The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) is partnering with AFFRM, the national African American Film Festival Releasing Movement, and the Seattle International Film Festival to present a remarkable new independent film, KINYARWANDA. KINYARWANDA opens on Friday, December 2, 2011 in seven cities across the USA, including Seattle, NY, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Atlanta. Buy tickets for the Seattle screening at this link.
During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Mufti of Rwanda, the most respected Muslim leader in the country, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from participating in the killing of the Tutsi. As the country became a slaughterhouse, mosques became places of refuge where Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis came together to protect each other.
KINYARWANDA is based on true accounts from survivors who took refuge at the Grand Mosque of Kigali and the Imams who opened their doors to give refuge to the Tutsi and to those Hutu who refused to participate in the killing. Engaged in a story told from the perspective of six characters, we follow the young lovers, the child, the couple, the soldiers, the Imam, and the priest as they are swept up by the chaos of the world around them.
KINYARWANDA premiered at The Sundance Film Festival, winning the prestigious Audience Award for World Cinema Drama. Written and directed by Alrick Brown, KINYARWANDA is the first film conceived within Rwanda and produced by Rwandans dealing with the 1994 genocide. It is through this authentic lens that Alrick Brown and the Rwandan producers have made a deeply personal and heartfelt story that interweaves six true tales into a single epic narrative. The results are an empowering and ennobling film that takes the audience on a very human, universal journey of love, hope, faith and forgiveness. For more on the film, please see www.kinyarwandamovie.com\.
KINYARWANDA will mark the second feature from AFFRM (African American Film Festival Releasing Movement), the theatrical distribution collective that promotes quality Black independent films with national theatrical engagements in select cities.
KINYARWANDA will make its theatrical debut December 2, 2011 on 9 screens in 7 cities. Opening weekend release cities and links to theaters below.
NEW YORK CITY - AMC Empire 25 Showtimes/Tickets: http://www.movietickets.com/pre_purchase.asp?house_id=7114&movie_id=108638&rdate=12/2/2011
LOS ANGELES - Laemmle Music Hall, Laemmle Pasadena, Laemmle Encino Showtimes/Tickets: http://www.laemmle.com/viewmovie.php?mid=7692
CHICAGO - AMC River East 21 Showtimes/Tickets: http://www.movietickets.com/pre_purchase.asp?house_id=8267&movie_id=108638&rdate=12/2/2011
PHILADELPHIA - AMC Franklin Mills Showtimes/Tickets: http://amc.movietickets.com/pre_purchase.asp?house_id=583&movie_id=108638&rdate=12/2/2011
ATLANTA - AMC Phipps Plaza Showtimes/Tickets: http://www.movietickets.com/pre_purchase.asp?house_id=963&movie_id=108638&rdate=12/2/2011
SEATTLE - The Uptown Showtimes/Tickets: http://www.siff.net/cinema/reserve.aspx?id=10057&FID=112
DC/MD/VA - AMC Hoffman Showtimes/Tickets: http://www.movietickets.com/pre_purchase.asp?house_id=7845&movie_id=108638&rdate=12/2/2011
KINYARWANDA was shot in the beautiful country of Rwanda, the name of which translates to “Land of a Thousand Hills.” Production took place during grasshopper mating season, rainy season, with about 1,000 extras, limited equipment and a sixteen day shooting schedule. The hardest part, however, about making this film was the emotional impact the scenes had on all of the cast and crew, particularly the Rwandans struggling with their own memories. For American actress Cassandra Freeman, the role of Lt. Rose was worlds apart from her previous work in Chris Rock’s I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE and Spike Lee’s INSIDE MAN.
Instead of delving into the politics associated with the 1994 Genocide, KINYARWANDA emphasizes the people. While other films portraying genocide show violence, corpses, and death, KINYARWANDA emphasizes life and genocide is a tragic backdrop for very familiar human experiences. Telling this story through the perspective of multiple characters shows that in the midst of such tragic events something beautiful can still be found. Because forgiveness, truth and reconciliation are such a huge part of Rwanda’s journey, it is also an important part of this film.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
The film’s director, writer/director Alrick Brown has a truly interesting trajectory. Born in Kingston, Jamaica. Bred in New Jersey. He served in the Peace Corps in West Africa for two years. Brown holds both a BA and Masters from Rutgers, plus an MFA from NYU. Brown was featured in the IFC series “Film School” in 2004 as one of four NYU students followed
during their thesis production. He is also featured in the current issue of Filmmaker Magazine, in the feature “25 Faces to Watch.” KINYARWANDA is his first feature film. It won Audience Award in the World Cinema Drama category at Sundance in Park City in January 2011.
The African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement is a distribution collective dedicated to the domestic theatrical release of quality black independent films and founded in 2011 by Ava DuVernay. The AFFRM Film Festival groups include Urbanworld Film Festival, Imagenation, Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, ReelBlack Film Series and BronzeLens Film Festival. www.affrm.com