Finding Hillywood


Leah Warshawski and Chris Towey
2013 | 58 minutes | U.S., Rwanda
New York Premiere | Directors in Attendance

A unique chronicle of the very beginning of Rwanda's film industry, this phenomenon film captures the concurrent threads of hope and horror that define modern life after the genocide: the urge to move forward and embrace the future and the impossibility of escaping the moral devastation of the past. As pioneers bring locally made films to rural communities on a giant inflatable screen, thousands come for their first experience of cinema, watching in stadiums that were built next to mass graves. Centered around one man’s efforts to use film both to heal his country and to face his own history, Finding Hillywood deftly fuses the personal and the universal to tell a story about the role art can play in rebuilding a broken society.

Co-presented by The New York African Film Festival

What compelled you to see for yourself?
The first time I came to Rwanda, our local crew told us about Hillywood. I imagined a film festival in the middle of the jungle where thousands of people walk for miles to see films in their own language on a giant inflatable movie screen. This idea alone compelled me to "see for myself" six years ago. That was the beginning of Finding Hillywood.
—Leah Warshawski | Director, Finding Hillywood