Rwanda’s film industry also struck a code of liveliness both locally and at international level. This was reflected through a few events which our team followed up;
The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) Awards Rwandan Film Maker
ZIFF 2016 awarded some of the best films from across the globe. Through a week of film screenings and special events, which attracted hundreds to thousands of Zanzibaris and visitors, it rewarded the best film directors.
With East African films dominating, topping the winners was Rwanda’s Clementine Dusabejambo, through her film A Place for Myself , which won three awards; The Sembene Ousmane Award, The Signis Prize, and the Golden Dhow for Best Short Film.
Other East African winners included ZAWADI by Richard Card and David Kinyanjui (Kenya),
WATATU by Nick Reding (Kenya), UGALI- THE FAMILY DINNER by Tony Koros(Kenya) and DALADALA by Salum Stika(Tanzania). The exciting Awards Night event saw the announcement of FINDING JOY- the theme for ZIFF 2017, to take place from July 8th to 16th 2017.
Rwandan film Berlinale at World Cinema Fund (WCF) Funding Nominations
At the 25th jury session of the World Cinema Fund (WCF), the juries recommended contributing to the funding of eleven film projects.
Rwandan film director Joel Karekezi’s Feature film project, The Mercy of the Jungle, under the new special programme- WCF Africa, granting funding for projects from Sub-Saharan emerged lucky, hence recommended for a production funding of 38.000 Euros.
Four film projects from Algeria, Argentina, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Israel were nominated for production funding. In the additional WCF Europe funding programme, three projects from Iraq / Lebanon, South Africa, and Tunisia were nominated for production funding. In the special programme WCF Africa, two projects from Rwanda and Kenya / South Africa were nominated for funding.
Eric Kabera Receives Gold Label Prestigious Recognition
In October, Rwandan Film director Eric Kabera was awarded with a Gold Label prestigious recognition by the Pan-African Film Consortium October this year. This honor is given to outstanding individuals who are valuable to African Cinema.
Kabera, who is also the founder of Rwanda Film Center and Kwetu Film Institute- the first private film school which has nurtured many young film makers emerged the sole representative awarded from East Africa.
In celebration of the nurturing and celebrations of the film culture, film festivals were potential platforms.
Opening Up this vibe was the Mashariki Film Festival a steadily growing platform for both local and continental film projects. Its second edition which took place in March attracted over 44 short, feature and documentary films, from majorly African countries alongside workshops for local film makers, conducted by film experts and the jury constituted of film ; Gerald Lichen, a Canadian experienced Film Maker, Ffibby Kioria– Maisha Film Lab Director and Moses Serugo, a Ugandan film Journalist Critic.
For its 12th Edition, the Rwanda Film Festival returned. Through workshops, film screenings and finally Awards, the festival spread out from Kigali to Rwamagana and Gisenyi districts in July. The festival also referred to a Hillywood featured variety Rwandan films to guest films too for a full week of celebration. Among the many featured projects included Rwanda &Juliet, an award winning film and Rwandan production of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, with local students, many of whom were orphaned by the 1994 genocide, directed by Canadian Ben Proudfoot, which had its first Rwandan premiere.
The European Film Festival, which took place in October, was another mega platform, which brought the public into celebration of European Films- through majorly screenings held.
Rwanda Christian Film Festival; a platform dedicated to the recognition and appreciation of Christian Films, right from Rwanda, Africa and from other countries took place on December 2nd till 3rd, where countries Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, South Africa, USA, South Korea were featured through films.
The year has been a further step for embracing local film. Among the major Television series, which featured included Seburikoko – a typically Rwandan comedy series about life and continued existence at the countryside. Starring Gratien Niyitegeka, Antoinette Uwamahoro, Ernest Kalisa and Amani Hakiziman majorly, the series directed by Mazimpaka Jones Kennedy has also scooped several awards.
City Maid is another series which was born last year. Written and directed by Richard Mugwaneza, and stars Laura Musanase, Emmy Ndayizeye, Parfait Ngizwenayo among others, it depicts city’s life, daily hustles and tricky faces.