KIGALI - Rwanda’s Gilbert Ndahayo’s debut documentary feature “Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit” was recently screened at the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (Los Angeles) where it was nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
Filmed over the course of three years, the 2009 production was shown in America’s largest and world’s most prestigious black film festival on March 10 2010.
“Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit” is an autobiographical attempt to come to terms with the loss of loved ones, and a portrayal of the post–traumatic challenge of survivors, the tension between personal and collective memory, and the way Tutsi survivors are rebuilding their society.
Ndahayo is not only the first survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to make films, but also the first Rwandan in the Diaspora to make films abroad. He shot “Dirty Wine” in Uganda with renowned Hollywood filmmaker Mira Nair.
“In the short time I’ve been in the States, I’ve achieved so much as regards my career, and if things keep going this way, I might make it to the top right besides the biggest directors and film makers you know here” he said in a jolly mood.
He is currently working on his first fiction film titled “A Day On Earth”, an American drama about a newly wed beautiful artist girl as she is given two minutes to do something but she will have to choose either to satisfy her very loving husband or to meet the deadline of her frantic boss.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, he revealed that he’ll be presenting two films in another American film festival this April, a time when the Rwandese Community in America commemorates the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
Ndahayo is a recipient of the 2008 Verona Award for Best African Feature Film, a Signis Commendation for Best African Documentary and a First Time Director award for previous works, Behind This Convent (2008) and Scars of My Days (2006).