According to a statement from the National Filmmakers Guild, Burkina Faso’s Idrissa Ouedraogo, a legendary figure of African cinema, died at the age of 64 on Sunday. A prolific director over the course of his celebrated career, Idrissa Ouedraogo was known for films like Tilai, a powerful drama about family honour which won the Cannes Jury Prize in 1990.
President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement that his country has lost a filmmaker of immense talent, noting that the director truly contributed to turning the spotlight on Burkinabe and African cinema beyond borders. Tributes and condolences from around the world have poured out on social media. Congolese writer and filmmaker Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda described his deep sadness at the passing of a man affectionately known as “the teacher,” adding that “the maestro has come home, behind the screen.”
President of the Cannes film festival Giles Jacob has also mourned the passing of the screen legend. In Berlin, where filmmakers were gathered at the Berlinale Adrian Hub, many shared thoughts on Ouedraogo life’s and celebrated career. Born Jan 21, 1954, in what was then the French colony of Upper Volta, Ouedraogo studied in Kiev before moving to Paris, where he attended the prestigious Institut d’Hautes Etdues Cinematographiques and graduated with a degree in film studies from the Sorbonne in 1985.
May his soul rest in peace.