The FESPACO festival is Africa's leading cinematic event launched in 1969 which draws thousands of movie fans and professionals from across the continent.
A total of 170 films are competing across 11 categories in the Feb. 25 - Mar. 4 event, including short films, documentaries, TV series and animations, FESPACO said.
Films from Cameroon, Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria, Mozambique, Algeria and Angola are among those vying for the top prize. The rest are: Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Senegal and the host country, Burkina Faso. Dominican Republic is the only Caribbean nation on the list.
Under festival rules, films chosen for the week-long event have to be made by Africans and predominantly produced on the continent.
This year, the event will be themed "African cinema and culture of peace" - an invitation, the organizers to help reflect on how movies can encourage reconciliation in troubled times.
FESPACO serves as a breeding ground for talents, ideas and new films and as such is closely monitored by stakeholders in the U.S. and European movie industries.
Host country Burkina Faso is in the grip of a seven-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed the lives of thousands of people and driven around two million from their homes.
Feature films vying for "Golden Stallion of Yennenga" prize:
- "The Planters' Plantation", directed by Dingha Eystein Young (Cameroon)
- "Our Father, the Devil", Ellie Foumb (Cameroon)
- "Ashkal", Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia)
- "Under the Fig Trees", Erige Sehiri (Tunisia)
- "Sira", Appoline Traore (Burkina Faso)
- "Abu Saddam", Nadine Khan (Egypt)
- "Bantu Mama", Ivan Herrera (Dominican Republic)
- "Mami Wata", de C.J."Fiery" Obasi (Nigeria)
- "Maputo Nakuzandza", Ariadine Zampaulo (Mozambique)
- "Our Lady of the Chinese Shop", Ery Claver (Angola)
- "Shimoni", Angela Wamai (Kenya)
- "Simin Zetwal", David Constantin (Mauritius)
- "The Blue Caftan", Maryam Touzani (Morocco)
- "The Last Queen", Damien Ounouri (Algeria)
- "Xale, Les blessures de l'enfance", Moussa Sene Absa (Senegal)