Mashariki African Film Festival concludes with award ceremony

MAFF director and founder Tresor Senga (left) with members of the jury during the festival closing ceremony. / Eddie Nsabimana

Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village played host to hundreds of movie lovers on Sunday, as the fifth edition of Mashariki African Film Festival (MAFF) came to a close.

Hosted by filmmaker Jones Kennedy Mazimpaka, the colorful closing ceremony was well attended, as the best filmmakers awaited their prizes after a weeklong screening session at different venues in the country.

Since its inception, the festival continues to attract many international filmmakers and this edition proved that Rwanda could, become one of the top film festival destinations.

Different filmmakers received certificates. / Eddie Nsabimana

Film director Mutiganda wa Nkunda shows off his trophy after City Maid TV series won an award. / Eddie Nsabimana

Gratien Niyitegeka (left) was also awarded. / Eddie Nsabimana

Different international filmmakers were recognised at this year’s film festival. / Eddie Nsabimana

Laura Musanase (left) was given best actress award for her role in the Iz'Iwacu movie. / Eddie Nsabimana

This year’s festival was well attended and a great success. / Eddie Nsabimana

L-R- Best cinematographer Bora Shingiro, Laura Musananse, who was awarded as the Best Actress, Best Actor Gratien Niyitegeka, and filmmaker Mutiganda wa Nkunda in a group photo. / Eddie Nsabimana

Rosie Motene, a Pan-African media proprietor, was among the jurors at the festival. She hailed the festival’s good coordination and organisation and demanded that more creative films have correct stories about Africa.

“My experience is that this festival has been phenomenal. It is great to see such amazing talents, and I see the festival getting greater,” said Motene.

The South African activist, who is currently creating synergies and partnerships with Mashariki African Film Festival, in terms of nurturing talent in Rwanda added, “The west has been colonising us, and has been telling us the stories that were actually incorrect about Africa.  As Africans, we need to be proud of who we are, we need to stand up. When our stories are correctly told and narrated, it is incredibly important”

This year, over 90 films, including 10 locals, competed for top prizes in different categories, and it was only the jury of experienced pioneers in the film industry to choose the best from each category.

Best African Feature Film - Indigo by Selma Balgachi (Morocco)
Best African Documentary - Liyana by Aaron Kopp (South Africa)
Best African Short Film - Black Mamba by Amel (Tunisia)
Best East African Feature Film -Subira by Ravneet Sippy (Kenya)
Best East African Documentary Film - Invisible Labourers by Anthony Gwaro (Uganda)
Best East African Short Film - Sunday by Angella Emurwon (Uganda)
Best National Film - Waiting by Philbert Aime Mbabazi
Best Iz’Iwacu Film - City Maid Series by Mutiganda Wa Nkunda (Rwanda)
Best Promising Cinematographer - Bora Shingiro (in Luna)
Best Iz’Iwacu Actress Award - Laura Musanase (City Maid)
Best Iz’Iwacu Actor - Gratien Niyitegeka (Seburikoko/ Papa Sava)