Rwandan filmmakers Jean Baptiste Nyabyenda and Fabrice Nzabonimpa have been nominated for the 9th edition of ‘Focus on Ability’ Short Film Festival for their movies Mr Potential Kabarebe and My Destiny respectively.
Over 51 films from various countries worldwide have been nominated, and the duo’s films feature in the ‘International Entry’ category.
Inaugurated in 2009, the festival, slated for September 6 in Australia, is organised by NOVA Employment, an Australian non-profit disability employment agency, to encourage and provide exposure for upcoming filmmakers. The festival also aims at changing the perception that people with disability have very little to bring to the table. Filmmakers are required to ‘Focus on the Ability’ of people with disabilities and tell a story for the world to view.
Mr Potential Kabarebe: Directed by Nyabyenda. The film focuses on a visually impaired teacher called Kabarebe who teaches at a secondary school in Gatsibo District. He is able to teach despite the visual impairment he suffered at a young age after a tree branch hit his eyes.
Nyabyenda told The New Times that he is ecstatic about his film being nominated at the festival.
“I am very happy that my film is competing at an international level and it would be a milestone if I win an award.
“I would like people to vote for my film and help me show the world that, no matter the disability, there is always potential in your skills, strengths and contribution to the country, like Kabarebe.”
My Destiny: Directed by Nzabonimpa. My Destiny talks about a visually impaired guitarist, Fabien Hagenimana. He learned music at Gatagara Centre for the Handicap.
Hagenimana was born blind yet his two siblings are visually normal. His father was blind, too. He started learning how to play music instruments in 1992.
While composing, he writes song lyrics using braille (a tool for the visually impaired). He also teaches young people how to play different music instruments.