NewsCultureFirst SIGNIS Awards at Mashariki Africa Film Festival (MAAFF) in Rwanda

First SIGNIS Awards at Mashariki Africa Film Festival (MAAFF) in Rwanda

SIGNIS continues to widen its participation in film festivals with a debut at the eighth edition of Mashariki Africa Film Festival in Rwanda. Mr. Tresor Senga, the festival director and founder, expressed immense gratitude to SIGNIS for joining the festival saying that it is a “sign of growth for Mashariki Africa Film Festival”.

“Although the Covid-19 pandemic effects interfered with the film industry progress, cinema in East Africa is alive and most of the selected films in this 8th edition of MAAFF are proof that the future of cinema in Africa will continue to surprise audiences worldwide”, said Mr. Senga when confirming his gratitude to SIGNIS for participating at MAAFF 2022.

For the maiden SIGNIS Awards at Mashariki Africa Film Festival, the jury comprising Fr. Andrew Kaufa from Malawi, Pamela Adinda from Kenya, and Jacques Mugiraneza from Rwanda, gave the SIGNIS Prize to KAFACOH, a film produced and directed by Mirembe Doreen from Uganda. KAFACOH is a story of the fight for justice in the face of power which depicts a young naive lawyer, Sandrah Atika Alexis, whose quest to succeed in her career finds her on the battlefield between two political heavyweights. Sandrah must therefore fight not only for justice to prevail in a manipulative and dangerous political arena, but also to survive in an environment where those who try to challenge the powers are lured to conformity or made to disappear mysteriously.

The film depicts courage and an unrelenting spirit in the fight for social justice and human dignity where resilience and determination are key. With great cinematography and a captive plot that keeps the audience at the edges of their seats, KAFACOH has an international appeal and promotes the same values that SIGNIS through its activities strive to achieve.

Moving on, the SIGNIS East Africa Talent Award was given to a young upcoming artist from Burundi, Lionel Nishimwe, who wrote and directed the short film A Colorful Life. The film, which is produced in black and white even in contradiction to the title, is about a young woman named Sarah who, in the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic, discovers that she has cancer and only has six months to live. Confined to her home with her husband Phil, she has to face her fears and find ways to make the most out of the few months she has left to live.

A Colorful Life is a story of love, a story of courage, a story of a woman battling cancer in a pandemic. We most sincerely appreciate the festival for giving us space to share this wonderful story”, said Lionel Nshimwe in his acceptance speech.

The 8th edition of the Mashariki Africa Film Festival took place in Kigali Rwanda from November 26th to December  2nd 2022.


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