Lights, camera, action! ITC film premieres on festival circuit

20 February 2023
ITC News

Bravo! Burkina was an official Sundance selection and opened FESPACO, the Pan African Film Festival

African cinema is growing, and ITC is backing this trend. 

A flagship programme of ITC, the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) has worked in fashion and other creative industries for over a decade. Its EU funded Identity Building and Business Sharing Initiative showcases creativity and talent in fashion, photography, cinema and music. The initiative works with the private sector to strengthen culture sectors and increase cultural exports.  

This film, written and directed by Nigerian-American Walé Oyéjidé, follows a boy from Burkina Faso who flees his village and migrates to Northern Italy for work. When later disillusioned by heartbreak, and haunted by memories of home, he slips through time in hopes of regaining all he has lost. 

The filming of Bravo! Burkina took place over the span of just two weeks between Burkina Faso and Italy, and had the full involvement of EFI social enterprise partners CABES in Ouagadougou and Lai Momo in Bologna, Italy. It was produced with financial support from the European Union. 

The unconventional cast mixed professional and amateur actors from the communities where filming was taking place. This allowed artisans from Burkina Faso and Italy to show their craft. 

Oyéjidé describes the young boy from Burkina Faso who starred in the film as his acting debut as a “genius on screen” who now “has a new career path”. 

This element was important to Oyéjidé, as the film was able to create art while also “creating new job and life paths” for the people featured. 

He hopes that this inspires larger film corporations to do something similar. Oyéjidé’s intention is to reframe the topic of migration, and through this human story, to shift the audience’s perspective. 

Now the movie is on the international festival circuit. Bravo! Burkina was featured as part of the NEXT category at Sundance (the largest independent film festival in the United States), which highlights films with an “innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling.’ 

On 24 February, the film will open FESPACO, the Pan African Film Festival in Ouagadougou which showcases filmmakers and productions from across the continent.

Poster for the Bravo! Burkina film