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Yuhi Amuli talks about his love for cinema

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As a child, Yuhi Amuli was exposed to many career choices. He started out wanting to become a Catholic priest, then a medical doctor, then a lawyer.

It was not until he completed High School that the love for motion pictures started to creep up in him. That’s when he started to think seriously about the prospects of pursuing a career in filmmaking.

The decision paid off in due time, and today Amuli is a fast-rising screenwriter and film director based in Kigali.

So far, he has written and directed two short films; Ishaba, and The Mermaid. He also shares the credits for a handful of short films as Assistant Director, Producer, soundman and actor.

Today, Amuli is engrossed in the post-production of a feature film he is working on in collaboration with Mutiganda Wa Nkunda, another young filmmaker based here in Kigali. He is concurrently working on the pre-production for his upcoming short film, Amapfa.

“I am a director and screenwriter, but I occasionally star in my own films and help out my fellow filmmakers as an assistant director and Producer,” he reveals.

“What I like most about filmmaking is that it is a coalition of different forms of arts; photography, writing, music, poetry, etc. I enjoy so much the process of bringing all those forms together to “create” something new and bigger.”

In 2016, he landed his first major international film gig when he was invited to the Amien International Film Festival in France, and later in the same year, to the Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt.

His short film, Ishaba has been screened at various film festivals around the globe, including The Rwanda Film Festival, where it won an award for the best film on Africa in July 2016.

Amuli was born in Kigali, but raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He was eight years old when he moved to Nkombo Island (in Rusizi District), where he did his primary studies. He then started his high school studies at Junior Seminary saint Aloys in Cyangugu, and ended it at a science school at Nkanka in Rusizi.

After his secondary studies, he enrolled at a law school in Gisenyi, but dropped out two years later in 2014 and fully dedicated himself to cinema.

His all-time favourite film is Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid:

“It’s a film that frequently comes to my mind since the day I watched it. It conveys the message without much dialogue in an extraordinary way.”

Asked what his eyes are on at the moment he said:

“For now, I want to win an important award at one of the big five film festivals in the world.”