The Film Francophone d’Angoulême, an annual French film festival, on Wednesday, September 2 awarded Isabelle Kabano as the Best Actress for her role in the movie “Petit Pays” by a Rwandan-French rapper and author, Gael Faye.
Founded by Dominique Besnehard in 2008, the annual film festival is held in Angoulême, France as a showcase for all kinds of francophone works and recognizes the bestselling French movies in French-speaking countries.
Kabano was recognized during the awarding ceremony marking the conclusion of the six-day festival held from August 28 through September 2, in Paris, France.
The prize is a big win for the Petit Pays film which won a prize for the very first time it has been submitted at international festivals.
After being announced as the winner of the prize, Kabano who acts in Petit Pays as Yvonne said she couldn’t believe how an actress like her from Rwanda winning such a big prize while there are so many international actors who also acted excellently in the same movie.
“When the book went on the Rwandan market, I was the first to read it and its story really touched me. I was so excited to play a principal role in its film and I am so excited about such a big prize like this because it is my very first prize as an actress” she told The New Times.
Directed by French Film Director, Éric Barbier, ‘Petit Pays’ is a movie about the author’s recollection of the civil war in Burundi in 1993, and subsequently, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The story revolves around a group of five boys aged 11 to 14 growing up in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura. Their childhood life is a paradise; they live near nature, in a friendly atmosphere and then, war breaks out.
One of the characters, Gabriel, tries to stay away; he doesn’t want to be a Hutu or a Tutsi. He just wants to remain a child. He finds that his way to avoid violence is to read books. In spite of his effort, however, the war is a reality he has to face.
Reacting on Kabano’s international recognition, author Gael Faye, congratulated her over the award after her excellent acting role in the film whose book version also won the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, a French literary award created in 1987 as a sort of younger prestigious prize for French-language literature.
“I am happy, proud and moved to learn this evening that the 2020 edition of the Film Francophone d’Angoulême has just awarded the prize for best actress to Isabelle Kabano for her role as Yvonne in ‘Petit Pays’ directed by Éric Barbier,” posted Gael Faye on his social media platforms.
Kabano previously acted in different famous Rwandan movies like ‘Shake Hands with the Devil’, ‘Sometimes in April’ and ‘Operation Turquoise’, among others.
Credit to New Times.