The New Times (Kigali)

18 May 2014

Rwanda: European Union Injects Cash Into Regional Film Industry

The European Union, through European Development Fund for African Caribbean Pacific, has given 50,000 Euros (Rwf46 million) contract, to the regional cinema and audiovisual sector.

The contract dubbed "ACP Culture + Program," which was won by Maisha Film Lab, a Uganda-based film institute, will facilitate East African screenwriting competitions in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. About 60 best screenwriters will be awarded scholarships to improve their skills.

The contest will, also see 15 screenwriters selected from each of the four countries, and the overall national best screenwriter, will walk away with 2,000 Euros (Rwf2 million).

On Friday, Fibby Kioria, Programe director at Maisha Film Lab, told Journalists in Kigali that the competition aims at promoting culture and consolidating regional integration.

"We did not get European funding for Uganda, or Rwanda, or Kenya, we won it for East Africa. Our goal is to see the film industry in the region grow, while contributing to regional integration," she said.

"The task will give participants an opportunity to be trained by internationally renowned mentors to refine their work and broaden their horizons".

Eric Kabera, founder of The Rwanda (Kwetu) Film Institute, together with Maisha Film Lab, will carry out Rwanda's screenwriting lab.

"We look forward to the exercise with a lot of excitement. We hope to see Rwanda upcoming filmmakers. We also hope to see our regional film industry grow to the required standards," said Kabera.

Upcoming filmmakers will engage in an eight-day intensive scriptwriting competition slated to take place at Kwetu in July.

The screenwriting competition will supplement the annual Rwanda Film Festival nicknamed "Hillywood" that is scheduled for July 12 and the premiering of a new film titled 'Intore', a production of Kwetu institute.

Micheal Ryan, EU Head of Delegation in Rwanda, applauded the "passionate growth of film the sector" in the region, and said that: "The EU is willing to continue supporting regional cinema and audiovisual sector, while embracing cultural development".

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