The 7th edition of Rwanda film festival starts today at the Kwetu Film Institute, on Benjamin Street in Gaculiro, Kigali, Rwanda, an event that is scheduled to end on July 22.
The event will feature different films; from short documentaries to feature films from Africa and across the world.
The films will be screened in Nyagatare, Rubavu, Gicumbi, Musanze, Karongi, Huye and Kigali.
Hollywood greats Phil Alden Robinson, Carol Littleton, Willie Burton, Lee Daniels, Stephanie, Alfre Woodard, Ellen Harrington, Wynn Thomas and John Bailey will grace the festival.
Other A-listers include Alen Blake (Kinyarwanda), Deatra Harries, as well as Emmanuel Itier (The Invocation) and Lanre Idewu.
With a well-received selection of films and various film stars, this year's Rwanda film festival promises to be among the liveliest ever.
"The films that are selected must really give the feeling that they deserve to be here," said Hillywood’s Art director and Spokesperson of Rwanda Cinema Centre, Claudine Jolie Murenzi.
"The festival reflects the state of cinema and culture in general. The event is not only about film; it will also showcase Rwanda’s culture and tourism,” she added.
Murenzi, who has attended the Tribeca film festivals, noted the Rwanda film festival will be aired on CNN and BBC, thus putting Rwanda on the world map.
Hollywood stars will rub shoulders with young and unknown Rwandan film-makers as they provide special master classes at the Kwetu film institute.
The Kwetu Film Institute is Rwanda's first Film School and it aims at attracting students far across East and Central Africa to study a two year film making diploma course.
Azera Jones, an officer from the Rwanda Cinema Centre/ Rwanda Film Festival, said: “This year is particularly special as we have the company's new school, the Kwetu Film Institute opening and coinciding with the film festival.”
“We are also fortunate enough to have nine Hollywood professionals coming to teach our students during the film festival this month and also attend our Special Opening Night of The Rwanda Film Festival 2011,” he added.
The opening night will be a partly outdoor event and will include a screening of renowned films, ‘Africa United’ which is a UK/South African/Rwandan co-production and co-produced by CEO and founder of the Rwanda Cinema Centre, Eric Kabera,. It will also feature the premiere of the World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic ‘Kinyarwanda’.
While in Rwanda, the Academy delegation will visit the mountain gorillas, among other tourism attractions in the country.
The trip is being undertaken as part of the Academy’s International Outreach Initiative, to enhance the educational and cultural exchange with African filmmakers, students and the local creative communities.
The delegation is currently in Nairobi, Kenya and is due for Rwanda on Sunday, July 17.