THE U.S Embassy’s Multi-Purpose Room was yesterday filled to capacity by film fans for a public film screening and presentation by Olivier Uwayezu.
Three short films were screened, including Uwayezu’s two films ‘Washington Today’ and ‘From New York Closet.’
The event was from 3 pm to 5 pm, with question and answer sessions, as well as comments from the audience.
In the opening scenes of his first film ‘Washington Today’, Uwayezu said the idea of the film was to inspire Rwandans to develop the country.
“Washington is a developed city and I hope the film will inspire Rwandans to work towards the country’s development,” Uwayezu said.
The actor also captured Washington DC’s unique skyscrapers, infrastructures and technology, among its various admirable features.
The film also features testimonies of foreign students at George Washington University. However, all was well until the budding actor presented his film ‘From New York Closet’ about homosexuality in New York City.
The film raised eyebrows and criticism by the conservative Rwandan audience, who claimed that the film was misleading.
“We didn’t expect to watch such a film. Homosexuality is unacceptable in Rwanda, and we’re worried that if [showed] to the youth, the film might corrupt their mind,” one participant who preferred anonymity said.
During his presentation, Uwayezu revealed that he did not wish to delve too far into the homosexuality question, instead wanting the film to send a negative tone to those who practice it.
While reportedly excited about the success of his film career, the 25-year-old was reported to be happy with the shooting experience in Washington and New York City.
To many, the name Olivier Uwayezu is not very common in the country’s film industry, but his films including ‘Power of Gacaca’ have earned recognition in the international film charts.
He attended the annual International Emerging Filmmakers’ Fellowship at George Washington University. Uwayezu was also the only Rwandan nominated to participate in the View Change Film Contest, held on April 20, 2010, in Los Angeles, US.