International film companies have pledged to train three best Rwandan filmmakers and ultimately, to distribute their work to the global market which would place them among the best sellers.
During the Kigali Audiovisual Forum that concluded on Friday, findings indicated that the local film industry is lagging behind, while the country at large is yet to get dividends from its rich culture in the era of commercialization of cultural products.
From this background, three international film houses pledged to support the three best films from Rwanda.
Among foreign investors that are ready to take up projects from Rwanda include Phillip Hoffmann, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rushlake Media – Nairobi Kenya; Alain Modot, Vice president of Distribution Internationale des films Africains (DIFFA) from France and Sarika Lakhani, Managing director and producer of One fine Day films Nairobi, Kenya.
The three companies have made a name in the film production and distribution.
For example, Rushlake Media specializes in innovative distribution for remarkable films.
“Rushlake Media helps producers successfully navigate the various channels to find just the right multi-lane distribution path for their project,” reads the company profile.
“We ensure that each film reaches its ideal audience. Our outstanding network of partners and business associates allows us to optimally position films on festivals, TV channels and video-on-demand platforms – including Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, realeyz and Filmdoo.”
On Thursday, November 22, 2018, twelve aspirants from local filmmakers were announced, from whom best three will be selected for a six months training in Germany in the area of film production.
Contestants include 21st Century life by Modest Ndayambaje. It narrates people’s integration in the world of Technology, effects of social media.
“The real Victory” film by Paul Mark Mutsinzi explains importance of preserving the Kinyarwanda Language, negative effects that may result into the loss of identity in Africa, Rwanda inclusive, is also part of the content.
Mark Szilagyi, an international Exchange Programs and Scholarship in Filmkademie in Baden-Ludwigsburg, Germany is the man behind selection of best film pitches.
He said that creativity in pitched films and certificate of registration from RDB are among the key selection criteria.
Szilagyi also advised filmmakers who want to get government incentives.
“Tax incentives are important, but having creative mind for films and videos should be the key,” he said.
“Governments should come in to find at least a foundation of people who are good at pitching ideas that compete with the global market.”
He believes that it is impossible to be creative without watching other people’s movies, at least producers should watch one movie every day for the purpose of borrowing ideas.
According to Dr. James Vuningoma, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture, it is high time for Rwandan filmmakers to wake up and defy the odds.
“We (Rwanda) have wasted several decades before realizing that creative culture is wealth,” he said.
“Instead of developing and commercializing our culture, we spent time studying European culture from story tellers including William Shakespeare, Napoleon Bonaparte, William Golding, among others,” Vuningoma said.
The official said, the country is starting from scratch, “but we have to bridge the gap.”