Rwanda Film Festival

Rwanda Film Festival
The Rwanda Film Festival is an annual film festival that takes place in the Rwandan capital of Kigali. Since its inception in 2005, it has become one of the most important film events in Africa and has gained worldwide recognition.

The founder of the Rwanda Film Festival is Eric Kabera, a Rwandan journalist and filmmaker. Kabera set up the Rwanda Cinema Center to train new filmmakers and promote the country’s film industry. Since 2005, the Center has been organizing the annual Rwanda Film Festival. The event is nicknamed “Hillywood”, which is a reference to Rwanda’s nickname of “Land of a Thousand Hills” and to Hollywood, the home of the U.S. film industry.

Main goals of the Rwanda Cinema Center and Hillywood are to discover new talents, support talented up-and-coming filmmakers, and promote the film industry of Rwanda. Although the Rwanda Film Festival is based in Kigali, it is famous as a traveling festival. Alongside events held in the capital, Hillywood hosts film screenings in rural areas throughout the country. New films by Rwandan filmmakers are shown on large inflatable screens to introduce a wide audience to the best of Rwandan cinema.

The Rwanda Film Festival originally focused on films dedicated to the Rwandan genocide, a painful page in the country’s history. Kabera himself produced a drama film about the Rwandan genocide titled 100 Days and filmed a documentary titled Keepers of Memories in which he interviewed both victims and perpetrators. More recently, however, the festival has made a move away from focusing on the genocide to explore other social issues.

Hillywood is a competitive film festival. The festival jury presents the Silverback Awards in a number of categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film, Best Short Film, Best Director, Hillywood Award, and East Africa Award. There are several special awards, such as Audience Award, Out of Africa: Films on Africa, Rwanda as Seen Around the World, and Resilience Award.

Rwanda Film Festival





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