‘A Place For Myself', a Rwandan short film, has scooped two prestigious awards, La Chance and Thomas Sankara, prize at the just-concluded Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso.
The film is directed by Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo, Rwanda's aspiring filmmaker. Founded in 1969, FESPACO is the largest and film festival on the continent. It is a space for African filmmakers to network, collaborate, showcase and market their works to continental and global audiences. The event takes place every two years between February 25 and March 4.
The overall winner for this year's festival was French-Senegalese film director Alain Gomis, whose film, Felicite, scooped the prestigious Golden Stallion of Yennenga. Yennenga was a legendary warrior and princess, considered the mother of the Mossi people of Burkina Faso.
Dusabejambo was the first ever winner of the Thomas Sankara Prize, a special category introduced at this year's festival in honour of the military captain, Pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist crusader Thomas Sankara, who was president of Burkina Faso from 1983-1987.
"FESPACO is the greatest festival in Africa, it offers a great film market and it has been a long-term dream for me. I got the opportunity to be selected and I won't miss it," an excited Dusabejambo explained last month, shortly after her film had been selected.
A Place For Myself addresses the complex issue of Albinism in society and shines a spotlight on the daily trials and struggles of Persons with Albinism. The film follows the life of a young girl, Elikia, through her school and social routines, which are marked by stigmatisation and discrimination from society. Through the encouragement of an unwavering mother, Elikia not only sees herself through school, but also leaves a positive impression on her non-albino classmates.
An excited Dusabejambo took to social media on Monday to break the news of her achievement.
"A Place For Myself wins the special prize ‘Thomas Sankara’ and the special mention of the jury. What an immense joy! My most sincere thanks to all the team of the movie, and all our friends, ‘simply thank you’, for your messages of encouragement that brings warmth to my heart. A special thought for my actress Fabiola and her mom..."
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