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Yuhi talks about film-making in Rwanda

Rwandan writer, director, and producer Yuhi Amuli talks about his approach to film-making and the future of the art for him and his country.

How would you define your cinematic style?

I am still on the journey to discover and understand my own cinematic style. Currently they change according to the theme, the story and the world it is set in. But generally, my films are slow paced, with slow image sequences, editing and sound design.

How did you get started in film-making and what drove into it?

I always had the urge to tell stories since I was a young boy and had already tried to write some short stories and plays for my colleagues. I started out in Cinema after I had a chance to attend Maisha Film Lab in 2014, a screenwriting workshop that made me decide to quit my law school and pursue a career as a filmmaker. A year later after attending several screenwriting and directing workshops around the globe, I made my first short film ISHABA.

Did you have any other career in mind besides film-making?

Yes. Growing up in a strictly catholic family, I joined the junior seminary at 12. That time, I thought I had already found what I will do with my life; being a priest.

Halfway through the seminary, I was kicked out, found myself in a science school and started thinking of becoming a doctor. A few years later I shifted to a law school and contemplated a career as a lawyer. None of them was as deeply rooted in me as was the urge to dedicate my life to telling African stories I was seeing around me.

Your first film, what inspired it?

ISHABA, my first short film about Innocence and the beauty of ignorance was mainly inspired by my profound nostalgia for my days growing up.

What do you think about the current state of film-making in Rwanda?

It is gratifying to see this wave of young Rwandan filmmakers telling their stories against all odds and I am proud to be one of them. I hope they keep their momentum and I hope that one day Rwanda’s decision makers will understand how important cinema and art in general is to the development of the country and start giving these artist the support and recognition they deserve.

Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?

In five years to come, I hope to have completed two internationally distributed feature films.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am developing and working with producers to raise funds for my directorial debut feature film YOHANI, a film about the sino-african relations.  

What’s your advice for young and upcoming Rwandan filmmakers?

Preserve your artistic identity. Get inspired but don’t be influenced.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

Yuhi Amuli is an atheist.

Yuhi’s show-real

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Interview with Ndimbira Claudine Shenge

As a creative using our platform, Ndimbira Claudine Shenge took some time to answer a couple of questions, and show you why you should support her project. Please click here to read more about the project.

 

Why filmmaking?

I became a filmmaker by accident. I am thankful because that was a good accident. I remember when I was young I was not able to communicate even if I had what I wanted to share but I didn’t know how. The moment that I started to write songs my eyes got opened, that was a new form of commucation for me.

I tried to join a music school in Rwanda but in vain, luckily a film school was recently opened in Rwanda. I decided to join that one for the sake of being a true story teller, that’s how I fell in love of storytelling. I do filmmaking because it helps me to share stories visually worldwide. The films that I do helps the voiceless to have a voice, I give them mine as a filmmaker to use it. That’s the beauty in it, knowing that what I do matters and it can make a positive change in the society.

Tell us about this project and why you would like to do it ?

The LGBTQ community in Rwanda faces so many issues. It hurts to see people living like shadows without the right of being who they really are. The fact that none even wants to talk about it make me wonder how we call ourselves humans even if we don’t show humanity.

I want to make this film to shed light on that issue so that it can start a conversation. People fear what they don’t understand or what they refuse to understand but at the end of the day the solution is to talk about it and react positively.

What do you wish to accomplish with it?

With this project “Living like a shadow” I want to give the voice to LGBTQ community members in Rwanda to tell their stories, what they have been through, what they wish their lives could be but also to the society so that they say what is the reason why they think being gay is a problem to them.

Through the film I want especially the Rwandan audience to hear those stories; they may have never even heard how hard it could be not being accepted with the society due to who you are. I want this film to start a change in the society regarding how they treat LGBTQ community members in Rwanda.

Why should people support you?

I believe that making this film will help a lot of people in general. We need to live in this world peacefully and with equal rights. On my own there is so little that I can do, but with the help of everyone this film can be made for the good cause. I need any help that I can get to be able to accomplish this project.