Saturday evening was a moment of smiles as outstanding female filmmakers were recognised at the closure of the second edition of Urusaro International Women Film Festival (IWFF) over the weekend.
The weeklong festival took place at Umubano Hotel from March 4th to 11th.
During the festival, women filmmakers were equipped with skills to improve their craft through several workshops.
The target was to encourage younger females to pick interest in film production. Students from FAWE Girls School and College Ami des Enfants were trained on filmmaking to show them opportunities in the industry.
The closing ceremony of the festival was characterized by short film screenings and awarding outstanding performers.
The closing day kicked off with red carpet events featuring renowned Rwandan filmmakers and players in the film industry such as actress Antoinette Uwamahoro who is already popular in a series movie Seburikoko.
Also to grace the red carpet was Munir Habiyakare who acted in Zone Turquoise movie and Carine Mukandasumbwa, a renowned investor in the local cinema industry both in Rwanda and Uganda, among others.
Poupoune Sesonga Kamikazi, the festival director, said there is hope that the festival will in future become more popular with more young females showing interest in the film industry.
She noted that the festival was buoyed by support from the government through Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture (RALC), the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC) and other sponsors who showed the will to support this platform.
“Organizing a film festival is not an easy job, but because we know what we want, we will continue to push hard,”
“It is a new but growing platform, and hopefully the next editions will attract more participants since the support is beginning to come in and more sponsors showing interest,” Sesonga told The New Times.
Apolline Uwimana, who scooped three awards at the festival, said she is happy that her work is paying off, while the recognitions will encourage her to do more for the bright future of Rwandan cinema industry, despite existing challenges.
“I am thankful to see my work recognized. It proves how important and interesting it is to the society,”
“These awards are an asset and a motivation to keep pushing to achieve more and I believe that things will only get better. I want to achieve something which can put Rwandan cinema on the international scene,” Uwimana said.
The evening featured performances from gospel music band Beauty for Ashes which entertained the audience with their songs including Yesu Ni Sawa andSurprise. The show ended at 9.30 pm.
Best Actor: Ahadi Beni
Best Actress: Antoinnette Uwamahoro
Best Short Film: Bugingo by ApollineUwimana
Most popular film: Isaha by Zaninka Joselyne
Best Director: Apolline Uwimana
Special mention: Apolline Uwimana