The New Times (Kigali)

31 May 2012

Rwanda: Local Female Film-Maker Tops GBV Script Writing Contest

MARIE Dusabejambo emerged the grand prize winner for her creative and unique script "Behind the Word" and walked home 5,360 euros richer after a script writing contest at the Goethe Institute, Kacyiru, Kigali, this week.

The film script competition on zero tolerance to gender-based violence that was organised between March 15 to April 30, attracted over 55 entries.

The event, which attracted over 230 local movie buffs, was sponsored by Plan Rwanda and Plan Germany and coincided with the premier of the short film, La Fille du Grand Monsieur that was screened prior to the awards ceremony.

The first runners-up position went to Ella Mutuyimana, for her script "Strength in fear". The Belgium Ambassador in Rwanda, Marc Pecsteen, was honoured to award her a cash award of 2,500 euros.

Yves Niyongabo, who emerged as the second runners up, was awarded for his script "Out of Status", with a cash prize of 2,000 euros. The award was presented by Sostene Kitatire, the Secretary General of the Senate. The honourable mention went to Derrick Ruzindana for his script "Bad Protector". However, the sponsors did not commit any cash prize his script.

"I am so excited, and of course all the money will go to the production of my short film. Of course the 5,306 euros is not enough for the whole production, but it will help a lot" Dusabejambo, elatedly noted.

"I am very excited, and it was a pleasure considering that I won this award," commented third placed, Yves Niyongbo. "It means a lot to me. I am going to use all the money for the production of this short film "Out of Sight."

"The scripts that were written show that Rwanda has a promising future in filmmaking. A lot of the scripts were creative, and the winners really excellent," Philippe Van Leeuw said.

"This event is a way to boost the vibrant filmmaking culture in Rwanda, where there are many people who are capable, but limited funds hinder their success. With these awards, these filmmakers will be able to finance their films.

"The films that will be completed by November 30, 2012 will be presented at a gala which will be concluding the film festival that celebrates the international day for elimination of violence against women," Dr. Peter Stepan, director of the Goethe Institute, said.

The jury comprised of Carole Karemera, Katherine Nichol, Philippe Van Leeuw and Georges Kamanayo.

La Fille du Grand Monsieur

Prior to the event, movie goers were treated to the screening of a local movie La Fille du Grand Monsieur, a short film directed by Georges Kamanayo. The documentary revolves around the life and times of Emma Dardenne, a widow living alone in Brussels, who was born in Rwanda in 1908 to a Rwandan mother and Captain Heinrich von Bethe, a German officer posted to the German colony at that time.

Despite being 95 years old, Dardenne decides to revisit Rwanda, accompanied by her daughter Paulette and her grandson Manu, to finally authenticate her childhood stories.

Emma takes us by the hand and travels to the shores of Lake Kivu, where she's referred to as "la fille du grand monsieur."

"I was born in Rwanda and left the country at the age of 13 and lived in Belgium for 35 years. And all this time, my thoughts always belonged to Rwanda. So it inspired me to direct this film that showed a similar experience. I produced it in two years and it cost over 200,000 euros," said Kamanayo.

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