Kinyarwanda movie to be screened in Rwanda

  ward-winning movie, Kinyarwanda, will soon be premiered in Rwanda. The first screening is meant for religious leaders and high-ranking government officials, organisers have said.The film, which contains powerful and horrific stories about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, won the Audience Choice Award in the World Dramatic Cinema category, at the just concluded prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, US.
Cleophas Kabasita at Sundance Film Festival (courtesy photo)
Cleophas Kabasita at Sundance Film Festival (courtesy photo)

ward-winning movie, Kinyarwanda, will soon be premiered in Rwanda. The first screening is meant for religious leaders and high-ranking government officials, organisers have said.

The film, which contains powerful and horrific stories about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, won the Audience Choice Award in the World Dramatic Cinema category, at the just concluded prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, US.

"We have had a lot of support from the interfaith community in and outside Rwanda. It is only right that they should have a special chance to watch the movie," the executive producer of Kinyarwanda, Ishmael Ntihabose, said.

He added "Soon, we will release the film throughout the country. We’re now working on the preparations. We want Rwandans to have the opportunity to see this film in a good setting, with good projection and sound."

Kinyarwanda is based on testimonies of the Genocide survivours. Its core is the story of those who took shelter in the mosques during the Genocide. It also shares the stories of many other people, including RPF soldiers, two young lovers, and a young boy.

The movie, written and directed by an American film producer, Alrick Brown, and starring Edouard Bamporiki (Munyurangabo, Long Coat), Cleophas Kabasita (Sometimes in April) and Cassandra Freeman (Inside Man), was released this year.

The 30-year actor said the documentary is the culmination of many years of work and his goal has been to use art to portray the reality of Rwanda’s efforts of unity and reconciliation. He said that he believes Rwanda has lessons for many societies suffering from conflicts.

"You don't make such a film in one day. I have worked for three years to make this film. I have been fortunate to be assisted by many people. I owe special thanks to the survivors of the Genocide who shared their stories with me," Ntihabose noted.

The film debuted at the festival on 24 January and, captured the hearts of festival goers. It is said that during the festival all five showings for Kinyarwanda were sold out and viewers flocked to vote for the film as one of the festival's best.

Kinyarwanda was supported by the European Commission's European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, and the Association of Muslims of Rwanda (AMUR) as well as the Government of Rwanda.

"We couldn’t have made this film without the assistance of the Rwandan government", said Ntihabose, "nor without the assistance and backing of the AMUR."

Kabasiita said "I have been lucky to work on several movies. But this is a work of extraordinary beauty, and a most true and important work of Rwandan art. As an actress, I am honoured to be the one together with my fellow actors that brings these stories of Rwandan history to the rest of the world."

The Rwandan film industry is forecasted to grow from generating only Genocide based movies to social movies. The industry has grown in the past years, in stature and at a pace that is inspiring.

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