Rwandan pop singer singer/actress Ruth Nirere, a.k.a Shanel won the Best Actress Award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF), November 22 in Greece for the movie “The Day God Went Away”.
This is the first time that Shanel has grabbed the best award in a major international film festival.
“The Day God Went Away” follows the harrowing struggle for survival of a Tutsi woman during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi.
In the film, Jacqueline (Shanel) is introduced reluctantly going to hide in the attic of the home belonging to a white Belgian family, where she works as a housemaid, and whose members soon flee the mounting chaos of Kigali.
She spends the first days hiding in the house but after, Jacqueline dares to leave the house and head through the bush to her home, where, upon arrival, she finds her two children dead.
“I was so excited. This has given me courage to continue acting,” Shanel said.
In an interview, Shanel told The New Times that this was the 50th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and “The Day God Walked Away”, was in international competition category with other 10 films.
The film was screened for the first time in Toronto International Film Festival, and won the KUTXA Award in San Sebastian Film Festival, and in PRIX DE DECOUVERTE.
“The day God walked away” film was officially released in October 28 in France. Shanel has also starred in “Long Coat”, directed by Edourad Bamporiki, and “Matiere Grise” by Daddy Youssouf Ruhorahoza.