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Grey Matter

World Narrative Competition

World Premiere

Australia, Rwanda | 100 MINUTES | Kinyarwanda, French |



Balthazar is a young African filmmaker on the brink of directing his first project, The Cycle of the Cockroach, a fictional story about a young woman who survived unspeakable atrocities only to find herself committed to the same mental institution as a man driven insane by the crimes he perpetrated during the war. Potential funders for the film insist the themes are too bleak and pessimistic—they encourage Balthazar to make a "message" film that raises awareness about gender-based violence or HIV/AIDS instead. But he refuses to give up. Instead of telling his production team the news, Balthazar continues preparations for the film without financing or equipment. After rehearsing a scene with each of the characters, reality blurs and scenes from the script materialize, provoking the question: Can a film like this exist only in the director's dreams?

Armed with a daring and creative visual language, writer/director Kivu Ruhorahoza boldly grasps at the illusory trick of representation in the wake of trauma and its ensuing madness. Paralleling the protagonist in his film, Ruhorahoza's debut marks the very first feature-length narrative film directed by a Rwandan filmmaker living in his homeland.


Co-hosted by

Image Nation


Directed by Kivu Ruhorahoza

KIVU RUHORAHOZA was born in Kigali, Rwanda. His short films have screened at Rotterdam and Venice. He has made experimental documentaries, including the Parade of One music films with New York saxophonist Jeremy Danneman. Kivu is writing his first novel and a screenplay about a young gay man lost in an African city. This is his first feature film.
Executive Producer
Dominic Allen, Joel Betts
Kivu Ruhorahoza
Kivu Ruhorahoza
Antonio Rui Ribeiro
Kivu Ruhorahoza, Dominic Allen
Director of Photography
Ari Wegner
Eugene Safari
Primary Cast
Ruth Shanel Nirere, Shami Bizimana, Hervé Kimenyi, Jean Paul Uwayezu, Natasha Muziramakenga, Kennedy Mazimpaka


Sales Contact
Dominic Allen
Scarab Studio Films
Richmond, 3121
Phone: +61.3.9421.2642
Press Contact
Kivu Ruhorahoza
POV Production
Kigali, BP 2401
Phone: +25 078 304 73 85