Mutuyimana on the Rwandan film industry and her venture into feature movies

Ella Lilliane Mutuyimana together with other five Rwandan film directors chose to team up and venture into feature films and break away from the common Rwandan short films.

Ella Lilliane Mutuyimana together with other five Rwandan film directors chose to team up and venture into feature films and break away from the common Rwandan short films. She had a chat with Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa on their path to this new initiative.

Why did you eventually decide to venture into feature films?

We used to get grants for short films but we have been waiting for a long time to get grants for our feature films in vain.  As a team we decided to involve everyone in this new project.We chose to volunteer in the projects so that we can work within our low budget and just pay the actors and extras, and other basics. We have so have two feature films in the production process and will be completing the others this year. I will be producing mine in June this year.

What do you intend to accomplish in this new project?

We chose to think beyond the ordinary and ascend our career and positions in the film industry.Although we are used to doing short films we decided to do something different that can be recognized at film festivals. That is our aim.

Do you think other film makers will soon be adopting this new project?

I recently met other film makers who were interested in joining our team. But we have been working for a long time since we wanted to encourage each other to promote feature films and this is why we chose to cooperate with them although they will have to pay us. We work together so we can all produce feature films this year.

How different is producing feature films from short films?

Feature films are really challenging in terms of locations because they extend to more than 60 minutes. Short films are easier because they don’t require a big team as it can be done in a few days.

We oversee all these obstacles however because we want to produce films that tell stories in a more artistic way. We challenge ourselves every day to be very creative so that our audience can enjoy and watch something that is different and not what they are used to seeing.  As a team we come up with new ideas to develop our scripts.

What according to you is the state of the film industry in this country?

It is on the rise. We now see many Rwandan films winning awards and being featured in international festivals. Years ago, we only had films produced by international film makers about our country. I’m glad that we are owning up the place in the industry.

What is your plan for your career in filmmaking?

I want to keep making many more films and export them outside the country. For now I want to concentrate on increasing our Rwandan audience not only in festivals but buy our movies. We need them to know that it is their stories that we are telling.

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