kwetu film institute

KWETU is the home that brings value to our faces, voices and future film prospects through the dynamic of the creative force.

Six Weeks Phography Classes in June!


KWETU Film institute is offering Photography Classes. These will be run at the Institute located within Estate 2020 Gaculiro, opposite #18.

In August we will conduct Videography classes and Video Editing in September. Acting and screen writing classes will be conducted in October.
These classes will run for six weeks starting from 4th June, 2012. Lessons will be conducted by professional mentors between 8.30AM and 1.30PM.

These individual courses will cost the students 70,000Rwf

NB: The regular 20.000Rwf registration fee has been waived!

Selected pictures will be on display during the 8th edition of the Rwanda Film Festival scheduled for 14th July through 27th July, 2012.

For more details, do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 0722306480
You can also write to


RFF Announces TEN Silverback Awards this July!

Audience watching film

This year, the Rwanda Film Festival will honor filmmakers in a bigger scale. Ten fantastic prizes are lined up in recognition to great films in different categories. This is a considerable increase considering that last year’s event recognized the work of five filmmakers.

Silverback Sponsorship

On a positive note we are happy to announce Silverback Sponsorship from London firm Hard Media. Hard Media executive Dr Merik visited the institute recently to launch a joint collaboration between his London based Media Company and KFI. The Hard Media Company will sponsor the “Short Film Award” at this year’s Film Festival.

The partnership is very exciting for students at KFI as it will give them the opportunity to have work shown in the Chinese film market. The Hard Media group will buy rights to use KFI student’s films in China to help develop understanding of East Africa in Asia.

Below is the list of the SILVERBACK AWARDS

• Hillywood Award

• East Africa Award

• Best Documentary Film

• Best Feature Film

• Best Short Film

• Best Director

• Resilience Award

• Rwanda as seen around the World

• Best Audience Award

• Out of Africa : Films on Africa

KWETU Introduces Evening Classes


KWETU Film institute is offering a range of Evening Classes. These will be run at the Institute located within Estate 2020 Gaculiro, Opposite #18.

Classes will run for six weeks and include the following fields of study;

• Photography
• Filmography
• Acting
• Art
• English Lessons

Classes will run for six weeks and will run by professionals


Every Tuesday a film will be shown for youngsters giving their parents opportunity to socialize and have coffee at the Hillywood café


Over the summer holidays, KWETU will be running a 2-week holiday club for children 10-15 years old. The club will operate every afternoon 2-5PM Monday to Friday.
Supervised activities will include;

• Acting
• Photography
• Sports
• Languages
• Arts

For more details, do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 0722306480
You can also write to

Academy filmmaker in Rwanda for workshop

James Longley

James Longley is known for his outstanding documentary film “Iraq in Fragments’ a film that went ahead to break history by winning three awards at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. The film was produced in 2006. James is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture arts and sciences (AMPAS) – the organizers of Oscar awards.

The filmmaker is in Rwanda after a humble invitation by Almond Tree Films Rwanda to conduct a documentary filmmaking workshop that is known as ‘K-DOX’. Twelve selected young Rwandan filmmakers are taking part in the ten days workshop. Almond Tree films is working with Goethe Institut Kigali to facilitate the event.

According to, the 96 minutes film is a documentary-portrait of ordinary lives in post-invasion Iraq which has a structure and procedure that imitate its underlying political point: Iraq is fragmented. Broadly speaking, there are three fragments, and this is a reality with which the political classes here and in the United States are becoming acquainted. In the centre: the Sunnis, from which group Saddam and his followers sprang. In the south: the Shias, depicted by Longley as the centre of a retributive new militancy. In the north: the Kurds, who welcomed the American and British military action as the antidote to their oppression – and still do so. Boldly, Longley’s film gives the Kurds the final voice, and the overall effect is far from boilerplate anti-Americanism.

In a series of stunningly filmed sequences, Longley and his camera seek out the real lives outside the frame of conventional TV news, and he succeeds in creating both compelling journalism and superb images. In Baghdad, he finds a heartbreakingly lonely 11-year-old orphan, apprenticed to a tough garage owner who has taken him in.

This man appears at first to be affectionate to the boy in his rough and ready way, and the child’s hesitant voiceover pays a kind of cowed tribute to how kind he is; and yet soon the man is cuffing him and shouting at him, and in the course of the film, the boy’s feelings become something altogether different. In Baghdad, in the cafes and street corners, the cynical talk is of how things were actually better under Saddam – although these sentiments may have been disproportionately amplified.

In the south, the Shias are electrified by the historic opportunity that has opened up for them, and vigorously prosecute their new Islamic revolution; we see them loudly declaiming the great Satan Uncle Sam and brutally arresting people on suspicion of selling alcohol, a suspicion that does not appear to have much relation to due process of law. These people appear drunk with righteousness, and again, the dark talk is of a rampant new Saddam-ism. Then there is a gentle, pious Kurdish man who sadly reflects that his people’s religious identity has left them out of step with the fierce new flame of anger burning elsewhere in the country.

It is a superbly made film, pessimistic but not simplistic. Longley’s footage of Baghdad street life is outstanding: he seems to capture stunning images everywhere he looks, just by pointing the camera, a dozen scorching pictures every minute, rendered hyper-real on high-definition video. It looks like an imaginary landscape from some impossibly violent and traumatized future world, from which the director reports back with something other than the TV newsman’s redundant rhetoric of sensation or forced compassion.

But in the end, my mind kept going back again and again to that small boy in Baghdad, who is at first trusting and accepting, and then coldly angry about what life has given him. With discretion and subtlety, Longley has created a narrative for the child without it seeming artificial or absurd. This alienated, orphaned figure becomes a metonym for Iraq, a tragically divided nation.

KWETU Mentor compete on the global scene

Joel at Durban Filmmart South Africa

One cannot talk about the growing Rwandan film industry without mentioning Joel Karekezi.
The youthful filmmaker holds a diploma in film directing from Cinecours Canada. His short film ‘The Pardon’ won the best short film award at Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF), California in 2010. The film carries a deep reconciliation message after the1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Karekezi lectures scriptwriting at the KWETU Film Institute in Kigali.

KFI had an interview with Joel and below are excerpts…

What inspired you into filmmaking?

My experience as a Genocide survivor inspired me to become a filmmaker. I realised that I had many stories that I wanted to share with the world.

How far have you gone in filmmaking?

I have made several short films that have culminated in my first feature film Imbabazi: Pardon, which is currently in post-production. I am working on my second feature script that was recently selected for pitching at the Durban Film Mart scheduled for July 2012. This will be in South Africa.

What are some of your major achievements in filmmaking?

In 2010 my short film won the best short film prize at SVAFF. I attended the 2011 Durban Filmmart where I was selected as one of the three producers to represent Africa at the 2012, Rotterdam Lab in Netherlands. I won a script-development fund at Goteborg Film Festival Fund in 2010 and recently, I won the post-production Fund at Global Film Initiative in 2012.

You recently won $10,000 grant from Global Film Initiative, how do you plan to use this money?

This was a competition involving Asian, South American and African films projects where the ten best projects won the grant for either production or post-production. I am so happy to say that my project Imbabazi: Pardon was the only African project on the winning list this year. This fund will go towards the post production of my film. This involves sound design, colour correction and music scores.

What piece of advice do you give to upcoming filmmakers?

They should not think about money first. They should be patient and ready to persevere until they can be in a position to tell stories that can go beyond Rwanda.

Where do you see yourself seven years from now?

I have many projects that I hope to realise in the next few years. I am looking forward to a possible collaboration with likeminded filmmakers. Most importantly, I am setting up my production company that will venture into the global market. In seven years time, I believe I will have professionalised the art by making quality films that will represent Rwanda and Africa in various film festivals around the world.

What are the main challenges for filmmakers in Rwanda?

The main challenge is accessing funds. In some countries, filmmakers are exposed to different film funds where they can apply to make their films. Unfortunately, African filmmakers have to compete for Europe and American funds to make films. I look forward to a day when Rwanda will set aside a fund for filmmakers struggling in the art. This can contribute immensely to the growth of local film industry.

Piracy affects artists negatively, what do you think is the way forward?

Piracy is a big problem and I think the best way to fight it, is for us (artists) to come together and design policies that can help protect our work. We are lucky our government has good policies in place but we need their support to have them implemented.

What do you think is the future of ‘Hillywood’?

Hillywood is growing steadily, we now have different film festivals in the country and the number of films made locally is getting bigger. However, the future of Hillywood will be even brighter once we start making professional films. Quality is the word!

Do you have any upcoming project?

My next project will be a co- production. I wrote it with my colleague Casey Schroen and it was selected to be part of the DURBAN FILMMART 2012. My co-writer will also be pitching the story in L.A in May. I am very excited for this achievement!

Do you have any Rwandan filmmaker who inspires you and why?

I am inspired by Kivu Ruhorahoza. His latest film Grey Matter was awesome! He is very talented, and I first met him in Rotterdam where he was pitching his next project, Jomo. He is one of the most promising Rwandan filmmakers.

KFI to give five Scholarships in June 2012

Kwetu Students on Set

The KWETU Film Institute (KFI) is a center of academic excellence for exploring new kinds of communication, cultural expression, and regional civic engagement, through cinematic education and training, including programs in film, television and mobile, as well as supporting programs in the performing arts. KFI provide East Africa with a holistic, sustainable and internationally recognized media training facility.

During the next five years, KFI expects to enroll approximately two thousand students who will be exposed to all the important aspects of cinematic media creation. With practitioner instructors, experts in various fields of media, KFI will offer professional, hands on media training programs founded upon on solid academic criterion.

The training is aimed at professionalizing the craft of filmmaking. This will be actualized by providing instructions to filmmaking students in various departments by professional filmmakers, as well as the realization of a quality short film as an on the job training that conveys filmmaking in practice.

KWETU Film Institute hands-on training enables the participants to learn how to make a film on their own and enhances their cinematographic and creative know-how.
We at KWETU look life a little differently than most people. We see moments captured through the lens of a camera and the glow of a spotlight. We watch people in moments of desire, love, pain, sorrow and hope…’

If you want to be part of our team, if you have the heart and determination to put yourself out there and expose your passion, we welcome you! Turn your passion for films into a career.

KWETU Film Institute invites applications to three-months training course in digital filmmaking.

The course commences by in JUNE 2012 and is taught by industry professionals.
We offer the following departments of study

Camera, Editing, Acting, Script writing, Sound, Light, Directing and production.
Express your unique talents and creativity at the
KWETU Film Institute!

Why train at the KWETU Film Institute?
Individual training with qualified mentors, both visiting and local
Quality hands on training with flexible timings
The school is accredited by Rwanda ministry of education.
It’s one of its kinds in east and Central Africa.
We offer scholarship opportunities to deserving needy students.

The trainee graduate with relevant government grade test certificates.
“Building your career is our goal”

How to apply,

Click here to download application form and send it to our email address indicated below
Registration Fees: 20.000Rwf (40$)
Tuition Fees: 300.000Rwf (500$)

NB: Applicant must have a strong interest in building a career in film industry.


KFI in collaboration with the Rwanda Cinema Centre invites applications to three months scholarship in digital filmmaking. Five successful candidates will be enrolled during our next intake scheduled for early June, 2012.

How to Apply

Submit a complete application in English, including a script and a story line. The application is individual and we cannot accept team applications. The script should be professionally written, correct format. Use of celtx software is highly advised and should be approximately 15 minutes long.

Application deadline

All applications must reach us by 20th May, 2012 following which the successful candidates will be notified by 25th May, 2012. Please include your full time telephone contacts. Basic knowledge in TV and Video production will be an added advantage.

The training will be conducted in English and Ladies are highly encouraged to apply.
All application should be sent to Alternatively, you can drop your application to our offices, Estate 2020 Gaculiro, Benjamina Street Opposite #18

You may circulate this information to your fellow colleagues or friends interested in media industry that would benefit from this course.

NB: The selection is by merit and only deserving students will access the scholarships.

For more information call 0722306480, 0785217946

Click here to download the application form

‘One Day on Earth’ screened at Heaven

EVERY Saturday, a movie is screened at Heaven Restaurant located in Kiyovu, Kigali. However, last weekend was different and a special film was shown under the moonlight.

The restaurant was one of the venues in 160 countries around the world where the film, One Day On Earth, was screened. Among other notable locations included the U.N. headquarters in New York.

The film shot in all countries of the world, on October 10, 2010, shows how extraordinary a single day on our planet can be.

According to Shane Bartlett, the manager Heaven Restaurant, the choice of the venue was a coincidence.

“People from the United Nations who were involved in the film project had dinner here one night and they heard that we screen movies. They expressed their interest to partner with us during their film’s global screening,” said Bartlett.

“We feel very lucky and honoured to participate in this record breaking moment on behalf of Rwanda. I think it is important because this is a movie that connects the entire world,” he said.

Directed by Kyle Ruddick, the film takes a hard look at pressing global issues like endangered species, carbon emissions, and poverty. It tells, for instance, how 1.3 billion people have no access to clean water, and a species that become extinct every 20 minutes.

More than 19,000 filmmakers, professional and novice, contributed more than 3,000 hours of footage to the project, which has the support of the United Nations and 60 non-profit organisations.

It was a different experience for Eugene Safari, who was in the audience.

“Watching this film, I felt a little closer to the rest of the world. I think it’s a film starring everyone on Earth.”

Christian Gakombe, also from the audience, believes the film reminds us of our equality.

“It is a very important film because it reminds us that despite our geographical differences, we are all the same people.”

Some in the audience felt short-changed. “I find it unfair to see that while many countries, like Rwanda and Kenya got seconds in the film, North Korea military parade got a lot of screen time. Listening to their military speech somehow diverted my concentration on the film. I didn’t like that,” said Susan Kiragu, a visiting Kenyan actress.

Film lovers in Kigali who missed the screening and might want to catch the film have to wait a little longer.

“The film producer gave us a copy for this premiere; we do not have any right for further screenings. However, we are planning to ask them if we can own the copy. Our goal is to make the movie available to everyone who would like to watch it in Kigali,” explained Bartlett.

Apart from the weekly film screenings, the restaurant promotes Rwandan culture by providing space for different cultural events. They also work closely with local artists and the spot is one of the popular selling points for Rwandan crafts in Kigali.