U.S-based Rwandan filmmaker Gilbert Ndahayo is working on a short action film about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi aptly “The Girl in the Ditch.”
“We want to make a 20 min high quality film, fiction based on survival and resilience of Rwandans,” Ndahayo told The New Times.
“It is my thesis project. In the last seven years, I have been engaged more in documentary filmmaking but after the directors’ workshop that I’ll attend in Paris this fall, I will have learnt how to work with actors but, again, attempt to reconnect with the French New Wave Cinema,” he explained.
In this project, Ndahayo will work with Laura M. Campos, a Spanish filmmaker he met in Germany in February at the prestigious Berlinale Talent Campus, which brought about 300 emerging filmmakers around the world.
“At the time we met, I was shopping the first documentary of the trilogy I am releasing for the 20th commemoration of the Genocide. When I engaged her in a discussion, she came with a couple of narratives and we felt that our style matched so she has offered to produce the film. She has heard about Rwanda,” he added.
Based on real events, “The Girl in the Ditch” is a drama (short film) set in the contemporary Rwanda. The film tells the story of a young lady, who is invited to speak at the 2014 Genocide commemoration event at a local stadium with an attendance of eleven thousand Genocide survivors.
But she’s not yet ready. Coincidentally, she meets the man who abandoned her at the killing ditch 20 years earlier during the Genocide that claimed the lives of her entire family within 100 days. The film, which portrays forgiveness, is Ndahayo’s first short action film and, like himself, most of the actors in the film are survivors of the Genocide.