When the world of filmmaking troops to Berlin for the March 1 to 5, 2021 Berlinale Talents themed “Dreams” so too will three exceptional women from Rwanda.
Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo, Elianne Umuhire and Kantarama Gahigiri — a testament to Rwanda’s great strides in the sector will be part of the huge number of women — put at 55 per cent — at this year’s event, which like those before it, doubles as a filmmakers’ networking initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival.
The three are among the 200 talents from 65 countries who were selected from a pool of over 3,000 applicants to join guests and the public in a digital forum for a show of unending possibilities.
Dusabejambo, Umuhire and Gahigiri are a potent mix of grit, talent and hard work as shown by their profiles.
The films by Kigali-based self-taught filmmaker, and trained electronics and telecoms engineer, have been screened in local and international festivals and TV, earning her several recognitions.
The 34-year-old has directed four films: Lyiza (2011), Behind the Word (2013), A Place for Myself (2016), and Icyasha (Etiquette) 2018. These have won awards such as Bronze Tanit 2012 JCC and 2016 JCC at Carthage and many others.
The award-winning Rwandan actress, broke onto the scene in 2004 while studying accountancy at the National University of Rwanda.
After that, she was in various stage productions working with Mashirika Performance and Media Company, and Ishyo Arts Centre.
Her international breakthrough was through the film role in Birds Are Singing in Kigali, taking Best Actress Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Umuhire’s films have featured in over 30 festivals like Chicago, Rotterdam, London BFI Film Festival and Haifa International Film Festival.
She is recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and Swiss Benevolent Fund, which jumpstarted her film career.
Gahigiri’s first feature film Tapis Rouge (2014), was screened and awarded worldwide at various festivals, including Geneva International Film Festival and the Chelsea Film Festival, New York.