The 26th edition of the Panafrican Festival of Cinema and Television of Ouagadougou (Fespaco) lived on Burkinabe ground from February 23 to March 2, 2019, featuring 7 Malian films. If none of Melian's representatives could win the gold standard of Yanenga, which was granted to Rawanadis and El Karaxi, Mali's creators did not return empty-handed. Because Salif Traver's film "Amo Doman" "What name do you have?" Won the Oumoa Award. In the next interview, Malian manager talks about Mali's participation in this great cultural event. He also makes a distinction of the evil that prevents Mali from restoring its former glory in the cinema and does not hesitate to comment on some shortcomings in Fespaco 2019.
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Salif Traura: My name is Sallif Traura, film director and May Mali. I am the Secretary General of the National Union of Mali Creators. I am also the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the African Federation of African Film Creators. The holder of the Fespaco Uemoa Award 2017 with the film titled "Ammo Doman."
You have just taken part in the 26th edition of Fespaco, so can you tell us how you experienced this event?
The 26th edition of every filmmaker was to recall again our memories that the theme of this edition was "Recollections" And to rebuild African cinema through its commitments. This is what was experienced during Fespaco. We have, from time to time, reviewed all the great films made by African cinema in the past, and we have met some actors who are still alive. Fespaco is breeding ground and it is always rewarding to participate in the editions of the festival where we meet the actors and the real challenges of cinema. I lived well in this 26th edition and I believe that all the people of culture must take part in this event which is a true meeting point between the cultures of the world.
You were the only Malaysian director to win the award in this 26th edition of Fespaco. What is the price and what are your feelings about this distinction?
I do not think it's just for me, because if I have to dedicate this prize to someone, I'll dedicate it to conservatory students. Because they were the ones who accompanied me in this project because it was fed in the Bala Pasca Conservatory of the Arts and grew up there. This film also served as a lever for training. There is especially Gaoussou Tangara who was my first assistant to my photographer. He not only edits the film, but he was present at my side from start to finish. It is the spirit of this youth of the conservatory that is blowing on this film and I am proud of it. That's the price of Omaha
What difficulties did you encounter with this filmmaker during the PASPACO?
Well, if I need to talk about difficulty in this edition, I will talk about the bad organization of Fespaco. This festival has reached a certain maturity with its 50 years of existence and if its organization still has to stay behind, it's a pity. The qualification was not made on time, the program was not released on time, the tickets were well prepared. During the ceremony there were also huge organizational shortcomings. I believe that all this does not give a better picture of the event that is today the pride of Africa.
The cinema does not go without funding, so what about the case of Mali?
On financing the cinema in Mali, we must recognize that efforts are being made, but it is even more necessary for Malian cinema to regain its former glory. You know for a while, the Malay cinema was at the head of African cinema and we are still nostalgic for these films, but we must recognize that these directors were independent artists.
I believe that this crisis has to do with financing the cinema that we live everywhere, not only in Mali and Africa. I believe that the development of Malian cinema must pass the necessary funds which must leave support of the state. This is institutional support that should not be lacking. However, the African Union is in the process of establishing a Pan African Film Foundation Foundation to be formed. In addition, the African Union is developing a project that will ask each member country to allocate space for the cinema. It is very important. So movie makers can have reasonable funding in their country and can also claim Pan African fund. Which will undoubtedly boost the African cinema even more.
In your opinion, beyond funding, what is missing today in the Millennial cinema?
You know, the pioneers of Melanie cinema enjoyed scholarships to study in cinema, and for a while the state does not give any worthy scholarship. It's been some time since we got male students who came home with a movie-based workout. In addition, most young people are trained late. We really need training in this area as well. Because to be able to understand real production, real film, it is necessary for a real scenario. And if a person wants to come to the movies when he can not write a good script, I think we are totally lacking in success. First we have to solve this problem, and that's what we're trying to do at the Basa Pasca conservatory.
What prevents violent cinema from competing with other African countries?
The Malay cinema has always defined the bar as very high. It has to be familiar. I only take one film "Yeleen" Suleiman Sissa, who was ranked 49th in the world and has not been thrown out since. This film will be taught in schools in France. Two years ago, this film was the subject of baccalaureate in France. It is true that there are gaps, especially in the field of training, but despite the lack of training and funding, I still have hope for the sails that there is no edition of Fespaco without Mali and I also note that young people are increasing this cinema at their level today.
I think the filmmaker was doing well, there were at least six million who showed films at Fespaco this year and it was with their means. It has been a success and the future of the Millennial cinema remains promising. These young people have potential. They only need state support to go further in African and world cinema.
What will be your last?
I call on journalists to re-examine movie theater with the actors and to accompany this cinema, because the media has these means. There is a lot of potential to exploit in this area. This young creators know that they certainly have the benefits of new technologies to make films, but it is all spirit that is hidden in the recent realization of the film. I ask young people to re-visit old movies, especially in the movies.
Directed by Yusuf Kuhn
Seri: Today, Mali