KIGALI - The Minister for Culture and Sports, Joseph Habineza has revealed that the Berlin Cinema for Peace honoured President Paul Kagame for his efforts towards bringing peace and reconciliation to Rwanda.
Habineza, who received the award on behalf of the President told The New Times that the Cinema for Peace Gala recognises personalities who have positively contributed to change in their countries.
The Gala uses cinema to promote Peace.
“The organisers of the gala explained to me that their interest in Kagame stemmed from his release of 50,000 people implicated in the genocide. Everyone was surprised and wondered what the consequences of his move would be, but they were ultimately surprised by the reconciliation results,” he said.
Habineza said that at the gala, a Rwandan film by American Director, Laura Waters Hinson “As we Forgive” was screened. Hinson was also awarded for the movie.
He explained that he was granted a Question and Answer session where he answered several questions on Gacaca, conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Habineza said that though the President was not present at the ceremony, his award acceptance speech was telecast on big screens at the gala, after which the entire audience gave a standing ovation. In the speech, the President reiterated the importance of Cinema.
“One cannot underestimate the power of cinema—an image can reveal remarkable insights about the human condition, that words cannot capture,” the President said in the speech. “Indeed, the transformation Rwanda has experienced since the tragedy of Genocide, is a story better understood, thanks to film.”
Habineza mingled with the former Russian (USSR) President Mikhail Gorbachev, Intenational Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor; Luis Moreno Ocampo, Actor Leonardo Di Carprio, Bob Geldoff and the Cinema for Peace founder Jaka Bizilj among others.