Academy travels to Kenya and Rwanda for Cultural Exchange with filmmakers


Mumbai: Eight members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be traveling to Kenya and Rwanda for an educational and cultural exchange with African filmmakers, students and the local creative communities.  The delegation will arrive in Nairobi on 09 July, and travel to Kigali on 17 July to  return to the U.S. on 24 July.

The delegation will include producer Stephanie Allain, cinematographer John Bailey, sound mixer Willie Burton, editor Carol Littleton; writer-director Phil Robinson, production designer Wynn Thomas, and actress Alfre Woodard accompanied by the Academy’s director of exhibitions and special events Ellen Harrington.

The itinerary in Nairobi includes numerous workshops and seminars at One Fine Day – Films (formerly known as FilmAfrica!), a training facility where more than 65 student filmmakers from nine African countries gain experience in a filmmaking disciplines and collaborate on a feature-length production.

Several delegates will present and discuss a film from their career which include Bailey and Littleton’s Silverado and Burton’s The Shawshank Redemption.

The members will also visit the Kakuma refugee camp near the Sudanese border, where they will experience the work of FilmAid International, a non-governmental organization that provides film training and open-air screenings to help address social and medical issues affecting long-term camp residents, and  the large Nairobi slum community of Kibera.

In Rwanda, the delegates will inaugurate the KWETU Film Institute, a professional training center, and lead master classes for students and filmmakers.  They  will take part in the opening night of the Rwanda Film Festival, held in Kigali, and its regional festival Hillywood, which presents open-air screenings of African films for audiences of up to 10,000 people per night in the hills region of the country.

This trip is being undertaken as part of the Academy’s International Outreach Initiative, which has sent members to Vietnam, Iran and Cuba.  The program brings delegations of film artists to countries with developing film industries and creates opportunities for creative conversations between emerging and established filmmakers.