Local filmmaker and social entrepreneur, Ismael Mushimiyimana, is on a mission to elevate the talents of young people, and harness the voices and influence of artists to make a positive impact in the community. As the founder and CEO of Love In Arts, Mushimiyimana is working to empower artists and cultural players with the aim of making them a pillar for sustainable development and solutions to human social security issues. The writer-actor began his creative journey by writing poems when he was in primary school. In 2015, his passion shifted towards cinema, initially starting as an actor. His debut was in the film Igihango cy’Amaraso,” followed by another role in Mukeba while in Uganda. Recognising his potential in the field, he decided to focus primarily on writing for films. In 2016, Mushimiyimana participated in the Maisha Film Lab as a scriptwriter, further honing his writing skills. He eventually had the opportunity to write two seasons of the popular TV series Inshuti/Friends which airs on Zacu TV. The artist also appeared in several feature films, including The 600 and Neptune Frost, the latter directed by an American rapper, Saul Williams. In 2019, he founded the Love In Art initiative, his motivation rooted in the belief of the transformative power of art and the potential for artists to have a meaningful change in the world. In 2022, they organised Ikingi Talent Competition for secondary school students to nurture their talents and empower them to speak about their challenges. We wanted them to speak for themselves, so if peers see someone their age addressing these issues, they could relate better, Mushimiyimana explained. He said that after facing online access limitations in rural areas which posed challenges for some participants, they partnered with Kimisagara Youth Centre and Kamonyi Youth Centre to hold the competition. As a result, six participants received rewards, including a first prize of Rwf 200,000. According to Mushimiyimana, currently, Love In Art is working towards promoting youth and addressing unemployment issues, acknowledging financial and skill-related challenges young artists encounter. On August 15, they launched a call for applications for graduates between the age of 16 and 30 to be part of their film and tech hubs at Kimisagara Youth Centre. Mushimiyimana said their goal is to contribute to reducing the unemployment rate as artists. They also seek to provide equal opportunities to passionate individuals without imposing strict experience requirements, emphasising the importance of passion and tolerance as key qualities. The courses to be delivered include photography, videography, cinematography, digital entrepreneurship, web design and graphic design. The sessions are scheduled to begin on September 4. In his eight-year filmmaking career, Mushimiyimana highlighted achievements such as selling movies and writing television series, but also stressed the importance of gaining recognition and trust in the film industry. Tackling the challenges, he noted that there is a significant issue among young artists, where the actions of some individuals in the past have tarnished the reputation of the entire community. “When artists approach organisations or institutions, they often face skepticism about their ability to engage in serious endeavors,” he said, stressing the need for artists to regain trust and credibility in their field. Regarding his future plans, Mushimiyimana expressed a commitment to elevating the art sector and supporting young talent. Over the next five years, he plans to establish hubs for music, film, and tech across the country – 90 hubs in 30 districts, with each youth centre housing three hubs. “These hubs will focus on nurturing skills and teaching young artists about the business aspects of their industries to prevent financial instability,” he noted.