Alrick Brown's debut film "Kinyarwanda" tops Japanese fest

Tokyo — U.S. helmer Alrick Brown’s debut feature “Kinyarwanda” won Japan’s Skip City D-Cinema Festival Grand Prize on Sunday.

Set in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, the pic focuses on Hutu Muslims who resisted joining the massacre of Tutsis.

Belgian helmer Vanja d’Alcantara took the director prize for “Beyond the Steppes,” about a Polish mother sent with her baby to the Russian steppes in 1940. Panamanian helmer Abner Benaim picked up the screenplay prize for family comedy “Chance.”

Swedish comedy “Simple Simon,” helmed by Andreas Ohman, won the Special Jury Prize.

Helmer Kenji Kohashi’s road docu “Don’t Stop,” about a disabled Japanese man who dreams of crossing the U.S. on a Harley despite having lost the use of his legs, won the Skip City Award and was selected by the Skip City D-Cinema Project, which supports the theatrical release of competition pics.

Unspooling in the Tokyo satellite city of Kawaguchi, the fest’s eighth edition presents digital pics by young helmers worldwide.

Skip City is a multipurpose media center for professionals and the public. It includes a video archive and museum as well as screening and post-production facilities.

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