By Riches Soberekon
The annual Ecrans Noirs festival closed on Saturday with a ceremony at the Palais des Congrès in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé.
The festival, which ran from 14 October, featured a host of African films, with 48 films selected for the event and 11 of them in the running for the top prize, the Ecran d’Or.
This year’s top prize went to Cameroonian director Ellie Foumbi for her film, “Mon père le diable.” Foumbi’s film tells the story of a young woman who must confront her past when her father, a notorious war criminal, returns to her life.
Numerous other awards were also presented at the ceremony, including Best Cameroonian Actress to Stéphanie Tum for her role in the film “Le chant du Lac.” Senegalese filmmaker Thomas Delgado won the Grand Prize for Best Scriptwriter for his work on the film “La vie est belle.”
The highlight of this year’s festival was the tribute paid to the late Senegalese film director, producer, and writer Sembène Ousmane, who would have turned 100 this year. Ousmane was a pioneer of African cinema and his films have had a profound influence on filmmakers throughout the continent.
The Ecrans Noirs festival is one of the most important film festivals in Africa and it provides a platform for African filmmakers to showcase their work and to connect with audiences from around the world. The festival also plays an important role in promoting African culture and heritage.
The closing ceremony of the festival was attended by actors, directors, and film buffs alike. For film fans like Coriane Sama, it was a glorious week. “I particularly liked the feature films, I discovered a lot of them that were screened during the festival,” she said.
A number of African filmmakers also took part in the festival and some of them did not go home empty-handed. Senegalese filmmaker, Thomas Delgado, who won the Grand Prize for Best Scriptwriter, said that the award is “recognition for everything I’ve done and all the sacrifices I’ve made to get to this point.”
The Ecrans Noirs festival is a celebration of African cinema and it provides an opportunity for filmmakers and audiences to come together and share their love of film.