who won the top prize at FESPACO in 1997 for his film Buud Yam, opened a training school for new filmmakers in Ouagadougou. The school, named Imagine, was built with millions of CFA of Kabores own money and opened its doors for the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou 2005.


5. Major feature films

  • Yaaba 1989, directed by Idrissa Ouedraogo.
  • Buud Yam 1997, directed by Gaston Kabore.
  • Garba 1998, directed by Adama Roamba.
  • Kini and Adams 1997, directed by Idrissa Ouedraogo.
  • Silmande Tourbillon 1998, directed by S. Pierre Yamego.
  • Le Truc De Konate 1998, directed by Fanta Regina Nacro.
  • Delwende "get up and walk" 2005, directed by S. Pierre Yameogo.
  • Wendemi, lenfant du bon Dieu 1994, directed by S. Pierre Yameogo
  • Tilaï 1990, directed by Idrissa Ouedraogo.