The Rwandans at Fespaco 2021

Thursday November 11 2021
New Content Item (1)

Alliah Fafin won the Silver Foal Award for her ­ lm Amani. PHOTO | COURTESY


The 2021 Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco), which attracted 1,132 submissions from 50 countries, shone the light on some of Rwanda's artistes as featured below.

Mutiganda WaNkunda

He won the Best Screenplay Award for Nameless, an 85-minute fi lm which follows a pair of young lovers in Kigali as they fall to violence.

The self-taught screenwriter and director had his breakthrough with the release of four short screenplays at the 2013 Global Dialogues Short Story Creating Contest.

In 2014 he wrote and directed Rayila, his first short fi lm, which scooped awards in several film festivals around the world and Inshuti (Friends) the first-ever TV series to be produced locally and aired on TV 10 Rwanda.

He further wrote Seburikoko, a 15-minute Drama TV series, and City Maid which are still running on Rwanda Television.


Kantarama Gahigiri

Her 2019 short hybrid documentary film dubbed Ethereality was awarded the Poulain d’Or at the 2021 Fespaco.

The film is about returning home after being stranded in space for 30 years and is a meditation on migration and belonging.

The film has previously been selected at festivals including the Kurzfi lmtage Winterthur (2019), Clermont-Ferrand (2020), Chicago International Film Festival (2020), where it won awards.

The self-taught fi lmmaker jumpstarted her film career with Tapis Rouge, a 2014 feature fi lm, which was screened at various festivals including; the Geneva International Film Festival, Chelsea Film Festival, New York, Switzerland and France.

The 2018 alumna of South Africa’s Realness Institute and Residency has won awards such as TV5 Monde Best French Speaking Feature Film Award at the 2014 Geneva International Film Festival, the Festival Grand Prix, and Outstanding Ensemble Cast Award at the 2015 Nador Film Festival.

She is developing Tanzanite, 100 minutes Science Fiction feature film, about a futuristic, female-centric, eco-conscious odyssey that takes place in 2050 Nairobi.

Alliah Fafin

She scooped the 2021 Fespaco Silver Foal Award for her film 17-minute film Amani, follows Amani, a boy passionate about dance but pain takes over.

The Rwandan born Burundi-raised artiste started off with directing music videos for Dominique Fils-Aimé (Révélation Radio-Canada 2019-2020), and Rafael Lozano Hemmer.

In 2016 she left Quebec for Chad, where she worked with Unicef on videos about populations, Nigerian refugees and Central African returnees.

In 2018, she shot her first short film Amani in Chad, which was inspired by her experience in Burundi.