About us

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Almond Tree Films Rwanda is a production company located in the
Samuduha neighborhood of Kigali (Rwanda). It produces short and
feature films (documentary and narrative), and produces work for local
clients. The company is partially sustainable through its clientele
work (weddings, church videos, advertisements, music videos) and also
relies on grants and donations from generous contributors.

HISTORY
In 2004, a team of youth people, HARVESTERS (HK), from Hong Kong came
to bless Rwanda during their summer holidays through YWAM Rwanda
Ministries.

When they arrived, they worked with Harvesters Youth Ministries, a
ministry of the same name in YWAM Rwanda. This team of summer
missionaries discovered great talents in the Harvesters youth
ministry.  At the end of their summer mission, they went back with a
burden to support these young people.

One of the team leaders called Valerie Chu later married Lee Isaac
Chung who was a film director based in Brooklyn, New York.  Valerie
shared with her husband the story of these young people and their
potential and talents.

In May 2006, Isaac with his wife Valerie had an idea to come and
produce a film with 15 Rwandan young people who were part of the
theatre and drama team and had an interest in video and film
production.

As the youth lacked film making skills, Isaac first trained them in
photography and the basics of film making.  After the training, the
young people and Isaac made a film together called MUNYURANGABO which
in 2007 was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival
(France).  It later played at the Toronto International Film Festival
(Canada), Berlin Film Festival (Germany), and won the grand prize at
the AFI Festival (Los Angeles).

After the great success of  MUNYURANGABO, Isaac and Valerie continued
to come back every summer for a period of two weeks to give further
training on filmmaker.  In September 2008, Isaac and these young
filmmakers brainstormed on how the group might become a film company
where their talents could create an independent production company.
This is how Almond Tree Films Rwanda was born.

After filming MUNYURANGABO, this group of Rwandan filmmakers trained
by Lee Isaac Chung began to apply what they had learned.

-At the end of the year 2006, they produced their first short film
entitled IWACU (My Home) a story by Jean KWEZI on patriotism.

-In 2007, they produced a film on repentance, justice, unity and
reconciliation entitled WHERE IS THE TRUTH, a story by Edouard
BAMPORIKI, a member of Almond Tree Films Rwanda.

-In October 2008 they began pre-production of “THE PASSOVER ”, a film
by MUNYURANGABO Noël.

-In February 2009 they worked on the production of “ LONG COAT ”, a
film by Edouard BAMPORIKI, funded by a grant from Focus Features
(USA).  The film was selected to the New York African Film Festival
and premiered at the Lincoln Center in New York.

-In March 2009, they produced a documentary entitled “The Goal of
Life,” directed by John KWEZI.

-In July 2009, they produced a short film entitled “MAIBOBO” a film
by Yves Montand NIYONGABO.  The film premiered at the Rotterdam Film
Festival and won a jury prize at the Festival Cinema Africano d’Asia e
America Latina (FCAAAL) in Milan Italy.

OUR VISION:
-We have a vision to promote art and cinema in our country, in Africa
and in the whole world
-Through our cinema, we want to implant the culture of peace .
-We want to communicate a message of unity and reconciliation in
Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
-We want to promote the creative talents of young Rwandans and provide
opportunities for an independent and Rwandan expression.
-We want to create cinema and find a way to have this work give us
financial sustainability.
-We want to tell different stories to all nations.

NEEDS
-We seek further courses, training and studies on film making.
-We need more professional equipment for our productions, and we need
to a means to cover the monthly rent of our production center in
Samaduha.
-We hope for a permanent production office in Kigali.

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