Blog post

Visualising Peace: first screening of 3 films (November 2023)

24th November 2023


Greetings from Kigali, Rwanda.

We are delighted to share with you the positive outcome of the first screening that took place on Sunday, November 12th, at the Kwetu Film Institute offices and the Rwanda Cinema training centre. This was the first opportunity for the Kwetu team—the Uyisenga Ni Imanzi team of teachers, facilitators, students, and young people—to come together to watch the films and give feedback.

Held at the Hillywood Studio Cafe, the event began with a brief presentation by the mentors and facilitators on the three films on mental health. They are based on the results of the training they had conducted three months earlier. There was a lot of anticipation and excitement!

The film screening went very well and was received with much excitement. After the credits rolled, the UNM teachers were the first to react with huge appreciation for the results they saw. They explained that they appreciated the quality and hard work that had been poured into the films and that, in seeing the final product, they now also understood the process of filmmaking and some of the decision-making during production. They added that it was an eye-opener for them.

I took time to explain once more the different phases of making a film and what this requires in terms of the process, from the concept to the writing of the script to the screenplay to the productions, directing, editing, and then planning for the showing, promotion, and distribution. They got the whole picture from what was built from a simple idea and narrative into a tangible product that they produced and conceived.

Paintinge exhibition at the Hilliwood Studio Cafe / Kwetu

Diane, a Kwetu student, gave a brief, moving presentation of her experience. For Diane, who just learned editing for the first time in the masterclass facilitated by the University of Lincoln and Kwetu Film Institute, her experience with the first cut was significant. From the learning, she was able to create a short documentary about the project, capturing the flow of the workshop and key moments of the training and interaction. She also encouraged the young people that one day, some of them can also become professionals and embrace filmmaking as a passion and career to tell stories of people. We had invited a number of guests to the screening. One of the highlights was the presence of a young artist who had accepted our invitation to display her paintings at the Hillywood Studio Café. She was very moved by the short films, especially the one called ‘This is My Story’. She happened to have personal experience with the story in the film, being taken in by a family after losing her parents and relatives during the genocide against the Tutsi. She sobbed during the screening, and I came to stand next to her and comfort her. Little did I know that she had a similar story. She later shared about her experience, but most importantly, she encouraged the young people to overcome, to be brave, and to face life like she did. Her painting and her entrepreneurial spirit were the icing on the cake. She shared her positive attitude with the children and the group attending the screening.

The overall reaction to the programme is that they all want it to continue, as they enjoyed the training and would like to attend more workshops.

Reception of the first film screening / Kwetu

Visualising Peace

Using film-making and art exhibitions to address the barriers young people face in engaging and influencing community members and policymakers.