Hollywood delegation to visit Rwanda’s hillywood festival this July!

A group of Hollywood filmmakers traveled to Iran recently on a mission of cultural exchange as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ International Outreach Committee. AMPAS as the Academy is commonly known, is a professional honorary organization that is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Writes Joseph Njata.

The Academy is composed of over 6,000 motion picture professionals. While the great majority of its members are based in the United States, membership is open to qualified filmmakers around the world.

The Academy is known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, informally known as the “Oscars”. In addition, the Academy gives Student Academy Awards annually to filmmakers at the undergraduate and graduate level; awards up to five Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting annually; and operates the Margaret Herrick Library (at the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study) in Beverly Hills, California and the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

The journey to Iran was colorful, adventurous, surprising, and exotic as any of their famous 1940s “Road” movies, although admittedly their purpose was a bit more serious than those long-gone ambassadors of entertainment. As the first Western group of artists to be invited to the Islamic Republic of Iran since the revolution there exactly thirty years ago, Academy president and producer Sid Ganis, actresses Annette Bening and Alfre Woodard, writer/directors Frank Pierson and Phil Robinson, producers Tom Pollock and nomadic documentary filmmaker James Longley, were guests of the House of Cinema (or Khaneh Cinema), and put on a series of screenings and seminars for their members with questions and answers about the art and craft and business of filmmaking.

A similar visit by the members of Academy of Motion Picture to Rwanda is scheduled in July this year. The delegation will visit Rwanda following a humble invitation by Mr. Eric Kabera, a renowned Rwanda Filmmaker (100 days, Keepers of Memory) and founder of the Rwanda Cinema Centre. Eric is currently in Los Angeles where he is writing his next film and working on partnerships for the KWETU Film Institute (KFI) – a film school that is intended to be a center of academic excellence for exploring new kinds of communication, cultural expression, and regional civic engagement. Through cinematic education and training, including programs in film, television and mobile, as well as supporting programs in the performing arts, KFI will provide East Africa with a holistic, sustainable and internationally recognized media training facility.
Starting in 2011 and for the next five years, KFI expects to enroll approximately two thousand students who will be exposed to all the important aspects of cinematic media creation. With practitioner instructors, experts in various fields of media, KFI will offer professional, hands on media training programs founded upon solid academic criterion. The two key overarching goals of KFI are firstly to focus on developing the media literacy skills of individual participants and secondly to contribute to the cultural and economic cohesiveness of the East African Community of the five nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda.

KFI strives in preparing individual participants to compete and succeed in the 21st century global economy. In today’s globalized, digitalized world, media is a key driver. KFI students will develop the core competencies to become media literate – to not only understand the effects and power of media, but to also develop the skill-sets to create and use cinematic media in all its forms. Trained as storytellers at KFI, KFI graduates, using visual media as their tools, will have the opportunity to contribute real world value to virtually every field in the global economy.

While in Rwanda, the filmmakers will grace the official launch of KWETU Film Institute slated for 18th July, 2011. The mentors will offer master classes to both new and former filmmaking students at the institute. The group will also attend the 7th edition of Rwanda Film Festival event which will kicks off on 16th July through 30th July, 2011 among other activities.

While in Iran, they had a great opportunity to talk with their Iranian peers about the problems of personal versus commercial storytelling, insufficient budgets, scarce financing, intransigent directors or overindulged stars, studio interference and competition for screens. Government censorship in Iran is very real and privately frustrating for many of the filmmakers they encountered.

Narrating their Iran experience, the US based filmmakers found that most people there were quite surprised to meet them, but perhaps not more surprised than Frank and Phil, who thought of the trip years ago. Their impulse to reach out and extend the Academy’s mission overseas by promoting the idea of filmmakers talking to established and emerging cultures of cinema around the world was the genesis of the international outreach program. What seemed impossible nine months earlier was suddenly a reality. The group is now even more excited to visit the land of a thousand hills and a million smiles.
The writer is the admin Assistant of KWETU film institute and press officer of the Rwanda Film Festival. njattah@yahoo.com


Rwanda Film Institute to offer Scholarships in Diploma Courses!

The Rwanda Film Institute is staged to offer both certificates and diplomas and in future affiliated degrees. Our vision for our program utilizes our institution mission statement as a foundation, while augmenting the overall strategic plan.
Our institute is poised for further growth and transition as we move forward over the next five years with a number of exciting initiatives and opportunities.
The aim of the institution is to provide media and film education to people in East Africa and great lakes region with a population exceeding 200 million people. A huge portion of this is comprised of young men and women who are keen and ready to venture into the media trade. The field is offering incredible opportunities to people in the region.
Our mandate is to train and give skills in media, arts and film education to our students. The reason for creating a film school was to ensure that a large number of people get involved in the media and other activities of arts and culture.
As we all know, Africa voice need to be heard and these voices may come from the heart of Africa. During the last decade, the Rwanda Cinema Centre where the idea of film school was born has excelled as a centre stage for film training in the region.
Our reputation in training young men and women in filmmaking techniques has been felt across Africa and abroad. Our student films are later shown to thousands of people in different locations of Rwanda using inflatable screens. This has endowed us the famous name ‘HILLYWOOD’ which means Cinema in the hills of Rwanda. We take films to the country side and screen them to excited audiences numbering five to ten thousand. It ends up as a godsend to most people who have limited access to TV, film or any form of entertainment.
Our students produce feature and short films which are not only shown in East Africa but have also been screened in several high profile film festivals such as Tribeca, Goteborg, Tokyo, Durban, and Fespaco among others.
The film school and our activities are supported by the ministry of sports and culture, Sida Rwanda, the Swedish Institute, the Goteborg Film Fund, Cinema Africa Tokyo, Rhenanie palatianate, Art Action to name but just a few.
We look life a little differently than most people. We see moments captured through the lens of a camera and the glow of a spotlight. We watch people in moments of desire, love, pain, sorrow and hope…’ If you want to be part of our team, if you have the heart and determination to put yourself out there and expose your passion
We welcome you! Turn your passion for films into a career
An application for Academic year 2011 Slated in JUNE is on progress and space is extremely limited!
Book early to avoid disappointments.
Email: rwandafilminstitute@gmail.com or call +250785217946 for enquiries.
NB: Only few selected and deserving students will access scholarships. Email your full detailed profile explaining why you deserve the scholarship!


Job Vacancy at the Rwanda Film Institute



The Rwanda Film Institute (RFI), a film and media Institute established in Rwanda and founded by the renowned Rwandan premiere film maker Eric Kabera is seeking to recruit self-motivated and experienced person to fill the following post:



Main duties and responsibilities

  • Oversee the day to day running of the school.
  • Come up with a master plan for the growth of the institution
  • Cultivate cordial relationship with other highly reputable film institutions and our partners.



  • The applicant should have a reputable background in Film and Media Business.
  • Management and accounting knowledge
  • Marketing and communication skills
  • At least 7 years experience in running a company or institution involved in Media, TV, Film and Entertainment in general.
  • Having been to Rwanda and Africa in general is an added advantage
  • Fluency in English and French is an added advantage.


Contract status:

The posting is of two years renewable, beginning with the month of April 2011.


Rwanda Film Institute Profile

RFI is an institution registered at the Ministry of Education in Rwanda under the umbrella of the Work force development. The institute is also registered at the Rwanda Development Board as an educational institution that trains and promotes filmmaking in Rwanda.


The aim of the Institution is to provide media, Arts & Culture, Film Education to people in the East Africa community and the Great Lakes Region with a population of over 200 Million. Half of this population is comprised of young men and women keen and ready to take the opportunity in the media trade that is offering incredible opportunities to the people of Rwanda and the entire region.


Our mandate is to train and give skills in media, Arts and Film education to our students. The reason of creating the film school was to make sure that we have as many people involved in the Media, Film and activities of Arts and Culture in general.


As we all know, ”Africa voice needs to be heard and these voices need to be coming from the heart of Africa. During the last 10 years, the Rwanda Cinema Centre, where the idea of film school was born, has been widely known as the centre stage for film training and dissemination in East Africa.


Our reputation in training young men and women in filmmaking techniques and later having these films shown to thousands of people in different remote hilly locations of our country using an inflatable screen. This has endowed us the famous name HILLYWOOD which means Cinema in the Hills of Rwanda. We take movies in the country where we screen to an audience of 5 to 10 thousand of people who have limited access to TV, film or any form of entertainment.


Our Students produce feature films and short films which are not only shown in Rwanda and East Africa but have also been shared and screened in several high profile film festivals such as Tribeca, Goteborg, Tokyo, Durban, Fespaco among others.

The film school and our initiatives are supported  by our ministry of sports and culture, Sida Rwanda, the Swedish Institute, the Goteborg film fund, Cinema Africa Tokyo, Rhenanie palatianate, ArtAction to name but a few.


It’s a privilege that our students are able to access master classes by acclaimed filmmakers from different parts of the world. These mentors includes; Volker Schloindorff/ the TIN Drum/ Board of Adviser and mentor Jon Turteltaub/ Cool Running and the Kid and National Treasure / Board of Advisor Philip Rosenthal and Monica Rosenthal/ Creator of Every body loves Raymond-Board of Advisor and Mentor.


With this dramatic success story, the founder of the Centre with the help of the advisory board, decided to establish the Rwanda Film Institute. A higher learning institution training in different faculties and in media with a strong emphasis on filmmaking.

Our school has had interaction with reputable established film institutions such as the Academy of Motion Picture, the Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, UCLA and the USC with the Shoah foundation to name but a few.


The Film and Media School is located in Rwanda Kigali 2020 Gaculiro Estate. Our Establishment has a special accommodation wing within the school premises that are designed to facilitate this kind of special program of interaction with the rest of the world.


Courses and departments that feature in the film institute Curriculum.

Introduction into the film Industry

  • Film History/ European, American, Asia history of film and African Film Studies
  • Visual Arts and Animation
  • Graphic Design and web Design
  • TV Productions and the Advertising industry
  • Communication and Marketing


Film Industry and the Screen Trade/

  • Production
  • Directing
  • Screen writing
  • Acting and Drama department
  • Cinematography
  • Archiving
  • Sound Design
  • Photography
  • Post Production/ Editing


Business of Film

  • The business of film/ Management of the Screen trade
  • Legal Aspect of the Film and creative Industry
  • Event management.


How to apply

Candidates should forward an application letter, Current Curriculum vitae, a copy of national identity card and all Academic transcripts to the founder/President of the Rwanda Film Institute on addresses given below, not later than 28th February 2011 at 4:00 pm.

NB: Only short listed candidates will be called for interviews


Founder/ President.

Rwanda Film Institute

Gacuriro Estate 2020,

Benjamina #101,

Email: rwandafilminstitute@gmail.com

Website www.rwandafilminstitute.wordpress.com

BP 4065 Kigali

Email: rwandafilminstitute@gmail.com





Free Workshop on Digital Film Making- 26th July, 2010

The Rwanda Film Institute in collaboration with the Rwanda Cinema Centre invites applications to a FREE two weeks,  filmmaking workshop scheduled to start on 26th July, 2010. The workshop will be conducted by American filmmaker Martha Williams.

How To Apply

Submit a complete application in English, including a  script and a story line. The application is individual and we cannot accept team applications. You must have obtained the consent of the other copyright owners for the use of the work sample submitted. The script should be professionally written, correct format. Use of celtx software is highly advised and it should be approximately 15 minutes long.

Application deadline

All applications must reach us by 19th July, 2010 following which the successful candindates will be notified by 22nd  July, 2010. Please include your full time telephone contacts. Basic knowledge in TV and Video production will be an added advantage.

The workshop will be conducted in English and Ladies are highly encouraged to apply.

All application should be sent to rwandafilminstitute@gmail.com. You can also drop applications at our offices, Estate 2020 Gaculiro, Araucaria Nord 119.

You may circulate this information to you fellow colleagues or friends interested in media industry that would immensively benefit from this course.

For more enquiries call 0785217946

This workshop is funded by the Rwanda Cinema Centre.

Visit ‘www.hillywood.org’  for the latest updates of the Rwanda Film Festival


Filmmaking course: April – June 2010 Intake

Rwanda Film Institute invites applications for a three months training course in Digital filmmaking.

The course will commence on 12th April through 14th June, 2010.

The training program will be taught by the industry professionals.

The Institute offers the following departments of study;

Camera, Editing, Acting, Script writing, Sound, Light, Directing and production.

Express your unique talents and creativity at the

Rwanda Film Institute!

Why train at the Rwanda Film Institute?

Individual training with qualified mentors, both visiting and local

v     Quality hands on training with flexible timings

v     Fully accredited by the ministry of education.

v     Only one of its kinds in east and Central Africa.

v     Partial scholarships to the needy students.

Trainee graduate with relevant government grade test certificates.

“Building your career is our goal”

How to apply,

VISIT: Gacurilo Estate 2020, Spatodia

Call, 0788306480, 0785217946, 0788829847


Website: www.rwandafilminstitute.wordpress.com

Registration Fees: 10.000Rwf

Tuition Fees: 100.000Rwf

April-June 2010 Intake is on!

NB: Applicant must have a strong interest in building a career in film industry.

Register today, Space is extremely limited


Filmmaking workshop kicks off in earnest!

It was not until 1st February, 2010, that the publicities for the sponsored filmmaking workshop went full throttle. A couple of well designed A1 and A2 posters hit the streets and various public places with one theme: calling for prospective applicants to submit applications. This was later to be followed by hundreds of equally well designed brochures and leaflets. TV and Radio publicities were later to follow not forgetting this web’s blog- rwandafilminstitute.wordpress.com.  On the blog, participants engaged RFI Team with various questions that begged instant answers. In retrospect, RFI Team came in handy providing answers to even the teething queries.

The organizers worked around the clock trying to make the event a memorable one. This year round, applicants had the luxury of sending their applications electronically at the comfort of their homes. All applications were to be addressed to the institute’s email address: rwandafilminstitute@gmail.com. Something was certain; every new day was getting busier than the previous one. As usual, last minute applicants worked even harder to meet the deadline. By the close of applications, a record 145 scripts had been downloaded at the institute’s office.

Selection panel had their work already cut out for them. Applicants had to undergo further screenings to authenticate the ownership of the movie idea. They had a difficult time trying to axe the 40 provisional applicants list to the recommended 20, They were only to be guided by ‘An original captivating idea’. As usual some succeeded but to others, luck was not on their side.

On the morning of 15th of February, 2010 the official compiled full list of participants was out. Rwanda Film Institute management decided to invite all applicants to the centre. It was a great chance for the unsuccessful candidates to touch base with RFI administration. To crown it all, the selection enjoyed a clean bill of health on transparency front.

Considering the short notice of invitation, the turn up was really encouraging. It was also a great chance for the Rwanda Film Institute to spell out it’s policies to the prospective filmmaking students. Applicants engaged the RFI Team with more queries about the forth coming Diploma and Degree courses in filmmaking at the Rwanda Film Institute. The responses was comforting.

The climax of the day was the announcement of the 20 successful participants. The list succeeded in addressing the much talked about gender balance at 50:50 ratio. As usual some rejoiced while others left hoping for another chance. RFI Team later supplied application forms to prospective students. A tour to the new RFI Complex site, currently on it’s final phase of construction, was hurriedly arranged. The building helped a great deal to instill the much needed hopes for a fully fledged film school in Kigali. Surely, the day was not wasted after all.


The much awaited day, 17th February, 2010, was finally born. Participants and Mentors had to put up with the morning drizzles to get to their classrooms on time. Everybody was exited on what lay ahead. They were eager to meet the much talked about; acclaimed Swedish film mentors’. At exactly 9.30am on the dot; all participants had already booked their seats waiting for the official introductions. The RFI Director was at it and without much ado; he declared the workshop officially open!

Before the lessons could kickoff, every participant was busy admiring the brand new gadgets in the room courtesy of SIDA-Kigali office! Thanks a heap to this charismatic organization! Everybody was looking forward for a great moment shooting on the latest P2 Panasonic camera. This succeeded to put in perspective how privileged we are as a generation living in this golden age. The presence of brand new G5 Editing machines promised a stress free editing! We could hardly wait to lay our young hands on these latest equipments.

The day’s lesson focused on story line. The mentors tried to put more emphasizes on the requirements of a good story: a beginning, middle and end. This was further broken down to ‘Introduction’ Conflict and solution.

The participants had a light moment watching the famous Charlie Chaplin movie. They saw a captivating story of factory workers who even after working for 10 hours a day, benefits remained an elusive dream. The movie uses images hugely to drive message home. During discussions after the movie, the mentors pointed out that, the audience liked the main character because he was human. We like human character in a movie.

The participants were later treated to another great movie ‘Slum dog Millionaire’ The movie was captivating and made the viewer feel into the movie. The movie evoked so many feelings in the minds of the audience. One thing was clear, by watching a part of this movie; one did not require to know what happen after or before the part to understand it. It was clear in the movie that the big brother was more interested with money than his brother.

One of the mentors assured the participants that they should always feel free to ask questions because ‘there is NO stupid questions’

The mentors emphasized the importance of a punch line in a story. This was explained further as one way to wrap a story. They explained that, punch line could either be comical or tragical.  It was noted that after a punch line, everything in the movie becomes clear and that, just incase you are discussing something painful, trick it! Never show obvious things to avoid the story being boring. For example showing someone walking up the stairs…

NB: Mentor cautioned the participants that, ‘it is easy to be boring, don’t’ The issue of being cooperative in the set was highlighted in one sentence- Producers want people who move them forward and hate the one slowing them down’. Before we could realize, it was 4 pm and we call it a day!

To be continued…

The writer is Administrative assistant Rwanda Film institute



Workshop on Digital Film Making!

From:  Chief Administrator

Rwanda Film Institute

P.O.Box 4065, Kigali.



Rwanda Cinema Centre in collaboration with Rwanda Film Institute proudly presents a 4-weeks workshop on Digital Film Making.

The workshop will be held as from 15th February, 2010. It will be conducted by acclaimed Swedish Film Mentors who will be supported by a group of Skilled Rwandan Film Makers.

Targeted Participants: Film Students, Young Film Makers or those

Passionate in movies.

Workshop Basic Qualifications:

  • You must be a citizen of an African Country between 18-25 years of age. If not a Rwandese citizen you must be in possession of a valid passport by February 15th, 2010.
  • You must submit a complete application in English, including a sample of work (Story line and Script). Please note that the application is individual – we cannot accept team applications. You must have obtained the consent of the other copyright owners for the use of the work sample submitted.
  • The script should be professionally written (correct format- use of celtx software is advised) and should be approximately 15 minutes long.

How to apply:

Deliver your application to the Rwanda Cinema Centre offices located at Estate 2020 Gaculiro, Araucaria Nord 119.

Or send your application to rwandafilminstitute@gmail.com

Application deadline:

All applications addressed as above must reach us by 5th of February, 2010 following which successful candidates will be notified by 10th Feb, 2010.

Please include your full time telephone contacts.

Basic knowledge in TV and video production will be an added advantage.

The workshop will be conducted in English

Ladies are highly encouraged to apply.

For more detailed enquiries, please visit our offices or call us on;-


Or visit our website: www.rwandafilminstitute.wordpress.com

This program is sponsored by Sida office in Rwanda. Swedish Development Agency

Apply now, space is extremely limited!