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Gael Faye’s “Petit Pays” nominated for global award

The movie “Petit Pays” by a Rwandan-French rapper and author, Gael Faye, has made it to Film Francophone d’Angoulême, an annual French film festival. The festival runs from August 28 through September 2, in Paris, France.

Film Francophone d’Angoulême festival recognises the bestselling French movies in French-speaking countries. The nomination was announced on July 10, when the movie emerged among those nominated in the first category.


The same day will also see the movie’s launch that was cancelled on March 7, 2020 due to the Covid-19 curb measures.


In 2017, Gael Faye was in Rwanda to launch the movie which is based on his book. First Lady Jeannette Kagame hailed him, describing the book as a moving tribute to Rwanda’s history and the strength of Rwandans.


The movie is about the author’s recollection of the civil war in Burundi in 1993, and subsequently, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The story revolves around a group of five boys aged 11 to 14 growing up in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura. Their childhood life is a paradise; they live near nature, in a friendly atmosphere and then, war breaks out.

Gael Faye (standing)has been recognised by Film Francophone d’Angoulême, an annual French film festival, for “Petit Pays”. / Net photos

One of the characters, Gabriel, tries to stay away; he doesn’t want to be a Hutu or a Tutsi. He just wants to remain a child. He finds that his way to avoid the violence is to read books. In spite of his effort, however, the war is a reality he has to face.

“Petit Pays” was directed by a French movie maker Eric Barbier and has now been translated in 35 languages. The movie stands great milestones as Gael Faye has been recognised by a French publishing house named FNAC as the best 2016 writer because of “Petit Pays”.

The novel also won Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, a French literary award created in 1987 as a sort of younger prestigious prize for French language literature.

Gael, 37, is father of two. He was born in Burundi to a Rwandan mother and French father. He was born and raised in Burundi, until the age of 13, he moved to Paris, France, where he is based today.

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