Why Rwandan filmmakers have a reason to celebrate in 2018

Its undeniable funding film production is the main challenge facing Rwandan filmmakers. During their efforts to confront this issue, these filmmakers have found themselves competing for continental and even global film funds like Durban filmmart and Rotterdam film festival Hubert bals fund respectively.

Unfortunately these funds are very competitive and only a few Rwandan filmmakers have been lucky to receive them. There was no better forum to discuss this issue than a panel discussion involving Rwandan women in cinema. The event was part of the 13th edition of the Rwanda film festival that is currently going on in Kigali.

The popular Goethe Institut located in Kiyovu hosted the event. Members of the panel were in agreement that lack of funds has made it difficult for local filmmakers to produce new films.

The year 2012 will perhaps remain etched in the minds of many Rwandan filmmakers. Goethe Institut together with some partners launched a 10,000 euros film fund. One of the fund beneficiaries was Ella Utamuliza who also happened to be one of the panelists “I was lucky to win two funds by Goethe Institut and I produced two films. However, I have not been able to produce another film. This is because of lack of funding,” She explained.

The panelists agreed that the burgeoning local film industry needs to be supported if it has to reach the levels of Nollywood and Bollywood. This support should come from the government, NGOs and even individuals.

The highlight of the interactive panel discussion was a positive hint by Katharina Hey, the director of Goethe Institute “Goethe plans to fund the production of Rwandan films in 2018. However, there is no fixed date yet. I hope the government and other cultural institutions will come on board to support local filmmakers,” She noted

“One of the main objectives of the Rwanda film festival is to keep looking for ways of empowering local filmmakers in order to showcase their talent both locally and internationally. This we believe would help forge quality connections and collaborations that would benefit Rwandan filmmakers,” Sophie Neiman, the coordinator of Rwanda Film Festival explained.

Members of the panel were comprised of a great selection of upcoming women in cinema. They included; Clemeine Dusabejambo, Eliane Umuhire, Jolie Murenzi, Ela Mutuyimana, Elizabeth Utamuriza and Irene Chagall