A week-long Mashariki African film festival started at the Kigali Serena Hotel on Sunday evening.
Addressing over 300 guests who attended the opening ceremony, the chairman of Mashariki film, Joel Karekezi, said that they will screen movies from different African countries including Cameroon, Mozambique, Uganda and Senegal among others.
“This is because we believe that as Africans, we should tell our own story in a professional way,” he said.
The first film screened was, Tapis Rouge, a fiction feature by Swiss directors Frédéric Baillif and Kantarama Gahigiri. Set in Lausanne, Switzerland, the movie lays bare the hard realities faced by young people in neighborhoods every day.
The Minister for East African Community, Valentine Rugwabiza, was the guest of honor. She said that as a ministry, they support such events because art is a way of bringing people together in this era of integration.
“In this region, we see ourselves as one people with a common destiny,” said Rugwabiza. All the five EAC countries have talented filmmakers whose talent is needed even beyond the African continent,” she added.
This is the first film festival organised by Mashariki. The festival will feature screening activities in Rubavu, Musanze, Nyamagabe and Rwamagana. The closing ceremony will also take place at Kigali City Tower on Saturday, March 14.