The New Times (Kigali)

8 March 2014

Rwanda: Who Will Deliver Rwanda's Film Industry?

RWANDAN scriptwriters, filmmakers and editors are among the country's most creative people.

Through their productions, they have a big potential of reaching out to the whole world, telling stories of Rwanda on an international level and transforming the country's film industry into a robust "Hilly wood".

However, a young team of filmmakers wonder whether the Hilly wood dream will come to pass as its becoming increasingly difficult to implement their ideas because of poor funding. So when will the 'Hilly Wood' dream become a reality?

This week, a meeting titled "New impulses for the creative industry", took place at Goethe Institut Kigali in order to forge new ideas on the funding of future film projects.

Four filmmakers of the newly founded Rwanda Cineaste Club presented fresh ideas before an audience consisting about 30 people.

"Currently, we are somehow surviving. But we want to grow a strong film industry in Rwanda where we can show our talents," said Samuel Ishimwe, one of the presenters. For this, the team proposed eight strategies to raise money for their projects in future.

One of them is use of SACCOs or product placement in the films to get money through indirect advertisement of products.

Besides, the filmmakers want to unite under one association to lobby and to achieve better final productions.

"But the Rwandan film industry also needs the support of people and government," said Aimé Philbert Mbabazi of Rwanda Cineaste Club.

The implementation of a crowd funding system based on SMS and mobile money is another option where people will be requested to fund the film industry. The filmmakers also agreed to do more about sensitizing society on the importance of Rwanda's film industry.

"We would like to work with social media and even presenters of television and radio. There is also the idea of creating a filmmakers' week in cooperation with these communication chains," Mbabazi explained.

According to the film makers, the industry should run as a business which will create more jobs and profits for the industry.

Until now, most of the films are financed through personal funds, depending on the support of friends and well wishers of individual filmmakers.

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