The Ethiopian film “Lamb” by the director Zelek Yared, last Saturday, won the Grand Prix “Sembène Ousmane” of the 19th edition of the International Festival of African Cinema of Khouribga.
The International Festival of African Cinema of Khouribga (FCAK), which ran from July 16 to 23, is not a traditional artistic event which ends with the distribution of prizes to the winning films. This is a real annual cultural meeting, to which are invited leading national and African filmmakers, to reflect on the reality of the 7th African art, as well as on the means to implement it so as to allow it to occupy the place it deserves on the international stage. Indeed, this continental film encounter is distinguished by the richness and diversity of its themes. In this regard, a large part of the programme was devoted to the screenplay. A subject that is a recurring theme in many film encounters. The choice of this theme is wise, knowing that the script has often been presented as a pretext to justify the poor quality of some films. The FCAK devoted to this subject, often belaboured, a conference and several meetings, especially during the “Midnight Movies” sequence.
The festival’s participants have benefitted for this purpose, some of the experience of Noureddine Sail, president of the Foundation FCAK. While stressing the importance of this component, it considered that the script has never been the main structure of a film, reaffirming that the script is not a literary work and that few would be distinguished. According to him, the script is for the production and the beauty of the film lies in the magic it works on the viewer and the emotions it causes him. It is at this level that the magic of the movie operates. Another positive aspect of this big encounter of African cinema is that it has managed to enlighten the public on beautiful cinematic experience, but which face the monopoly of the major Western productions, notably the American. This is the case of the Ethiopian film “Lamb” by director Yared Zelek, which won the Grand Prix “Sembène Ousmane” of the 19th edition FCAK. Most speakers paid tribute to the great and beautiful performance of the actors, especially the young prodigy of the Ethiopian cinema Rediat Amare. They did not fail to emphasise the high quality of the cinema from this African country, the cradle of humanity, characterised by beautiful landscapes, poeticity of scenes and images, not to mention the human warmth that emanates from a tolerant people which is not yet appreciated to its full value. Some of the speeches emphasised the mastery of Ethiopian filmmakers of the techniques and rules of the 7th art. The film “Lamb” and other Ethiopian films screened during the competition’s off-events have, it seems, changed the perception by the audience on a country and a people, who are victims of stereotypes and prejudice. The Ethiopian cinema has managed to arouse wonder of the critic and the audience.