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Finding Hillywood

USA | 2013 | 57 minutes | Chris Towey, Leah Warshawski

Hillywood, the Rwandan film industry, is given the spotlight in this affectionate portrait featuring the filmmaking community, the blossoming film festival culture, and the joy of the people as they experience Rwandan cinema on the big screen.

May 29, 2013
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
7:00 PM Date has passed
June 5, 2013
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
4:00 PM Date has passed
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In Hillywood (Rwanda’s film industry named for the country’s rolling hills) there is a blossoming film community. As Rwanda is still healing from the wounds of a cultural genocide almost 20 years ago, cinema has become a way for artists to express themselves and create cultural discussion. Finding Hillywood efficiently introduces the major players who set the beginning of the industry in motion. Eric Kabera founded the Kwetu Film Institute, directed the first Rwandan feature, and created the Rwanda Film Festival. Ayuub Kasasa Mago is a renaissance man within the industry, equally adept at directing, acting, scouting, or “fixing” just about anything a production might need. While it is easy to see that Eric is the heart of the industry, as the film continues Ayuub comes to represent its soul with his all-encompassing passion. Local Seattle filmmakers Leah Warshawski and Chris Towey have created a stirring documentary that functions as a Rwandan history lesson but also reveals the power of media as a catalyst for cultural healing. The film’s final act takes a breathtaking final turn as Hillywood connects the people of Rwanda with the goosebumps of seeing their culture represented on the biggest screen available.

Director Biography
Leah Warshawski is a first-time feature director who specializes in producing documentary-style video content, television shows and short films in remote parts of the world. She is passionate about storytelling and adventure travel.Chris Towey is an accomplished director of photography, best known for recent projects including Bear Trek (2013) and Trade Off (2000). He works with major networks and producers around the globe.

Sponsored in part by Delta Air Lines, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Women In Film - Seattle

Packaged Films

Behind the Word

A young student finds her lack of english brings her considerable ridicule from her classmates.


A father learns a valuable lesson from his sons.
Director: Chris Towey, Leah Warshawski
Premier Status: World
Country: USA, Rwanda
Year: 2013
Running Time: 57 minutes
Producer: Leah Warshawski, Chris Towey
Screenplay: Christina Ruddy
Cinematographers: Chris Towey
Editors: Eric Frith
Music: Zain Effendi
Website: http://www.findinghillywood.com/
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: English
Format: HDCAM
International Sales: Inflatable Films
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