Newsroom › ‘Finding Hillywood’ Shines Light on Rwandan Film Industry

Posted in: News | March 15, 2014

Presbyterian College will present “Finding Hillywood” with filmmaker Leah Warshawski on March 20 as part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The free screening will begin at 7 p.m. in Harrington-Peachtree 214 and is open to the public. Following a screening of the film, Warshawski and the audience will engage in a discussion about the film and her work as a filmmaker.

In Hillywood (the Rwanda film industry’s name for the country’s rolling hills) there is a blossoming film community. As Rwanda is still healing from the wounds of a cultural genocide almost 20 years ago, cinema has become a way for artists to express themselves and create cultural discussion. “Finding Hillywood” efficiently introduces the major players who set the beginning of the industry in motion. Eric Kabera founded the Kwetu Film Institute, directed the first Rwandan feature, and created the Rwanda Film Festival. Ayuub Kasasa Mago is a renaissance man within the industry, equally adept at directing, acting, scouting, or “fixing” just about anything a production might need. While it is easy to see that Eric is the heart of the industry, as the film continues Ayuub comes to represent its soul with his all-encompassing passion.

Seattle filmmakers Leah Warshawski and Chris Towey have created a stirring documentary that functions as a Rwandan history lesson but also reveals the power of media as a catalyst for cultural healing. The film’s final act takes a breathtaking final turn as Hillywood connects the people of Rwanda with the goosebumps of seeing their culture represented on the biggest screen available.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts.

For information, contact Dr. Molly McGehee at mtmcgehee@presby.edu or 833.8356.

 

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