Yves Amuli has a favourite quote; the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why” by Mark Twain and the budding film-maker believes he has lived those two days.
At only 22, Amuli is a budding independent film maker with an uncommon passion for film. His journey to film has many twists and turns.
Born as the first in a family of seven children, Amuli spent his early years in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo before he moved with the family to Lake Kivu’ Nkombo Island. He changed career goals from Priest to Scientist while still in high school. He however later enrolled into law school at the Gisenyi branch of the Independent University of Kigali (ULK). While at the university, he interacted with people in the film industry and attended some film workshops and slowly, he realised his calling. In the second year, Amuli dropped out of law school to focus on film.
The first challenge he had to deal with was the negative attitude from family and friends who thought that film making was a waste of time.
“I always had to work hard at making my dream come true while on the other hand, I felt the need to convince people that I am on the right path, especially because I needed their emotional support,” he says
Amuli shot his first movie Room 19 in 2014 after attending a script writing film workshop organized by Maisha Film Lab at the Kwetu Film Institute. The movie was nominated at the ‘Thousand Hills Academy Awards’ in March this year.
In February this year, the Mashariki Film Festival held a script writing and directing workshop. He submitted a short film named Ishaba (Serendipity) and on the closing night of the festival, it was screened. He hopes to submit it to the International Short Film Wintersthur in Sweden which runs from November 3-8.
Asked why he concentrated on short movies, Amuli said that budding film makers should not rush into making long films, as they cost a lot and their success isn’t guaranteed.
“Short films are quick and they show you what you are capable of and what you are not,” he says.
Amuli is also a big Charlie Chaplin fan and it shows in his movies.
“I always try to overcome the language barrier for my audience by using as less dialogue as possible,” he says. His latest project Ishaba (Serendipity) has no dialogue at all.
Among his future goals, Amuli hopes to return to film school to improve on his English level and to make a documentary on Nkombo Island, which he says has a unique way of life, intriguing history and charismatic people who would be subjects of a great film.