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'Kinyarwanda' Takes Top Prize at Skip City Festival

Film about the Rwandan Genocide wins the Grand Prix at digital film fest.

A film about the Rwandan genocide,Kinyarwanda, by Jamaican-born U.S. director Alrick Brown, took the Grand Prize at the Skip City D-Cinema Festival on Sunday in Saitama, just north of Tokyo.

The debut feature from Brown, which also won an audience award at Sundance this year, won the 1.5 million yen ($19,400) prize  for its depiction of six stories based on real events during the Hutu massacres of Tutsis that devastated the east African nation in 1994.

The best screenplay prize, also 1.5 million yen, went to Chance, a Colombian-Panamanian production from Abrair Benaim. The same amount was won by Swedish director Andreas Ohman for the special jury prize.

“We are very pleased and surprised that the quality of the films is getting higher and higher year by year,” said Koshiro Okamura, vice chairperson of the festival and mayor of host city, Kawaguchi.

The best director prize of 500,000 yen went to Vanja d’Alcantara of Poland for Beyond the Steppes.

Japan’s Kenji Kohashi won access to Skip City’s suite of production facilities and help with distribution, for his feature, Don’t Stop!

All cash prizes at the festival, which has been running since 2004, are provided by Sony and its subsidiaries.

The festival received 494 entries from 81 countries, from which 12 were chosen for screening.