Rwandese filmmaker inspires new generation

Rwandese filmmaker Fiona Mukundente is the founder of several initiatives aiming at the development of a film industry in her country.


32-year-old Rwandese filmmaker Fiona Mukundente is an actress, an ingenious producer and founder of a series of initiatives. Back in 2010 she founded the Rwanda International Film Festival (RIFF). She also started OYE Rwanda Films, a production outfit that creates commercials and documentaries for clients. She’s chief advisor at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). 
“In 2009, I produced and directed my first movie, and then I started marketing and doing publicity for it. It turned out in the industry and media that I was the first female director known in Rwanda. That inspired more ladies; I have met some young ladies who told me that I have been their role model,” she says.
Mukundente is also the president of Rwanda Film Technicians (RFT) and has directed films like Kezalella and Mayombo. “In these two films my objective was to remind the youth about their point of origin, the land of their birth, because after the genocide Rwandese returnees came back from different nations with different culture, so the youth was so caught up in outside customs, these two films were to remind them about their Rwandese customs and values,” she enthuses.
Mukundente has also set up an NGO that focuses on youth and women empowerment in film production, which she will kick start next year. “I decided to ask the Rwandese government to help me to start a women’s film festival in Africa or for Africans where we will promote, support financially and mentor the women in the film industry, to support themselves and other women in other fields through film advocacy.”
The Rwandese government has started to make an effort to recognise the art of film production and has laid out constructive measures to promote the telling of stories that are relevant to the Rwandese people. This is what The Rwanda Film Board has been instrumental in initiating. These things motivate Mukundente to move forward on the road to her dream: “When I look back I want to be proud that I have left a mark and for future generations to be proud of what I have done. All of us have a story to tell and I have started mine already.”


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