Kinyarwanda feature film has won the World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic. The film is inspired by true stories of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, when the mosques turned into places of refuge, where Muslims and Christians, Hutu and Tutsi came together to protect each other.
This was during the grand finale held on January 29, at Park City, Utah, Us were award-winners of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival were announced at the Festival's Awards Ceremony hosted by Tim Blake Nelson.
While accepting the award, the director and author of Kinyarwanda film (U.S.A./Rwanda), Alrick Brown said: “Big rush of whoops and applause for the film right near the press desk. “It’s been a long road.”
“Thank you, Sundance, for validating the work that went into this project. A shout-out to a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, who was a producer on the film; glad it was the audience award,” he added. “Because it was not about the hype or the money, but reaching people; thank you for helping us to change the world,” he noted.”
The awards were presented in four categories: U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition and World Cinema Documentary Competition.
The Rwandan Mufti, Sheikh Saleh Habimana, explained that for the Rwandan Muslim film to win an award on the international level, it shows that the government of Rwanda did something great to share with the rest of the world, the situation Rwandans lived for very many years.
And 16 years down the road, the country has won an award, which is a great achievement to the government, he said.
“Throughout Rwandan history, from the 1959 killings to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Muslims largely never participated in the killings,” Sheikh Habimana said.
He added: “Kinyarwanda film is based on a true story, not fiction like some movies, for example Hotel Rwanda. This could be among the reasons that contributed to its success. The award is attributed to the President of the Republic for making Rwanda a better country.”
The Sundance Film Festival is a film festival that takes place annually in the state of Utah, in the United States. It is the largest independent cinema festival in America. The festival comprises of competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length films and short films.