8 February 2017

Rwanda: Local Film Selected for Toronto Black Film Festival

Photo: The New Times
A Place For Myself.

A Place For Myself, a Rwandan short film that addresses the subject of albinism has been selected for the forthcoming Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) in Canada.

In its fifth edition, the TBFF will be showcasing 40 films from 20 countries across the globe. The festival will run from February 15-19 in Toronto, Canada.

TBFF is one of Canada's premier forums for showcasing black films, with a primary focus on the theme of black global diversity. The Festival will kick off with Emmy-Award-winner Stanley Nelson's Tell Them We Are Rising; The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and will close with South African film, The Lucky Specials by Rea Rangaka.

A Place For Myself, follows a young Rwandan girl, Elikia, who suffers from albinism and who has to endure discrimination and stigma when she enrolls in primary school. Gradually she begins to resent school, but her mother keeps on encouraging her.

The film was produced by Marie Clementine Dusabejambo, a young Rwandan filmmaker. She explained that it's partly a tribute to all women who have children with albinism:

"This is what they go through every day to protect their children and to give them a chance in an unfair world. There is that relationship between a mother and her kid that keeps surprising me every day."

Interestingly, Dusabejambo will not be attending the Toronto Black Film Festival in person. She will instead be at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival in Ouagadougou (FESPACO) that will feature A Place For Myself in the Short Film category.

"FESPACO is the greatest festival in Africa, there is a great film market and it has been a long-term dream for me. I got that opportunity to be selected and I won't miss it," she explained.

In 2010, Dusabejambo made her first short film titled Lyiza and it premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The film went on to be screened at several film festivals around the globe, scooping a number of awards.


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