Graduation Celebration of RFI Students

The second class finished their intensive training course by putting out their debut film titled “The K-Guy”. This short comedy, directed by Joselyne Umutomiwase, shows the story of a young Smuggler in Rwanda.

On Wednesday, April 22, the Rwanda Film Institute held the ceremony to hand out the Certificates to the students and to premier their short.

Watch the film here on the page (Medias).


5 Responses to “Graduation Celebration of RFI Students”

  1. November 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Hillywood moves on at the pace of the country
    Mercy Omuntu | Created: Wednesday, 07 October 2009 | Views: 107/ focus Media

    The Rwandan film industry seems to be coming of age, and with that comes a change of themes.

    The CEO of the Rwanda Cinema Center, Eric Kabera. (file photo)
    Recently, the film Kamugi.com, produced and directed by Fiona Mukandete, premiered at Serena hotel. This movie is a comedy, in which houseboy Yonasa falls in love with his boss’s daughter, Carine. Yonasa is determined to win Carine’s heart by all means, but will he defeat Peter, Carine’s long time boyfriend? The film is an hour long, and will keep you amused to the last minute.
    Kamugi.com is a most welcome breath of fresh air: until now, Rwanda’s film industry mostly dealt with more serious topics, especially the genocide. So now seeing a comedy being produced is an encouraging sign of the healing of society as well as of the movie industry coming of age.

    Moreover, it comes just a few weeks after the opening of a new cinema, Vision Cinema Center in Remera.

    There is still a long way to go though. For instance, the director of the Rwanda Cinema Center (RCC), Pierre Kayitana, argues that kamugi.com was not yet ready for screening as there are a number of things that need straightening.

    “I think it’s a good beginning,” he says. “In terms of picture it is OK, but there’s room to improve on the acting skills, and some scenes are too long.”

    Nevertheless, Kayitana lauds the producers for taking the risk to invest in a comedy, because it is a big task to make a feature film.

    Moreover, the director points out that Rwanda has lots of advantages when it comes to making movies. “There are many stories to tell in Rwanda, and the cool weather makes it possible to shoot any time, unlike countries which experience winter season for months, delaying the work progress. In addition Rwanda is a peaceful country so anyone who wants to make a film in Rwanda is sure of the security,” he says.

    Moving on

    In fifteen years, the Rwandan film industry has come a long way. Before 1994, the country did not have any movie tradition to speak of, and in the years of emergency and reconstruction the sector obviously received little attention. Nevertheless, those years also saw the return to the country of people who had lived in countries with a movie tradition and who wanted to shoot films in and about Rwanda. In addition, the genocide also attracted the attention of foreign filmmakers.

    The result was a flood of movies and documentaries about the genocide; it went so far that local producers wouldn’t even consider making a film with another theme. According to the CEO of RCC, Eric Kabera, most filmmakers initially were foreigners who thought that making a film on Rwanda which was not based on the genocide wouldn’t be successful.

    “The genocide is part of our history, past and our future, but at the end of the day our lives are not necessarily shaped by the genocide. There are other aspects, such hope, love, reconciliation and development, which a creative individual can look at to convey a message,” he says.

    Yet with the whole country moving from emergency to a development phase, the film industry too has moved on and many of the movies produced today are focusing on other matters; as a result, we can now also enjoy Rwandan comedies or love stories.

    Kabera points out that there are many more aspects that have shaped the lives of Rwandans which film makers can concentrate on, and that RCC is trying to encourage them to do so. “We need to tell more stories about our lives, challenges and our hopes for tomorrow,” he explains.

    Rwanda’s film industry, Kabera thinks, has certainly progressed over the years as there are about twenty films that have been produced in Rwanda, and even though not all have been made by Rwandans, local directors have had their input.

    For him, the essence of RCC is to train Rwandans in basic skills so they can become good film makers. “We are building the culture. Although we don’t have a film body yet, we will soon have it and even come up with Hillywood’s film awards. Discussions are underway with the ministry of sports and cultur,e and we are considering creating a commission that will cater for all this,” Kabera says.

    Further more, they are producing another feature film called Africa United, a film which is about dreams and aspirations written by English producer William Brook, and which Kabera says is the first Rwandan-British coproduction. The film, which will be shot in October and is expected to be premiered one month before the 2010 football World Cup, tells the story of three young kids who dream to take part into a skills show at the world. Unfortunately one of them doesn’t get selected because he misses the bus to Kigali, so they decide to walk to South Africa. It is expected to be spectacular, so watch out for it.


  2. November 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm


    Igare rya Rufonsi
    Alphonse’s Bike
    Alphonse’s Bike
    Friday 30.10, CineStar 5, 10.30
    Saturday 31.10, CineStar 5, 22.00
    Director Eric Kabera
    Production Eric Kabera
    Cut Aloys J. Twungubumwe
    Camera Eric Kabera
    Language Kinyarwanda english as sub-title
    15 min., Ruanda, 2007, Color
    Rwandan director Eric Kabera was waiting for his cinematographer at the foot of the Virunga Mountains, where there is a protected mountain gorilla habitat. All he wanted that day was to film the gorillas, but then he suddenly heard the news on a radio – while surrounded by nothing but forest and a few children. So he asked them where the sounds came from and they took him to Alphonse’s Bike Taxi. ‘Pimp my bike’ is Alphonse’s ingenious answer to the challenges of his profession. Product beats product – and increases his passenger volume.

  3. November 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    A Film Festival Grows In Rwanda
    By Tambay, on June 27th, 2009

    Encouraging and inspiring article from Variety this morning on what will likely eventually be dubbed Hillywood – the fledgling Rwandan film industry; one that I’ve so far been ignorant of. “Hillywood” because Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills.

    We’re probably all used to seeing the country via western lenses, and rarely, if ever, get to know the land and its people from the people themselves (although recall my plug for a website called Voices Of Africa, which is essentially a virtual space for local citizen journalists in several African countries to make their stories available for worldwide viewing. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already!).

    That there’s a film festival in Rwanda that’s now in its 5th year, is news to me. I make it my business to be aware of these kinds of information, and it’s somewhat discouraging that I’m first reading about it via Variety’s website!

    Nollywood stories seem to dominate African cinema news, and with good reasons of course. It’s supposedly the 3rd largest film industry in the world, in terms of output, behind Hollywood and Bollywood.

    There’s also the Pan African Film Festival – FESPACO – in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the largest film festival in the continent, which happens about once every 2 years.

    And of course, there is cinema from South and Northern Africa, with a few titles attracting international attention.

    But, rarely do we hear of cinema from the so-called heart of Africa – “Black Africa.”

    So, it’s encouraging to read that there is a movement in a war-torn country like Rwanda, to build a film industry, giving the indigenous people the opportunity to tell their own stories, absent of much western influence.

    From Variety…

    KIGALI, Rwanda — The red carpet was rolled out, the Primus beer was on ice and the young stars of Rwandan film paraded into the Kigali Serena Hotel, where actors, filmmakers and foreign visitors gathered June 18 to usher in the fifth annual Rwanda Film Festival.

    Festival founder and chairperson Eric Kabera implored the audience to support his country’s growing film community, while Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza charismatically solicited potential investors from the podium.

    “Is there anybody from the bank (in the audience)?” he asked, to laughter and applause.

    If the mood was especially high this year, it was with good reason: In a country whose cinematic culture is hardly a decade old, Rwanda’s burgeoning film industry has slowly found its place on the international festival circuit.

    It might seem an improbable feat for a country still recovering from a genocide which, just 15 years ago, claimed more than 800,000 lives. Yet in recent years, as Rwanda has emerged as one of the developing world’s success stories, the growth of Rwandan cinema has marched hand-in-hand with the country’s broader revival. At the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, where three Rwandan filmmakers were featured in the international spotlight, President Paul Kagame went so far as to suggest, “The story of Rwandan film is essentially the story of Rwanda itself.”

    It’s a story that began with the filmmaker Eric Kabera, a BBC veteran who, in 1994, collaborated with foreign media sent to cover the genocide. Disillusioned by the perspective they brought to their coverage — and the sense, he said, that they “didn’t even care about the genocide” — he felt compelled to help tell Rwanda’s story from a Rwandan point of view.

    In 2002 he established the Rwanda Cinema Centre, a gathering place for aspiring filmmakers to share their stories and receive technical training. Three years later, encouraged by friends in the international film community, Kabera launched the Rwanda Film Festival to showcase the work of his country’s artists.

    As the festival celebrates its milestone anniversary in this picturesque country known as the land of a thousand hills, Kabera acknowledges, “We still have a long way to go.” Funding hasn’t always matched the organizers’ ambitions, and Rwandan filmmakers have only just begun to venture into the deep end of the pool, producing their first feature-length films this year.

    Yet the progress made by the young film community has been dramatic. Through the popular Hillywood program, festival organizers have succeeded in bringing Rwandan short films to the country’s rural poor, showing movies on inflatable screens to crowds that number in the thousands. And the industry is receiving increased recognition from the international community, with funding coming from a diverse group that includes the cultural-philanthropy group ArtAction; UNICEF; the United Nations Development Program ; South African cellphone provider MTN; and a mix of regional businesses. Relationships forged with Tribeca and the Swedish Institute have brought much-needed equipment and training into the country, and exchange programs will soon be helping young Rwandan filmmakers to perfect their skills abroad.

    For Kabera, though, it’s just the first step.

    “There’s a momentum, there’s a need to collaborate,” he says. “(Foreign film communities) see we have the potential … and we have the spirit. (Our filmmakers) love what they’re doing, and they want to share their stories with the rest of the world.”

    If there was an emerging theme at this year’s festival, it was that Rwanda’s filmmakers are looking beyond the genocide for inspiration. From a philosophical dialogue set in a bathtub to a comedic short about a hapless bootlegger smuggling banana beer in the back of his Jeep, Rwandan artists are finding the ups and downs of daily life to be fertile ground for their stories.

    “We’re trying to show Rwanda from another perspective,” says Pierre Kayitana, the festival’s director.

    Success, he suggests, will ultimately rest on the willingness of foreign audiences to view Rwandan films with a critical eye.

    “I want people to support the Rwandan film industry because it’s worth something, not because of sympathy,” he says.

    There is a website for the Rwanda Film Festival, by the way, which you can check out HERE. The festival opened on the 12th of this month, and will end on the 28th. The schedule of films screening at the festival include very few works by local filmmakers, but, they’re all still worth a look. I’ll certainly be watching from here on, and will get in touch with the director of the festival, Eric Kabera, to learn more, which I’ll post here.

    via VARIETY

  4. November 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Advanced search | Mega Index
    Contact NI
    Site help
    Report bug
    About NI Current Issue Back Issues Features Columns Blogs Radio Books Subscriptions Shops What’s new
    Home » Features » Special features November 6, 2009


    In the hills of Rwanda, Tom Cropper finds the world’s most unique film festival.

    Filming the crowd before a screening INFLATABLE FILM
    In 2007 Leah Warshawski travelled to Rwanda. Her intention was simple: to make a documentary about a software company. What she found changed her life forever.

    ‘We hired some additional gear and crew members from the Rwanda Cinema Centre and they told us about ‘Hillywood.’ she recalls. ‘Like most people, we were intrigued by the idea of a film festival in the jungle.’

    What is Hillywood? Put simply, it’s a film festival in the hills. Every year in March, a group of filmmakers travels to remote villages in Rwanda displaying films for local audiences on a giant inflatable screen.

    These have become huge events. Thousands of people flock from the surrounding area. For many, this is the first time they will ever see a film at all, let alone one made in their local language, Kinyarwandan.

    ‘It’s incredible,’ Leah adds. ‘Some people walk for miles to get to the screenings, many without shoes on. Men, women, children – everyone shows up and it seems like they’ve been waiting all year. And the weather never stops them.’

    It is indeed a spectacular sight, made all the more remarkable when you consider Rwanda’s dark history. Just 15 years ago this country tore itself apart. In a hundred bloody days, Hutu militia butchered a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The country was left devastated.

    A third of the population was dead. There was no government, no infrastructure and no education. Ironically, through this catastrophe, the seeds of Rwandan film were sown. A couple of years after the genocide, Eric Kabera, a local fixer for international journalists, decided to make a film to highlight Rwanda’s plight. After years of struggle he finally succeeded in 2001, with the film 100 Days.

    Directed by Nick Hughes, a British cameraman who had filmed the only surviving footage of the actual killings, this was the first picture to seriously grapple with the genocide.

    It would not be the last. Films such as Shooting Dogs, Sometimes in April and Hotel Rwanda helped establish the genocide firmly on the psychological landscape of the world.

    However, the effects went further than that. These films inspired the nation. Locals took work on set as extras or production assistants. For a time it seemed as if everyone in Kigali was either a director or actor.

    By 2005, the country had its own film festival. It was a small affair at first, but has grown rapidly. This year’s event was the biggest ever, attracting films from all over the world. In 2007, the Tribeca Film Festival hosted a special event, ‘Three Voices: Focus on Rwanda’. Guests were treated to three independent films from students of the Rwandan Cinema Centre, as well as speeches from President Paul Kagame and Bill Clinton. Such world attention pays tribute to the work of Kabera and others in creating a Rwandan film culture out of nothing. However, it also indicates the lasting fascination in the genocide and Rwanda’s attempts to recover.

    The team from Inflatable Film poses before a shoot. INFLATABLE FILM
    ‘The theme and the name of Rwanda itself are sufficient to draw an interest to the subject,’ Kabera explains. ‘Our tragic past somehow shapes our present situation and influences our future.’

    Kabera himself revisited the subject for his most recent project, Iseta Behind the Roadblock, which he co-directed and produced.

    ‘It’s a film of the only footage taken during the genocide, the footage shot by Nick Hughes in 1994 of a group of women and men being clubbed to death by their neighbour,’ he explains. ‘These were the opening days of the Rwandan genocide, and even though almost one million people were slaughtered, remarkably there is only one known segment of footage showing any actual killing.’

    However, therein lies the problem. The genocide provides a ready flow of stories and inspiration, but it can be counterproductive. As Rwanda’s fledgling film industry seeks to grow and evolve, filmmakers are finding it difficult to get films made that tackle any other subject.

    One such project is Kamugi.com. Directed by Fiona Mukandete, this is a simple rom-com about a houseboy who falls in love with his boss’s daughter.

    Next year might see one of the defining projects for Rwandan film. Africa United is the first British/Rwandan co-production and follows the story of a group of young children as they walk from Kigali to South Africa to take part in a skills show at the soccer World Cup.

    As for Leah and her team, they’re currently working on a documentary following the Hillywood festival as it journeys from place to place. Work is ongoing, but you can follow their progress and watch a magnificent teaser trailer at http://www.inflatablefilm.com. Can these films break the mould? If so, Hillywood will be the reason. It has helped the country’s new film talent hone their skills, as well as exposing people to films made in Rwanda, by Rwandans. That gives this nascent culture a fierce independence. However, it’s a flame that remains perilously fragile. The future looks promising, but making it happen could still be difficult.

  5. September 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    We stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your
    web page for a second time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: