Entertainment

Moroccan film triumphs at African film fest

Pegase, a Moroccan film about a young woman battling incest, has won the top prize at Africa's largest film festival.
Moroccan director Mohamed Mouftakir won the Golden Stallion trophy, the top prize of the Pan African Film and Television Festival (Fespaco), for his drama Pegase. (Ahmed Ouoba/AFP/Getty )

Pegase, a Moroccan film about a young woman battling incest, has won the top prize at Africa's largest film festival.

The feature film debut of Moroccan director Mohamed Mouftakir earned the Golden Stallion of Yennenga late Saturday.

The Stallion is the grand prize of the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (also known as Fespaco), held in Burkina Faso's capital city.

"The prize is a pride, it's recognition. It's encouraging," Mouftakir said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Set in the Moroccan countryside, Pegase tells the story of a 20-year-old woman who suffers rape by her father, who believes she is possessed by a demon.

Other winners

Saturday's awards ceremony marked the final night of the festival's 22nd edition.

Chad director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun picked up the evening's second-place honour, the Silver Stallion, for the film Un homme qui crie (A Screaming Man). The film had received a jury prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

The Bronze Stallion went to Le mec idéal (The Ideal Guy), a romantic comedy from Ivory Coast filmmaker Owell Brown.

Benin's Sylvestre Amoussou won best actor for his role in Un pas en avant, les dessous de la corruption, which he also directed.

Samia Meziane was named best actress for her turn in Le Voyage à Alger (Journey to Algiers), a film by Algerian Abdelkrim Bahloul.

The African Diaspora Prize went to the Haitian film Les amours d'un zombie (The Loves of a Zombie), by Arnold Antonin.

The festival's jury also cited the French film Notre étrangère (The Place in Between) for special recognition. The drama — by writer-director Sarah Bouyain — follows a mixed-race woman who travels from France to Burkina Faso to find her mother.

Overall, 18 films competed for prizes this year. Established in 1969, Fespaco is a biennial event celebrating African cinema that attracts filmmakers, actors and movie lovers.

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