Three Rwandan films in competition at Carthage Film Festival

Three Rwandan films are up in competition at the ongoing Carthage Film Festival in Tunis, the Capital of Tunisia. A colourful reception to usher in this year’s festival was held at the Municipal Theater of Tunis on Saturday November 3. The weeklong festival runs until November 10.

It is the 29th edition of the festival, founded in 1966 by Tunisian filmmaker Tahar Cheriaa.

Joel Karekezi’s feature film, Mercy Of The Jungle, will be screened today Monday, November 5 at the Cinema Le Colisee in Tunis. The film is making its African Premiere in the official competition. Karekezi travelled to the festival with renowned female filmmaker Kantarama Gahigiri, who acted in Mercy of the Jungle and was also part of the production team.

“Tomorrow is our African premiere of Mercy of the Jungle. We are honoured  to be in competition here and soon we will be able to screen the film in Rwanda and Uganda where the film was shot and where we collaborated with Ugandan crew and cast,” revealed Joel Karekezi in an online interview Sunday evening.

Budding filmmaker Mutiganda wa Nkunda was among the first Rwandan filmmakers to make it to Tunis in time for the festival’s opening ceremony. His film, Nameless, which he wrote and directed, is part of the films drawn in the TAKMIL Post Production programme on the sidelines of the festival.

It is all that Mutiganda could reveal about his film, as festival rules forbid sharing further information.

Namelesswas produced by Yuhi Amuli, another budding local filmmaker. For his part, Mutiganda is better known for his screenwriting role for two popular local TV series, City Maid, and Seburikoko. The film follows a young couple struggling to make ends meet in the fast growing and fast changing city of Kigali.

Icyasha, by Clementine Dusabejambo is competing in the short films category. The multi award winning filmmaker first introduced the film to her Rwandan audience at a pre-premiere screening event in Kigali in March. The film follows a 12-year-old-boy and football lover who tries all he can to join the neighborhood boys football team. However, his effeminate character becomes his undoing as he has to ward off taunting and bullying from the other boys. Pressed to prove his masculinity in a “man’s world”, the film’s main character at once embodies the pain and the beauty of childhood.

Created in 1966, Carthage Film Festival is the oldest film festival on the continent. From its inception until 2013, it run as a biennial festival, until 2014 when it became annual. The festival was initially biennial but it became annual in 2014

The main prize awarded is the Golden Tanit, named after the Phoenician goddess Tanit.