The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.


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04 April 2017

Rwandan Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture


African filmmakers aim to appropriate the images, techniques and the media in which they work, in the sense of a subjective representation of the social realities that surround them.

Digital technology facilitates this appropriation process in the creation of a self-image, in the sense that the general media adaptability that it engenders reinforces the expression of new subjectivities and contributes to the archiving of daily life.

This is Viviane Azarian’s assertion regarding the work of Rwandan filmmaker Jacqueline Kalimunda’s transmedia project Single Rwandan/Celib Rwandais.

Judging from the handful of Rwandan women in cinema who are becoming increasingly visible, using new technologies provides the means to reflect the realities of their societies. For example, Rwandan-German Amelia Umuhire’s Polyglot webseries examines the double-cultured identities of young afrodescendants in Berlin. Similarly, Claudine Ndimbira Shenge launched the “She&He” web series Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the She&He documentary web series focusing on LGBT in Rwanda. And another example of this ever-expanding phenomenon, using raw iPhone footage, U.S.-based Franco-Rwandan Anisia Uzeyman, creates a love story of a couple journeying across the United States.

The URUSARO International Women Film Festival was launched in 2015. The website presents the history of the festival as follows:

CinéFEMMES RWANDA is a non-profit organisation which promotes independent filmmaking by focusing on Rwandan female filmmakers through training, advocacy, networking and supporting their productions.

In November 2012, a group of Rwandan women filmmakers discussed their profession and realised that many Rwandan females have plenty of interesting film project ideas, but these were kept in cupboards because of limited self-confidence, lack of experience and opportunities and means to venture in the filmmaking industry. they finally decided to put their individual resources together by creating CinéFEMMES RWANDA to promote talents and interests of Rwandan females in filmmaking.

Following is a growing list of Rwanda women in cinema, visual media and screen culture, who work in Rwanda and its diaspora:

Amelia Umuhire, Anisia Uzeyman, Chantal Bagilishya (among the ancestors), Jacqueline Kalimunda, Marie Clementine Dusabejambo, Kantarama Gahigiri, Mugisha Pamella, Claudine Ndimbira

Below is an annotated list with links of relevant documentation regarding Rwandan women in cinema, visual media and screen culture.

Updated 04 Feburary 2023


FESPACO 2019: Icyasha (Etiquette) by/de Marie Clémentine Dusabejambo (Rwanda)
A 12-year-old boy tries desperately hard to join a local boys' football team. His effeminacy disqualifies him. The boys often taunt him and bully him. He finds himself in a world where he must prove and claim his masculinity. The story shows the simultaneous pain and beauty of childhood.

(Re)Discover Claudine Ndimbira
Claudine Ndimbira (Shenge Intare) based in Kigali, began writing stories when she was fifteen-years old. After school she attended digital filmmaking classes at the Kwetu Film Institute. The following year in 2013, she participated in the animation workshop at the Luxor International Film Festival. The same year, During the Rwanda Film Festival workshop, Girls Make Movies, she directed the short film "My Mother, My Hero, for which she wrote the script. See:

Amelia Umuhire : Congo-Rwanda webseries Tuko - Life in Goma (FR-EN-DE). Widely known for her Polyglot webseries, Amelia Umuhire produced the Congo-Rwandan web series Tuko, Life in Goma in 2017. See

Jacqueline Kalimunda : Love in Rwanda | De l'amour au Rwanda – TV5 MONDE +. Love in Rwanda. Claudine, a businesswoman, navigates between several jobs in order to construct a life independent of men. Neza, who is the younger of the two, dreams of the ideal man. Between these two experiences are the desires and disappointments of women in Rwanda. See

Single Rwandan / Celib Rwandais by/de Jacqueline Kalimunda analyse/analysis by/par Viviane Azarian. Translation of analysis from French. While 2014 revived the international media interest in Rwanda, 20 years after the genocide of the country’s Tutsi population, filmmaker Jacqueline Kalimunda prepares for the 2015 release of a documentary, book, and web platform on "love in Rwanda". In a country where hatred reached the paroxysm of horror in 1994, a subject theoretically “ordinary" is nonetheless a profound inquiry.
Marie Clémentine Dusabejambo parle du cinéma au Rwanda. La jeune cinéaste rwandaise Marie Clémentine Dusabejambo a beaucoup d’espoir pour le futur du cinéma au Rwanda. Elle nous parle de sa passion pour les films. See:

Marie Clementine Dusabejambo talks about cinema in Rwanda. Marie Clementine Dusabejambo, a young filmmaker from Rwanda has great hopes for the future of Rwandan cinema. She talks to us about her passion for filmmaking.

Amelia Umuhire : "Polyglot" - webseries | websérie (Berlin). "Polyglot", a webseries created, written, directed and edited by Amelia Umuhire, a Rwandan-European self-taught filmmaker from Berlin and self-identifying Afro-European. See:

Jacqueline Kalimunda: “Single Rwandan” and her crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Jacqueline Kalimunda talks about her project in progress, “Single Rwandan”, the importance of new technologies and her Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. See

Jacqueline Kalimunda : « Celib Rwandais » et sa campagne de crowdfunding sur Indiegogo. Jacqueline Kalimunda parle de son projet en cours « Celib Rwandais », l’importance des nouvelles technologies, et sa campagne de crowdfunding sur Indiegogo. See:

Jacqueline Kalimunda’s Rwanda. Excerpts from Jacqueline Kalimunda’s website and a portrait about her at the Women’s International Film Festival of Creteil in 2010. See:

In Memory of Chantal Bagilishya | À la memoire de Chantal Bagalishya. A tribute to the late Rwandan producer Chantal Bagilishya. See


The Rise of Rwanda's women filmmakers by Stefanie Jason, Fellow, International Women's Media Foundation's Great Lakes Reporting Initiative. Stefanie Jason follows the trajectory of several women of Rwanda and the Rwandan diaspora, who are at various stages of the their journey into cinema: Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo, Ndimbira Shenge, Anisia Uzeyman, Mugisha Pamella. See:

Filmmaker Ndimbira recounts her journey into film writing. In an interview with Moses Opobo Claudeine Ndimbira Shenge talks about her evolution into filmmaking. 03 January 2016.

Investing in Love: Jacqueline Kalimunda's 'Single Rwandan'. Interview by Marian Evans of Wellwoodwoman. An extensive interview during which Jacqueline Kalimunda talks about her evolution into cinema, her films, and her experiences working locally in Rwanda and internationally across the globe. 11 November 2014. See:

Rwandan Director Anisia Uzeyman Asks: “Can Black Love Survive the American Dream?” T. Anthony Schear analyses Anisia Uzeyman’s film Dreamstates, a film that she directs and in which she acts with her real-life husband, singer Saul Williams. See:

She & He – A web series project produced by Lycamedia Africa Ltd. In 2016 Claudine Ndimbira Shenge launched the She&He web series Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The She&He documentary web series had as objective to focus on LGBT in Rwanda. While the campaign did not reach its funding objective and hence was not funded, the project proposal emphasized the importance of telling the “many stories, hidden, forgotten or simply untold that are out there.” See:


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