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The African Union Commission and the Government of Burkina Faso signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Special Peace and Security Award for the Ouagadougou Pan-African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO), AUC said.
AUC Peace and Security Commissioner Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra and Burkina Faso Permanent Representative to the AUC Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma signed the MoU. The decision to establish the Peace and Security Award is part of the ‘Make Peace Happen’ Campaign, launched by the AUC to further mobilize all stakeholders within the Continent, in order to bring to an end the conflicts and crises that are afflicting Africa. The objective of the Award is also to confer greater visibility on AUC efforts in this area. The Award, which is worth about 16,000 U.S. dollars, is aimed at presenting a certificate, through FESPACO, rewarding and honoring the best African cinematographic productions which promote the culture of peace and non-violence on the continent. It will be reserved for African films and awarded at every edition of the Festival by a special jury proposed by the AUC. Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner Lamamra reiterated the commitment of the AUC to use all available tools to further strengthen the cause of peace on the Continent.
Created in 1969 under the name “First African Film Festival of Ouagadougou”, it evolved from being an amateurish gathering in its early days, to a key event in the world cultural stage, and took the name FESPACO in 1972, the year during which it was institutionalized. FESPACO has greatly contributed to the development of the film and video industry on the African continent and is the largest festival of its kind in Africa providing the required visibility to African films. It plays an important role in the preservation and safeguard of the African cinematographic heritage, along with the Ouagadougou African Cinémathèque, an institution that emanated from FESPACO, and which contributes to the expansion and development of African cinema. The 23rd edition of FESPACO will take place from 23rd February to 2nd March 2013, around a specific theme, “African Cinema and Public Policies in Africa”. During this edition, African films (short and feature films, documentaries, TV and video productions and films from the Diaspora) will compete.