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Shooting Dogs, film about the Rwandan genocide premieres in Rwanda

Rwanda's Minister of Culture, Joseph Habineza, has welcomed the news that Michael Caton-Jones' "Shooting Dogs", the feature film about the Rwandan genocide, will have its premiere in Rwanda's main stadium in front of a vast audience of local people later this spring.
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring John Hurt and Hugh Dancy, this powerful and compelling film is the latest to have been made about events that occurred in 1994 when more than 800,000 Rwandans were killed in less than three months.

It is a powerful and emotional true story of a massacre that took place during the Rwandan genocide at a secondary school in Kigali after the UN had abandoned it. One of the remarkable aspects of the film is that it was shot in the actual location depicted in the film, giving it a particular authenticity. Uniquely, "Shooting Dogs" was made with the participation of many of those who were actual survivors of the genocide.

"I am delighted that "Shooting Dogs" will be shown in Kigali," said Minister Habineza. "The filmmaking was a most rewarding experience for the thousands of Rwandans who participated. The story that is told in the film is an important contribution to this country's recent history and I believe can help in the process of reconciliation that we have been building in Rwanda for more than a decade," he said.

"The tragedy of the Rwandan genocide is a story that must be told and there is plenty of room for more than one story about the events that took place in 1994,' said director Michael Caton-Jones. "But obviously, I am particularly pleased that we went to Rwanda to make "Shooting Dogs" and by filming in the actual locations where this particular story took place we were able to give the film an authenticity and power that would be very difficult to reproduce elsewhere."
It will be an emotional return for the British director and producers who spent last summer working with several thousand Rwandans on the film.

"I am very very excited by what we have achieved - it's a piece of work of which I am immensely proud and I am looking forward very much to returning to Kigali to show it to the people who were so instrumental in helping make it happen,' he added. "It was an extraordinary time for the whole cast and crew to work in Rwanda and I think it shows in the final film which is a highly emotional and moving experience. We were all driven by our determination to show what really happened here eleven years ago," said producer David Belton, who co-authored the original story and was a journalist in Rwanda during the genocide. "Basically the UN and the West abandoned Rwanda when it was in a position to stop the slaughter. I am glad to see that Africa is again back in the public eye but the question is, has anything really changed?" Belton added.

"Eleven years ago the West was avoiding calling the massacres in Rwanda a genocide since that would mean not having to intervene. On the radio recently we hear Kofi Annan saying similar things about Darfur - denying that what is going on is a genocide and a reason to intervene further. Meanwhile Africans are continuing to die," says Pippa Cross, a fellow producer of Shooting Dogs and the executive producer of the award-winning "Bloody Sunday".

The film reunites John Hurt with director, Michael Caton-Jones after their success together with "Scandal" and "Rob Roy". It also stars Hugh Dancy, of "King Arthur".
"I fervently hope this film will make people question the West's role in Africa's future," added David Belton.

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