For the first time, a film from Rwanda will be screened at this year’s Berlinale International Film Festival, in Germany.
Imfura, a co-production by budding local filmmaker, Samuel Ishimwe Karemangingo, was selected to compete with 21 short fiction films from seventeen other countries at this year’s festival, which is scheduled for February 15th-25th in Berlin, Germany.
The closing and award ceremony takes place on February 24 in the Germany capital.
Established in 1951, in West Berlin, this year marks the 68th edition of the globally acclaimed festival.
A total of 22 films from 18 countries will be competing for the Golden and the Silver Bear, as well as the Audi Short Film Award, worth € 20,000 (over Rwf20million) and a nomination for the European Film Awards.
Imfura is the story of a young man, Gisa, who travels to the village of Nkora, native to her mother who disappeared during the genocide. Soon, he is caught up in a family feud over the fate of the ruins of a house his mother had built.
Caught between the contradictions of a changing society, Gisa, who is almost the same age as the new Rwanda, seeks to rediscover his share of the collective memory of a past that belongs to her, but also so far away.
Members of the local film fraternity took to social media to shower praise on Ishimwe upon his achievement.
Ishimwe could not be reached for a comment by press time, but Mutiganda wa Nkunda, another budding local filmmaker had this to say;
“This is huge for him (Ishimwe) as a filmmaker for having his film selected in competition at this prestigious international film festival. But not only him; this means a lot to us Rwandans, for having a film selected at the festival for the first time. This festival is a dream to many filmmakers from all over the world. And this, I hope, is a great introduction of our country Rwanda.”
This year, the members of the International short film jury are; Portuguese filmmaker and winner of the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlinale 2017, Diogo Costa Amarante, US filmmaker and curator Mark Toscano and South African filmmaker and academic Jyoti Mistry.
German filmmaker Tom Tykwer will serve as a jury president.
The program for this year’s festival kicks off on February 6, with a press conference to officially unveil the festival, followed by an opening ceremony on February 15. Between February 15 -23, there will be a European film market, one of the cornerstones of the festival.
It is an international film industry gathering that brings together film buyers and sellers, producers, distributors and financiers. There will be Global TV, Home Entertainment and New Media market, to get updated on the latest productions and developments in the global film scene, negotiate film rights and make or foster business network.