The eighth edition of Mashariki African Film Festival is underway in Kigali, where good movies are lined up to make headlines on the festival’s big screens throughout the week. The festival opened Saturday, November 26 at Century Cinema and attracted together key players in the film industry in the country and international guests from different countries. ‘La Gravite’, a film starring French actor Max Gomis, was the first movie screened during the opening ceremony that was attended by various dignitaries including Israeli Ambassador to Rwanda Ron Adam and Rwanda’s Minister of ICT Paula Ingabire to mention a few. The film, directed by Cedric Ido, premiered for the first time in Africa at Mashariki African Film Festival, having previously premiered in New York. It is Ido’s second feature after la Vie de Chateau. The following day, November 27, the festival celebrated Israel for the 2022 edition as a special occasion to recognize the contribution that the country, particularly Israel Cinema, has given to the art world and to the film industry. “We are aware of the support and creative collaboration in the growth and development of African cinema. For this reason, we celebrate Israel’s contribution to African cinema with a series of activities,” said Tresor Senga, the festival Executive Director. Israel Night was shaped by a screening session of documentary film “The Church” Directed by Anal Tel and written by Noam Amitanat. The film reflects on the story of The Church of the Holy sepulcher in the old city of Jerusalem, the most sacred place in Christendom. It stars Samuel Aghoyan and The archbishop of Jerusalem Antonios. More films by national and international filmmakers will be screened during the festival at Century Cinema throughout the week and the best will be awarded. A total of 75 films were selected for screening at this year’s festival. They were selected in three main categories namely best feature, best documentary and best short film in addition to a special category dubbed ‘Iziwacu’ which was designed to celebrate the work done by local filmmakers. The most exciting thing for festival artistic director Fabrizio Colombo is that a great percentage of films selected for the festival are East African cinema, an indication that, he said, underlines the growing capacity and creativity in storytelling of this part of Africa. The festival will also hold workshops and masterclasses by African and international and filmmakers to share experiences on their best practices in film critique and cinema business. The festival will conclude Friday, December 2, when filmmakers with the best films in the cited categories will be awarded.