Film in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Few people believe Ouagadougou is a real place much less the capital of a West African country and the home of the worlds largest festival of African films. But the Pan-African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO) is held every other year in the very real and vibrant
capital of Burkina Faso. One of the worlds great
international cinema events, the festival attracts celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover along with many thousands of international film fanatics
FESPACO has had some
economic difficulties over its 45-year history but it has
never sold out to corporate or political investors and has
retained its African leadership and original mission: To
distribute and develop African cinema as a means of expression,
education, and awareness raising. The festival electrifies
Ouagadougou with a carnival-like energy; festival-goers
are certain to be swept away by the contagious excitement
which spills out of the cinemas into the busy streets in
the form of dancing, food festivals, and general celebration.
Editor's note: Despite many recent difficulties,
including the threat and not the reality of Ebola and other
political unrest, the great
film festival continued in 2015!
Burkina Faso is usually overlooked as a travel destination simply because of its location. Yet it is precisely because of its land-locked situation that the country has preserved its heritage much better than some of its better-known and more modernized neighbors. A trip to this little Sahelian country shouldnt be missed by anyone who wants to get in touch with Africas proudest past and brightest future. The plane ticket will be your biggest expenseBurkina Faso is a bargain even compared with Senegal or the Ivory Coast.
A traditional home in Burkina Faso.
Burkinas central airport in Ouagadougou is surprisingly well-served by many convenient flights from Europe and Senegal, connecting directly with flights from the U.S. From the airport, paved roads stretch out in all directions, branching into adventurous dirt roads which take you out into the bush and into the center of vibrant, distinct cultures practically untouched by modernity.