Nine months ago, veteran Hollywood publicist and hip hop aficionado Ava DuVernay launched a "theatrical distribution collective" called the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement as an avenue for Black film to find new ways to reach audiences. "The collective will theatrically release quality independent African-American films through simultaneous limited engagements in select cities."
The first movie from this Movement was DuVernay's own I Will Follow, called by some "the most gripping character drama of our era," starring Eureka actress Omari Hardwick and Salli Richardson-Whitfield. This weekend, AFFRM has another winner on its hands with a film that's already won the Starz Denver Film Fest Audience Award, the Sony D-Cinema Award Grand Prize from the 2011 Skip City International D-Cinema Festival, The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic at Sundance, the Crystal Heart Award at the 2011 Heartland Film Festival, and the World Cinema Audience Award at the AFI Fest. The next big thing from AFFRM is Kinyarwanda …
During the Rwandan genocide, when neighbors killed neighbors and friends betrayed friends, some crossed lines of hatred to protect each other.
At the time of 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 madrassa of Nyanza. It recounts how the Imams opened the doors of the mosques to give refuge to the Tutsi and those Hutu who refused to participate in the killing.
KINYARWANDA interweaves six different tales that together form one grand narrative that provides the most complex and real depiction yet presented of human resilience and life during the genocide. With an amalgamation of characters, we pay homage to many, using the voices of a few.
Here's some trailers to give you a taste of what you can expect …
Kinyarwanda opens in limited release this weekend. Going to see it will not only be a great entertainment experience, but a political event, supporting the idea of quality movies and employment for people of color in show business.