The clapperboard sounded on Saturday in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital signalling the end of the 20th edition of the Ecrans Noirs (Golden Screen) Festival . L’Ecran d’Or, the most prestigious award of the African cinema encounter, was awarded by the jury to the Moroccan Hicham El Jebbari, for his film “Larmes de Satan” (Satan’s Tears) at the closing ceremony.
“Larmes de Satan is a film that required more than five years of work from me. It’s a very difficult film is a film that speaks mostly of a very important historical period in Morocco. That it is honoured with an Ecran d’Or by the 20th edition of the Ecrans Noirs festival is a very important thing. I am proud, I am honoured. I would like to continue on that path,” enthused the Moroccan director.
As for the French Laurent Chevalier, he received the award for best documentary for ““La Trace de Kandia”.
“When you finish a movie like this and you feel that emotion that you had to push, push to make a film can suddenly be shared by a jury beyond a jury by spectators, this is something that deeply touches the heart,” he emphasised.
The famous “Nollywood”, films made in Nigeria, was present with “CEO” (the English acronym for PDG) competing for the best foreign film. The film, which speaks of a power struggle within a company, lat June ruffled the palm of marketing, by having its premiere on an Air France plane connecting Lagaos in Paris .
“We wanted to show the world that Africans are innovative and that Nigerians are unique,” emphasised Kunle Afolayan, the film’s director. “CEO” had required a budget of a million dollars, starring the celebrated Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo.
The films in competition at this 20th edition of the Ecrans Noirs were, in addition to “CEO” and “Les larmes de Satan”, “Naked reality” (Cameroon), “Sans regret” and “Innocent malgré tout” (Ivory Coast ) “Dealer” (Congo), “The loincloth” (Niger) and “Katutura” (Namibia).
For Jean-Claude Crépeau, president of feature films category of the jury for Central Africa, this was “a very open panorama. There are movies that speak through the modern world, others, from the influence of religion.”
The director Bassek ba Kobhio, general delegate of the Ecrans Noirs festival, sought very optimistic, thinking that these fims will find their audience in Africa. “There is no more question of saying that African public are refractory to productions of their continent,” he noted.
But access to some of these film productions remain an obstacle for Africans in the diaspora. “Put this film online that we can watch it!” complained Nigeriens abroad, frustrated not to see on YouTube the trailer of the movie “le Pagne” by their compatriot Moussa Hamadou Djingarey.
Ecrans Noirs is an African film festival, founded in 1997 by director Bassek Kobhio Ba, which is held every year from June in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Organised by the “Ecrans Noirs” association, which aims at the broadcast of cinematographic creations of six Central African countries (Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Chad), the festival also aims to be a space of reflection on the cinema and organises colloquiums, gathering professionals, who discuss on themes concerning the conditions of exercise and the evolution of this art on the African continent.
Rodrigue Loué with AFP / AGENCIES