For its sixth year in Rwanda, Maisha Film Lab, Mira Nair's initiative which trains young upcoming East African filmmakers and storytellers has announced 15 participants who are to take part in its forthcoming screenwriting lab in Kigali.
For the first year in history, the number of female participants has elevated to a record breaking number. With 40% of all selected participants being females, the line that has never been crossed in past years; this is the first year in history of the initiative’s program in Rwanda that gets such a number of female participants.
Here is selected participants: Anis Ndayisaba, Bibiane Ngirabacu*, Delphine Uwaneza*, Fabrice Nzambonimpa, Francine Andrew Mukase*, Alain Patrick IRERE HIRWA, Jimmy Gasana , Josue SIMPARINGABO, Ismael Mushimiyimana, Ndimbira Claudine*, Olive Uwineza*, Sadi Rukundo, Sibomana Ambassadeur, Shema Deve and Urwibutso Augustina*.
*female selected participants.
Last year, the workshop was attended by slight number female participants. In fifteen selected participants, only TWO were female. The year before (in 2014), the female participants were 3 out of 15 participants; with the number of female participants getting narrower as we track down to the time the lab was incepted in Rwanda.
Maisha Film Lab last year in Rwanda: participants, mentors and Lab coordinators
The sexism in film industry globally soars. This is a good sign of the changing history of sexism in Rwandan film industry by giving a voice to female filmmakers in this emerging industry where female filmmakers are overshadowed by their male counterparts.
Rwanda Annual Maisha Film Screenwriting Lab is taking place from July 21 to July 28 in Kigali. During the 8 intensive days, participants, guided by international mentors will have the time to sharpen their craft in screenwriting while they fine their short scripts.
At the end of the lab, funded by Stichting DOEN, the best short screenplay will be selected by mentors and it’ll be awarded $5000, which will be used to turn it into a short film.
Founded in 2004 by Mira Nair, Maisha Film Lab is a Kampala based non-profit organization initiated at training East African young filmmakers to develop their hands on craft and tell their stories with its first lab conducted in Kampala, Uganda in 2005. It trains filmmakers in 4 East African countries namely Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.
For a decade in action, Maisha Film Lab has trained over 500 participants with full scholarships, and over 50 short films were produced and screened in international film festivals. Maisha Film Lab has been a launching career opportunity for many young filmmakers, including Kenyan Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Columbia university alumni Rwandan filmmaker Gilbert Ndahayo in 2006, Kivu Ruhorahoza, Joel Karekezi, among many.