To mark the 50th anniversary of the Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), Aboubakar Sanogo presents a sweeping survey of the festival's history, influence, and future directions. He notes the festival's function as a home for African filmmakers and cinema, as a space for cultural encounters, as a library and archive of debates on African cinema, and as a barometer of health or lack thereof of the various national film industries on the continent. After reviewing this year's selection of films, which reflect ever-present concerns over memory, the geopolitical, and the effects of powerful external forces, Sanogo concludes that FESPACO faces formidable challenges to its self-renewal, including its mandate to define the values of African cinema and present them to the world.

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