26 July 2011

Rwanda: Developing the Film Industry Will Unleash Local Talent


The seventh edition of the Rwanda Film Festival that opened over the weekend, demonstrated the new heights the local film industry has reached and the recognition it is gradually gaining on the international scene.

Also launched was the Kwetu Film Institute, a modern school offering courses in acting, producing, script-writing, cinematography, sound design and stage production, as part of a broader Hillywood strategy to develop local and regional talent and content.

There is no doubt that Hillywood has made giant strides over the past few years, with the successful screening of such homegrown movies as Africa United and Kinyarwanda, both of which prominently featured at the US' Tribeca Film Festival.

From the recent developments, including the forging of partnerships with prominent personalities in the American film industry, it is clear that Rwandans are increasingly seeking to take their place in the world of film and eager to tell their own story.

For far too long, the Rwandan story and indeed that of Africa, in general, has often been misrepresented and distorted through the narratives of others.

Additionally, this year's film festival that will extend to rural communities offers more than just the movies. It promotes the country's cultural heritage and tourism, hence contributing to the ongoing socio-economic transformation.

Rwandan youth should, therefore, take advantage of the growing industry and look to film as a potential career. Parents, guardians and teachers can play their role in encouraging young talents to take up film, should they have the interest.

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