By John Owoo
(In Ouagadougou – Burkina Faso)
“Keteke”, a Ghanaian film directed by Peter Sedufia won the 2nd Prize for Best Screenplay during a keenly contested competition at the Pan African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO), which ended last Saturday in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The film – which was one of the two productions that opened the festival, featured Adjetey Anang, Lydia Forson, Edwin Acquah and Fred Amugi among others – is an inspiring production that has captured the imagination of viewers through its direction, acting and technical prowess.
Undeniably “Keteke”, which has been equally nominated for diverse awards during screenings in Nigeria, Egypt, Burundi, Morocco, South Africa, London, America, Australia and Scotland is also funny and bursting with colour, appeal and compassion.
Produced by Manaa Abdallah, a lecturer at the National Film and Television Institute in Accra, it features a man and his pregnant wife, who wander on train tracks dotted by lush green forests as they frantically search for a train to convey them to an in-law for a memorable delivery.
They appear to walk “aimlessly” while looking for an elusive train amidst humour, suspense, quarrels, insults, determination, hunger, thirst and practical jokes while vividly expressing fear of the baby arriving before they get to their destination.
In the long fiction movie category, the Golden Stallion of Yennenga went to “The Mercy of the Jungle” by Rwandan director Joël Karékezi, Silver Stallion of Yennenga was grabbed by “Karma” by Egyptian director Khaled Youssef while the Bronze Stallion of Yennenga went to “Fatwa” by Tunisian director Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud.
Regarding long documentary films, Golden Stallion was won by “The Golden Wolf of Balolé” by Burkinabe director Aïcha Boro, Silver Stallion was taken by “In the Time when the Arabs were Dancing” by Moroccan director Jawad Rhalib while the Bronze Stallion went to “Whispering Truth to Power” by the South African director Shameela Sedat.
Animation films were not left out of the fray – winners include “Briska” by Nadia Rais (Tunisia), “A Kalabanda Eats my Homework” by Raymond Malinga (Uganda) and “Da Tsysy of Tojo” by Niaina Rajaofera (Madagascar). Cameroonian director Jean Pierre Bekolo also won the Sembene Osmane prize from the Ecobank Foundation with his latest film “The Miraculous Weapon”.
Created in 1969, FESPACO offers African film professionals the chance to establish working relationships, exchange ideas and promote their work. It aims at contributing to the expansion and development of African cinema as a means of expression, education and awareness creation.