Eric Kabera (born 1970) is a Rwandan journalist, filmmaker and founder and president of Rwanda Cinema Center.
Early life and career
Kabera, a Rwandese, was born in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Even though he was still living in the DRC when the Rwandan Genocide started in April 1994, Kabera tells of his family members who lived in Rwanda at the time, 32 of them dying in the violence. This inspired him to make a 2001 feature film about the genocide titled 100 Days and a 2004 documentary titled Keepers of Memory in which he interviewed both victims and perpetrators of the atrocities. 100 Days, which Kabera made in collaboration with the British filmmaker Nick Hughes, was the first film shot in Rwanda after the genocide and it was also the first feature film about the genocide. The film employed no professional actors, rather the filmmakers used actual Tutsi and Hutu survivors to act out the script, and was shot on location at the actual scenes where acts of genocide occurred.
Today, Kabera is the founder and president of the Rwanda Cinema Center, an organization that aims to promote the country's film industry. Kabera initially set up the Center as an organization that would train new filmmakers but, since 2005, the center has been better known for organizing the annual Rwanda Film Festival. The Rwanda Film Festival, nicknamed "Hillywood" due to Rwanda's nickname of "Land of a Thousand Hills", is a travelling festival. Due to Kabera's desire to show the films to as large of an audience as possible, the festival is held not only in the capital of Kigali but the films, especially ones made by Rwandan filmmakers, are also shown on large inflatable screens in rural areas throughout the country. More recently, Kabera has stated that the festival will make a move away from focusing only on the issue of the genocide; rather "other social issues" of modern Rwanda will be explored. Kabera says that he would like to make a comedy.
Partly to help further promote the film festival, Kabera has started a project to build Rwanda's first purpose-built movie theater in Kigali. The theater has been under construction since at least 2007 but progress is slow due to lack of funds necessary to complete the project.
|2004||Keepers of Memory||Screenwriter, director, producer|
|2008||Iseta: Behind the Roadblock||Co-producer|
- Rwandan Genocide: 12 Years Later, CNN, April 8, 2006. Accessed February 26, 2009.
- On The Media: Transcript of "100 Days in Rwanda", National Public Radio, November 22, 2002. Accessed February 26, 2009.
- Bloomfield, Steve. Welcome to Hillywood: how Rwanda's film industry emerged from genocide's shadow, The Independent, August 30, 2007. Accessed February 26, 2009.
- Kisambira, Timothy. Rwanda: The Golden Experience of the Silver Screen, AllAfrica.com, April 6, 2008. Accessed February 26, 2009.
- Gathoni, Peninnah. Fifth Film Festival to be held in June, The New Times, 2009. Accessed February 26, 2009.
- Don't mention the genocide: Rwanda film industry moves on, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 28, 2008. Accessed February 26, 2009.