The Arts Council, Inc. Logo - Location Address: 331 Spring Street SW, Gainesville, GA 30501The Arts Council, Inc. Phone Number 770-534-2787

Finding Hillywood

Thursday, Mar 6, 2014
Film Screening @ 7PM
Doors Open @ 6:30PM

Meet the filmmakers reception following movie

University of North
Georgia | Dahlonega
Hoag Student Center

Tickets: $7 Adult, $5 Students;
$5 Seniors (65+)


The Arts Council, Inc. and The University of North Georgia present the independent feature film "Finding Hillywood" with Director and Producer Leah Warshawski as part of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers at The University of North Georgia | Dahlonega - Hoag Student Center on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Ticket price includes the movie and the Meet the Filmmaker Q&A session following the film screening.

Run time: 58 minutes


In Hillywood (Rwanda’s film industry named for the country’s rolling hills) there is a blossoming film community. As Rwanda is still healing from the wounds of a cultural genocide almost 20 years ago, cinema has become a way for artists to express themselves and create cultural discussion. Finding Hillywood efficiently introduces the major players who set the beginning of the industry in motion. Eric Kabera founded the Kwetu Film Institute, directed the first Rwandan feature, and created the Rwanda Film Festival. Ayuub Kasasa Mago is a renaissance man within the industry, equally adept at directing, acting, scouting, or “fixing” just about anything a production might need. While it is easy to see that Eric is the heart of the industry, as the film continues Ayuub comes to represent its soul with his all-encompassing passion. Seattle filmmakers Leah Warshawski and Chris Towey have created a stirring documentary that functions as a Rwandan history lesson but also reveals the power of media as a catalyst for cultural healing. The film’s final act takes a breathtaking final turn as Hillywood connects the people of Rwanda with the goose bumps of seeing their culture represented on the biggest screen available.

A film about the very beginning of Rwanda’s film industry, and the power of cinema to heal a man and a nation.




"FINDING HILLYWOOD gives me goose-bumps. In an era of mega-budgets and special effects, here’s a fascinating, compelling, and universal story about the power of…story. It reminds me of why some of us became film-makers, and why all of us became film-lovers."
- Phil Alden Robinson, Writer / Director, FIELD OF DREAMS

“Finding Hillywood provided our audiences with a vision of creativity that explores not just the extraordinary cultural awareness of the birth of the Rwandan film industry but also the primal need we all have to share our experiences artistically with others.”
- Dustin Kaspar, Educational Programs Manager / SIFF programmer



Jyllian Gunther - The New PublicLeah Warshawski is a first-time feature director who specializes in producing documentary-style video content, television shows and short films in remote parts of the world. To date, Leah has filmed in over 30 countries around the world. She has a BA in Japanese language from the University of Hawaii and has worked on a number of Japanese commercials as well as the network television show I Survived a Japanese Game Show. Before developing Finding Hillywood, Leah worked in Hawaii in the marine department for major features and shows including The Rundown, Hawaii, Baywatch and Lost. She is currently in development for a documentary feature about her 87-year old grandmother (and Holocaust survivor) called Big Sonia. Leah is most passionate about storytelling and adventure travel.


University of North Georgia College logo

The opinions expressed in this film do not necessarily reflect the views of The Arts Council or The University of North Georgia.

The Southern Circuit Tour of independent Filmmakers is a program of South Arts. This screening is supported in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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