Rwandan films to feature at Swiss festival

Five Rwandan films will be featured at the 9th annual edition of Festival cinemas d’Afrique Lausanne that kicks off August 21 to 24  in Switzerland. The five films include The Rwandan Night, Rwanda, l’autrerevanche, Imbabazi, Ma vie en Rue and Blandine et Les Siens.
Ndahayo (2L) with colleagues after winning the Silicon Valley African Film Festival Best Documentary Feature film award for The Rwandan Night.
Ndahayo (2L) with colleagues after winning the Silicon Valley African Film Festival Best Documentary Feature film award for The Rwandan Night.

Five Rwandan films will be featured at the 9th annual edition of Festival cinemas d’Afrique Lausanne that kicks off August 21 to 24  in Switzerland. The five films include The Rwandan Night, Rwanda, l’autrerevanche, Imbabazi, Ma vie en Rue and Blandine et Les Siens. 

In 2013, Cinemas d’Afrique Lausanne featured Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit and Scars of My Days, the first of independent films from Rwanda with a personal approach.

From fiction to documentaries, the filmmakers from Rwanda and Switzerland inspire a deeper reflection on humanity and help to commemorate the Genocide Against the Tutsi, an event orchestrated to take the lives of more than one million people within one hundred days.

“These filmmakers are doing what is deemed impossible to portray in words and images. We have invited Swiss and Rwandan filmmakers to join us at the festival and speak to our audience,” says the Founder and Festival Co-director Alain Bottarelli.

The first film ever made by a Swiss about the Genocide is Emmanuelle de Riedmatten’s Blandine et Les Siens which was shot in 2004. The film follows Blandine, a Tutsi girl who was 12-year old during the Genocide as she travels back to Rwanda from Switzerland to reward a Hutu lady who saved her. 

Joel Karekezi’s short fiction film Imbabazi will also be featured at the festival. It is a moderate film that contributes to the dialogue of justice and reconciliation after the Genocide. Joel’s films have been shown in Rwanda and around the world. The screening of Imbabazi will follow Ella Liliane Mutuyimana’s award winning short Ma vie en Rue meditating on life about traditional and urban life.

Rwanda, l’autre Revanche is yet to be shown in Rwanda but the Swiss filmmaker Pierre-Alain Frey followed Michel and Eline Kocher-Mukantare as they travelled with their children through Rwanda to capture the country’s story of hope. It tells how the Swiss couple viewed the desire of the people of Rwanda for education and the difficulties in living together five years after the genocide. 

New York-based Rwandan writer/director Gilbert Ndahayo is back to Lausanne after screening Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit and Scars of My Days at last year’s festival. 

The Rwandan Night is a thought-provoking ethnographic documentary edited with from footage of commemorators at Amahoro stadium in Kigali and interviews with Genocide scholars in an attempt to define the word genocide at a conference in California. The film is the first sequel of Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit filmed over the course of three years in Rwanda, United States of America and Switzerland.