Joël Karekezi

Joël Karekezi (born December 12, 1985) is a Rwandese screenwriter, film director and film producer. His short film The Pardon, about reconciliation after the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsis, won the Golden Impala award at the Amakula Film Festival in Uganda.[1] A feature version was made in 2011,[2] and shown at the Göteborg International Film Festival, and later at other international film festivals including Seattle International Film Festival (2013), Chicago International Film Festival and FESPACO.[3]

Joël Karekezi
Karekezi in 2012
Karekezi Joël

(1985-12-12) 12 December 1985 (age 35)
EducationMaisha Film Lab
Years active2009–present

Life and educationEdit

Karekezi was born in Rubavu, Rwanda. His father died during the genocide, after this event he took refuge in the Congo, where he found one of his cousins.[4][5] He learnt screenwriting at the Maisha Film Lab in 2009;[1] he holds a diploma in film directing from the Canadian online film school CineCours.[6]


After attending the Maisha Film Lab, Karekezi directed his short film The Pardon, which won The Golden Impala award at Amakula Film Festival in Uganda. In 2010 it was shown at the Durban International Film Festival, the Images That Matter Short Film Festival in Ethiopia, the Kenya International Film Festival, the Zanzibar International Film Festival and the Silicon Valley African Film Festival in California, where it won the Best Short Film award.[1]

Karekezi made a feature version, Imbabazi: The Pardon, based on the same characters. It was made on a low budget and filmed in Uganda.[3]

In 2013 Karekezi was working on "Mercy of the Jungle", which was presented in the Fabrique des cinemas du Monde at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. The script of "Mercy of the Jungle" won the CFI Best Audiovisual Award for the most promising audiovisual project at the Durban FilmMart in 2012.[3]

His other films include: Les jeunes à la poursuite du travail, 2009;Survivor, 2010; and Ntukazime Nararokotse, 2010.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Karekezi is fluent in French.[7][8]


Year Title Credited as Notes Ref(s)
Director Writer Producer
2009 The Pardon Yes Yes Short film
2013 Imbabazi: The Pardon Yes Yes Yes
2018 The Mercy of the Jungle Yes Yes Yes


  1. ^ a b c 1. Film Director, Writer & Producer. Accessed June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Biography and filmography of Joel Karakezi, Director (Rwanda). VOD Accessed June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Joseph Njata (4 may 2013). Karekezi invited to Seattle International Film Festival. The New Times (Rwanda). Accessed June 2014.
  4. ^ "Joel Karekezi - The Mercy Of The Jungle - L'Interview - FIFF 2018". YouTube. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Joël Karekezi • Director". Cineuropa. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Joel Karekezi". Neon Rouge Productions. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Joel Karekezi - The Mercy Of The Jungle - L'Interview - FIFF 2018". YouTube. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Rencontre avec Joel Karekezi Cinémondes 2014". YouTube. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2019.