Behind the scenes at Rwanda Film Festival

Rwanda Film Festival (RFF) ended with a colorful VIP closing gala on Sunday night at the Kigali Marriott Hotel. The week-long festival, also known as Hillywood, ran from October 23-29 under the theme- Frontiers.
RFF crew poses for a group photo after a successful closing night. / Courtesy
RFF crew poses for a group photo after a successful closing night. / Courtesy

Rwanda Film Festival (RFF) ended with a colorful VIP closing gala on Sunday night at the Kigali Marriott Hotel.

The week-long festival, also known as Hillywood, ran from October 23-29 under the theme- Frontiers.

The 13th year of RFF was a celebration of cinema and screened a collection of short and feature films from around the globe, many of which were locally produced.

The festival showcased the best of new African, Asian, American, and European films after receiving over 100 film submissions from across the globe. Screenings took place at various locations both in Kigali and upcountry.

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Eric Kabera, the producer of film “Africa United”, and Debs Gardner, the director of the film, at the closing gala on Sunday night at the Kigali Marriott Hotel. / Courtesy

In Kigali, there were screenings and workshops at the Kwetu Film Institute, The Root House, Kigali Public Library, Impact Hub, Kigali Genocide Memorial, Century Cinema, and Club Rafiki in Nyamirambo. There was also a panel discussion on women and film sponsored by the Goethe Institut.

Before the VIP closing gala on Sunday, there was a special panel discussion on film and social justice facilitated by the Canadian High Commission in Rwanda at the Impact Hub in Kiyovu.

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The festival coordinator, Sophie Neiman gives her closing remarks.

As is Rwanda Film Festival tradition, the closing night was a dedication to young Rwandan filmmakers, some graduates of the Kwetu Film Institute. Six short films were screened, among which were films produced and acted by fresh film graduates from Kwetu. The first short film to be screened was Hacked, produced by Origene Mwizerwa, a fresh graduate of the Kwetu Film Institute’s latest film master class.

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Some of the revellers who attended the RFF 2017 film screenings in Kigali. / Courtesy

Other films included Rehema, a Ugandan short film with English subtitles directed by New York based Ugandan filmmaker Allan Manzi, and The Poem, produced by Jenny Banga. The Poem was collaboration between the delegation of the European Union in Rwanda and the Kwetu Film Institute.

Also screened was Akarwa (The Movie), directed by Yuhi Amuli, and A Breath Of Fresh Difference by Kamikazi Mpyisi.

Thereafter, there was an award ceremony of certificates to the latest film class at the Kwetu Film Institute.

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Film lovers at the 13th edition of Rwanda Film Festival. / Courtesy

The evening’s crowning moment came when Eric Kabera, founder of Hillywood and the Kwetu Film Institute, took to the podium to announce the winning films of the night.

Awards were issued for three film categories- best short film, best documentary, and best feature film.

Kamikazi Mpyisi, a budding filmmaker from Kwetu Film Institute took the best short film accolade for her film, A Breath Of Fresh Difference. Best feature film went to The Sound Of The Phoenix, a Chinese art house drama film directed by Wu Tianming.

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Kamikazi Mpyisi displays her certificate after her film A Breath Of Fresh Difference, won the best short film award at the RFF 2017. / Courtesy
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Inkotanyi, a documentary feature film by French filmmaker Christophe Cotteret won the best documentary feature category.

After the award ceremony, guests were treated to a cocktail party at the Kigali Marriott Hotel, before being ushered to the after party at the Papyrus nightclub in Kimihurura.

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Some of the countries that participated in the festival include; Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Sierra Leonne, Spain, Sudan, Uganda, and hosts Rwanda.

This year, China was the guest country at the festival and five Chinese films were screened.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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