Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

In pictures: Fespaco film festival

Fespaco

The red carpets have been rolled out. Not in Los Angeles, but in Ouagadougou - capital of Burkino Faso - where the 21st Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco), is underway.

At the opening ceremony, a giant puppet plays with BBC journalist ____

Fespaco has been dubbed "Africa's Oscars". At the opening ceremony in Stad du 4 Aout, a giant puppet plays with BBC journalist Audrey Brown.

Fespaco

This year, 19 films from 13 countries are competing. "If you want to watch an Egyptian horror flick, or a Cameroonian love story, Fespaco is the place to be," says the BBC's James Copnall.

African film directors and cinema business representatives hold hands and circle a monument dedicated to the cinema in Ouagadougou

African film directors and cinema business representatives hold hands and circle a monument dedicated to cinema. "Anyone who's anyone" in African cinema comes to Fespaco, says our correspondent.

Fespaco

Adamo Dramo (L) and Ladji Diakite, Malian film directors of Fantan Fanga, are among those hoping to win the grand prize, the "Etalon de Yennenga" (Yennenga Stallion).

Fespaco

Moroccan director Mohamed Ismail (R) attends the projection of his film "Adieu Meres", (Goodbye Mothers), which chronicles the Jewish families who departed Morocco for Israel after World War II .

Fespaco

Fespaco has changed a lot since it began in 1969, says Ivorian director Sidiki Bakaba. "When we started, there were maybe five or six filmmakers. People said it was utopist. Crazy."

Fespaco

The opening ceremony drew huge crowds. But Fespaco aims at "the arty end of the market", our correspondent says. They cannot compete with the popularity of Nigeria's low-budget "Nollywood" films.

Hyppolyte Delavolta's painting of an African cineaste

Nevertheless, most films are still shot on a shoestring, as Hyppolyte Delavolta's painting celebrates. Note the assistant holding down the broken leg of the tripod.

Audrey Brown (centre) talks to the studio in London during a live broadcast of BBC Focus on Africa. Studio Manager, Suzy Robins (left) and producer, Jenny Horrocks monitor the transmission.

BBC World Service radio is broadcasting daily updates throughout Fespaco. Audrey Brown (centre) gives a live broadcast for Focus on Africa.



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