“The Mercy of Jungle » by Joel Karekezi, Rwanda, won the Etalon d’or de Yennenga at the 26th Edition of the Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO). The winner received his trophy on the evening of Saturday 2nd March 2019 during the official closing ceremony of the 26th Edition of the African film biennale, coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the Festival, at Palais des Sports Ouaga 2000. Filmmaker Karekezi considers this award as an invite to move forward from which he intends to get more to work.
“A war hero and a young soldier are caught up in merciless battles in a jungle. They will have to cope with life in this hellish forest and make choices”. This is the storyline of the winning film of the Etalon d’or de Yennenga at the 26th Edition of FESPACO. According to the director of FESPACO 2019 Grand prize-winning film, this reward follows years of hard work, responding to media people on whether this prize has been a surprise for him.
“It’s more or less! The good news is that there were very good films in the competition. And winning the grand prize, I think it’s fair. Well, we are going to celebrate but we will keep on working hard”, director Joel Karekezi said.
The director of this FESPACO edition best film received his prize from President of Faso Roch Marc Christian KABORE, accompanied by Paul KAGAME, President of Rwanda, guest of honour for the fiftieth anniversary of the Festival.
President of Faso Roch Marc Christian KABORE said that the successful holding of this international cultural event this year is a pretty sure bet for Burkina Faso and the entire continent.
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita argued for artists, stating that they should be able to make a living out of their art and that they deserve further consideration. “It’s not normal for an African filmmaker to be forced into begging”, he told journalists as he was leaving the Palais des Sports Ouaga 2000.
In addition to the Etalon d’or de Yennenga, many other prizes were awarded in various categories to several filmmakers, actors and actresses.