Denis Valery Ndayishimiye has found freedom through making films and seeks to produce more that highlight different issues young people are facing. “A film gives you liberty to be an artist,” says the 24-year-old filmmaker. “You don’t get stuck in one place; you experience ever-changing life. Making a film compels you to explore different interesting topics with different aspects of life. Filmmaking is life.” For him, making a film also resembles duplicating the real life of people, hence, he declares that it requires the maker to talk to many people, do research and know how different things work. “That raises your curiosity to discover the world you belong to,” adds Ndayishimiye whose talent thrived in 2014 when he was in high school at Petit Seminaire St Leon Kabgayi. While there, he used to write stories, mostly romance, and directed theatre as well as other creative activities at the school. He notes that whenever his friends read his stories, they would urge him to consider pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree related to writing. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in Rwanda,” says Ndayishimiye. “I opted to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in filmmaking which also involves writing so that I could be an artist.” His short film “Being of Bones” whose story revolves around a girl looking for her father released in 2021 has been selected in three festivals including New Filmmakers Film Festival that took place in New York, Luxor African Film festival that took place in Egypt and Mashariki African Film Festival which is hosted in Rwanda. He says that attending the festivals at a young age boosted his confidence and came with potential funding opportunities. Ndayishimiye is a fan of independent movies. His favourite is ‘Boyhood’ by Richard. He says that the reason he prefers independent movies to commercial ones is that most of them have plots that are almost the same, while independent movies are simple to do, have an original story and make it possible for those with less budget to learn to do something good. His challenges include that he doesn’t access film funds in the country, including those that can even offer a ticket when one has been selected for an international workshop. “That pushes you to try opportunities from abroad where they have their own criteria that minimises your idea or even changes it,” he says. Ndayishimiye is currently working on a TV series and several short films. He also plans to create his company and venture into the business side of filmmaking.