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Friday, 23 February, 2001, 20:52 GMT
Film talent gathers in Ouagadougou
Cinema in Senegal
Fespaco is a chance to move away from foreign action movies
Africa's most prestigious film and television festival, Fespaco, is due to start on Saturday in Burkina Faso.

Thousands of people are expected to attend screenings and events in Ouagadougou that will act as a showcase for African cinema.

This year the organisers have chosen the theme of "cinema and new technology".

The intention is to show that Africa can produce good cinema without it being expensive.

First feature

The festival kicks off with a screening of The Elephant's Balls, a first feature from Gabonese director Henry Joseph Koumba Bididi.

Monument in Ougadougou
Ougadougou will host about 5,000 visitors
There will be 107 other films all vying for the first prize, the Yennenga Stallion.

One film that is set to grab the attention is Adangaman from Ivorian director Roger Gnoan M'Balla.

M'Balla, winner of the 1993 top prize, has chosen to deal with the subject of African complicity in the slave trade.

But the festival is not just a showcase for new films.

It also provides an opportunity for hundreds of directors, producers, distributors and actors to meet up, do deals in private, and debate in public.

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