Six filmmakers walked away with different awards at the closing ceremony of the Mashariki African Film Festival in Kigali over the weekend.
Of the six, two were Rwandans. Emmanuel Harris Munezero’s short film, It Works, scooped the accolade for Best Short Fiction Film, while Habib Kanobana’s film, Football For Peace scooped the accolades for Best Short Documentary.
Winning films were grouped under two categories –East African Community (EAC), and Africa (Feature, Short Film, and Documentary).
This year’s festival was under the theme; My Story, My Passion, My Journey.
Just like Rwanda, Kenya also had two winners. Ari Michelle Mboya’s short fiction film, Camel’s Back won the Best East African Short Fiction Film accolade, while the short documentary, Water to Dust by Mitchelle Jangara scooped the Best Short Documentary award.
French-Senegalese filmmaker Maimouna Doucoure took the Best African Short Film accolade courtesy of her short fiction film, Maman, while Uganda’s Arnold Aganze won the Best Feature Fiction category thanks to his film, N.G.O.
This was the third edition of the festival, and the week-long activities took place from March 25-31 at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village. A total of 43 films were selected for this year’s festival.
The closing ceremony was a red carpet affair that was attended by representatives of more than ten foreign embassies accredited to Rwanda. In attendance were film enthusiasts, local and foreign filmmakers, VIPs, and diplomats.
Also in attendance were Sports and Culture Minister Julienne Uwacu, and the Executive Secretary of the Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture, Professor James Vuningoma.
During the award ceremony, the trailers for all the winning entries were screened. Certificates were also awarded to filmmakers who participated in three filmmaking Master Classes that were held at different locations around town.
Another highlight of the closing ceremony was the screening of the 2012 film, Tey, by the French-Senegalese film director, Alain Gomis.
Senegalese filmmaker Moussa Toure, who was in attendance expressed interest in returning to Rwanda to shoot a feature film, inspired by the beautiful landscapes and sceneries he saw during his time in the country. Toure’s drama film La Piroque (Small boat) was the main film screened on the opening night.
As part of the festival, Toure also facilitated a film directing master class for young Rwandan filmmakers at the Rwanda Arts Initiative (RAI) offices in Kimihurura.