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Claude Lee Sadik

Student in Digital Media & Communications - Manchester (UK).
Videographer, Motion Graphic Artist and Website Designer.

synopsis illustration

1994 : There is civil war in Burundi, a small country of Central Africa directly bordering Rwanda. A near genocidal confrontation opposes rebels mainly composed of ethnic Hutus and a national army with a majority of Tutsis.

This short film relates a sadly frequent episode of this fratricidal conflict: the attack by rebels of a minivan carrying ordinary citizens. A Kalashnikov bursts out. The bus stops, the passengers get off. An order is barked: “Hutus to the left, Tutsis to the right!”
The sorting out begins. But who is a Hutu, who is a Tutsi? This story is entirely based on real people and situations. It was written by a person who has lived in the beauty of Burundi and suffered its horrors.
With emotion, suspense and humour it exposes the absurdity of ethnic and racial strife.

"NA WEWE" (pronounce "Na wayway") means "You too" in Kirundi.

When a blind man gives something to see

The genesis of this film starts with a dramatic event that is to mark the destiny of its author. August 1995... It is war in Burundi. Jean-Luc Pening, an agricultural engineer, leaves his plantation and crosses the path of a military patrol. Everything capsizes. A man approaches and draws a gun, places it on his temple, and shoots point blank. The bullet tears through Jean-Luc’s head. When he wakes up, it is all black... He has forever lost his eyesight. 15 years later, Jean-Luc denounces the absurdity of a conflict that made 300,000 victims. Wishing to highlight this often ill-known genocidal war, he chooses to share the images that he has stored in his mind... He writes a script.

Camera !

When an agronomist “tries his hand” at culture...

Today, after the events that disrupted his life, Jean-Luc wants to “plant” differently. He wants to sow words to inspire pictures he will no doubt never see but from which will emerge, so he hopes, a broader, deeper vision of the relationship between men. But, without eyesight or cinematographical experience, he cannot act on his own. He thus turns to Ivan Goldschmidt, a film director and a theatre stage director. In conjunction with “CUT !” on the French side, “A Private View” on the Flemish part, and “Menya Media” in Burundi, they together materialise its production between Brussels, Ghent and Bujumbura.
They fine-tune the screenplay and come up with NAWEWE, an essentially human story, devoid of rancour, that delicately avoids speaking of Jean-Luc himself. It is about others, torn by rifts, boundaries and ethnic affiliations, their origins often confused and thrust upon them by the absurdity of their own history that mostly escapes them.

It is all about that absurdity. The absurdity of labelling, the absurdity of fitting into categories, the absurdity of ethnic conflicts in the face of history that has not stopped confusing the issue by making Burundi a crossroads of exchange and misgenation... Today, in the wake of mixing communities, it becomes clear that the question “Who is a Hutu, who is a Tutsi?” is no part of an exact science. It is not without a pinch of irony that Jean-Luc and Ivan deal with this grave subject that one cannot refrain from linking to some other realities, including Belgium’s...

Wishing faithfully to reflect the reality of the times, the film was shot on the location of the rebellion itself. Except for Renaud Rutten, a Belgian actor, the film’s 26 other characters were chosen on the spot. All of them have been more or less closely confronted with the trauma of war. They have each lost relatives and been exposed to death and fear. They all involved themselves with passion in the making of the film and lived it as a catharsis. Its shooting was a focus of exchange and emotion. Often, tongues loosened and stories were exchanged.

Among the protagonists, there were Hutus, Tutsis, Christians, Muslims, city inhabitants and hill dwellers, child-soldiers and former rebels. Most of them were not actors and didn’t know the word “fiction”. And for good cause – NA WEWE was one of the very first ones to be shot in that country.

Action !

When a “short” has long ambitions

Burundi has remained in the shadow of the Rwandan drama. No fiction film has referred to it and the public is nearly totally oblivious of its history. In its own way, NA WEWE modestly attempts to contribute to spreading the word about this country and the events that occurred there. In their momentum, Jean-Luc and Ivan wished to go beyond the production of an 18 minute film:

*The script has won unanimous adhesion on both the Burundian and the Belgian side, enlisting the support of the French-speaking Community of Belgium, the Flemish Audio- Visual Fund, but also –- a more exceptional occurrence – the wholehearted backing of the Burundian Ministry of Culture and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

*Advantage was taken of the presence of Belgian film professionals in this area struck by twelve years of conflict to offer fiction film training to the young in quest of professionalization. Unesco was approached and granted its aid.

*To be noted that the RTBF (Belgian French-speaking Radio and Television) became interested in the project and in its identity theme that echoes the Belgian intercommunity problem. The national TV chain is therefore preparing a documentary on the “NA WEWE” adventure.

“NA WEWE” means “You too” in Kirundi, so we hope that you too will hear the echo that we wished would bounce between life and death, sense and nonsense, laughter and tears, Hutus and Tutsis, Flemings and Walloons, black and white, picture and sound, light and ...darkness...

Cut !

award nominee


  • « Meilleur court-métrage catégorie : droits de l’homme ». Festival Salento (Italie).
  • « Best Human right film » Badalona (Espagne). Un superbe prix octroyé par la Fédération des ONG Catalanes pour les Droits Humains. Une fédération qui rassemble 30 associations actives dans la défense des droits humains. NA WEWE a l'honneur d'être projeté lors de la très festive cérémonie de remise des prix.
  • « Best Editing » Festilabfesival Brescia (Italie).
  • « Meilleur Court-Métrage » Fest. de Cine Internacional Ourense (Espagne).
  • « Prix du meilleur film des droits Humains » Almeria (Espagne).
  • "Best short film " et "Best East African Film" Kigali, (Rwanda).

Pour un total de 25 prix internationaux.
Autres sources de satisfaction :

  • Exceptionnel : le film est entré à la Sorbonne (Paris). il a été intégré à sa bibliothèque dans le cadre de son programme de recherche sur « les sorties de conflits »
  • La rTBF (Radio Télévision Belge) publie un superbe DVD avec le film, le documentaire "Pour une balle dans la tête" et le making off du film + en extra, les photos de Philippe Vandendriesse. Disponible à la FNAC et autres.
  • Sybille Cishahayo, notre assistante, réussit avec distinction un master en gestion de production à l'IAD (Belgique). La succession est assurée.
  • NA WEWE continue sa tournée dans les écoles et les centres culturels. Pour répondre aux nombreuses demandes, Jean-Luc Pening propose des conférences-débats autour de la projection du film aux écoles et autres associations de tous ordres. Voir lien brochure de présentation. N'hésitez pas à le contacter si vous êtes intéressé.


  • Décembre «International Izmir Short Film Festival », Turquie.
  • Décembre «International Comedy Film Festival » Berlin, Allemagne.
  • Novembre «Sequence short-film Festival», Toulouse, France.
  • Novembre «Filmets Badalona Film Festival», Barcelona, Espagne.
  • Novembre «EUShorts Festival», Budapest, Hongrie.
  • Octobre «Ourense International Film Festival, Espagne.
  • Octobre «Ojia Film Festival», Californie, USA.
  • Octobre «Granada Int young Filmakers Festival », Grenade, Espagne.
  • Octobre «Sedicicorto International Film Festival », Forli – Italie.
  • Octobre «FilmLabFestival», Forli – Italie
  • Septembre «Favourites Film Festival» Berlin, Allemagne.


Accueil exceptionnel du film au Rwanda à l’occasion du « Rwanda Films Festival » NA WEWE fait l’ouverture du festival en présence du ministre de la Culture et reçois deux « Hillywood Awards », deux statuettes représentant des gorilles aux dos argentés, des « Silver back Awards ». Le prix ‘Best short film » et le prix « Best East African Film ».


  • «Salento FinibusTerrae», Italie.
  • «River Film Festival», Italie.
  • «Festival du film de Lama».
  • «Festival Cinefiesta». Puerto Rico.
  • «Maremetraggio - International Short Film Festival», Italie.
  • Juin Sélection au «Jerusalem International Film Festival», Israel.
  • Juin Sélection au «KALIBER35 Munich Int'l Short Film Festival», Allemagne.
  • Juin Sélection au «Cinema Jove International Festival», Espagne.
  • Juin Sélection au «International Film Festival of Setúbal», Portugal.


Une sélection en Croatie au premier Postira Seaside Festival


Na Wewe reçoit le prix UNESCO des droits humains au festival de Salerno,Italie. Une superbe reconnaissance.


Third place in the narrative category at the UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (BTUFF) New York City. May 2011


Winston-Salem, NC, USA : “Na Wewe” won an award at the RiverRun International Film Festival. The award is entitled “Honorable Mention - Best Narrative Short” and was awarded by a Narrative Shorts jury which was made up of industry representatives from around the country.

NAWEWE at the BTUFF - May 3rd - 7th 2011

Na wewe in competition at BEFILM THE UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (BTUFF) New York City Projections at manhattan from 3rd to 7th of may 2011.

NAWEWE at the Saguenay - March 9th to 13th 2011

Festival Regard sur le court métrage au Saguenay dont la 15e édition se tiendra du 9 au 13 mars 2011.

NAWEWE at the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival - March 24th - April 3rd, 2011

35th Cleveland International Film Festival. Be a Hero. Be a Rebel. Be a Lover. Be part of the story. March 24- April 3, 2011 Tower City Cinemas USA

Message from Belgium consulate of Atlanta

"Les Consulats concernés d’Atlanta organisent chaque année depuis 12 ans un Festival de la francophonie au cours duquel une demi-douzaine de films francophones récents sont proposés au public. Le film Na-Wewe a été sélectionné pour participer au lancement du Festival, qui aura lieu le vendredi 25 mars prochain dans l’enceinte du prestigieux HIGH MUSEUM (voir : d’Atlanta.
Je renvoie à ce sujet au site web :, en cours d’élaboration."

NAWEWE at the 16th edition of the Shadowline FestivalCultureGiovani - April 13th - 17th 2011

We are very pleased to announce that the shortfilm NAWEWE has been selected to take part in the 16th edition of the Shadowline FestivalCultureGiovani. The film will be in the “CortoEuropa” section of the festival’s official competition in Salerno from April 13th – 17th 2011.

NA WEWE at the 2011 Nashville Film Festival - 14 - 21 April 2011

We are pleased to inform you that your film, You Too (Na Wewe), has been selected for the 2011 Nashville Film Festival, held April 14-21, in the Narrative Short category. Your film was selected from more than 2,400 entries because of its quality and because we felt it best suited our mission and our local audience.

Testimonies from professionals - Post Oscars ceremony

"I just wanted to let you know that I think the Academy got it wrong and Na Wewe should have won hands down! Anyways, it has been such a pleasure and privilege to have the opportunity to work on your film and with you both. I know that you will be back to shake Oscar's hand in person in the near future, but the fact that you received this nomination and the world's press knows Na Wewe is an amazing accomplishment!
Again, it has been a privilege and I look forward to walking you down the Red Carpet next time! Enjoy the rest of your stay in Los Angeles, Warmest regards," Cheri

Testimonies from professionals - Post Oscars ceremony, Mexico

Hola Ivan,
please receive a warm saludo from Mexico! I'm writing you on behalf of The Guanajuato International Film Festival Expresión en Corto. The festival offers a platform that celebrates a new generation of filmmakers. Last year, we received submissions from over 90 countries and attracted over 83,000 festival attendees to enjoy cinema during the event.
We are presently looking for quality short films, documentaries and debut features to compete during this year's fourteenth edition of our festival that will be celebrated in the amazingly beautiful colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato Capital from July 22nd –31st, 2011. Your production NAWEWE was recently brought to our attention and we would like you to consider participating in our competition as we feel it would be a great opportunity for you to explore and be known on the Latin American market....


NA WEWE a été officiellement nominé aux oscars 2011! Rendez-vous le 27 février 2011 à Hollywood (Los Angeles)! Bujawood goes to Hollywood.


sélection de Na Wewe pour la 27ème édition du festival international de cinéma Vues d’Afrique qui aura lieu du 29 avril au 8 mai 2011 à Montréal, Québec et Ottawa.
Diffusion en compétition pour le Prix Radio-Canada de la Communication Interculturelle court métrage (sélection internationale Fiction).


Premier festival à Kampot au Cambodge après Pol pot.


Na wewe participe à la Compétition Internationale du Festival du Court Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand 2011 du 4 au 12 février 2011.


Eddy Muyanza, machino, a réalisé un docu-fiction intitulé « Histoire d’une haine manquée ». Documentaire déjà sélectionné à 3 festivals dont le très célèbre FESPACO 2011. Félicitations ! : Histoire d'une haine manquée
Thierry chef casting travaille actuellement sur le documentaire international MORINGA (voir


"Congratulations! Na Wewe was acknowledged at Flickerfest with an Honourable Mention in the International Film category."
"Thank you for participating in Flickerfest, we loved Na Wewe and we were so pleased to see it acknowledged!"


"Your film Na Wewe has been selected for the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival 2011 in competition. Flickerfest is Australia's leading and only Academy® Accredited and BAFTA Recognised international short film festival and we are delighted to be able to include your film in our programme."


NA WEWE est sélectionné parmi les 10 films short-listés pour participer à la course aux OSCARS 2011 !


Découvrez les talents du compositeur de la musique du film et la poésie du scénariste en commandant leurs CD.
« Coeur de Tambour » de Jérémie hakeshimana ou « dis t’as vu » de Jean-Lluc (15 chansons). Cliquez ici pour en savoir plus


Sélection au onzième Festival du Film Court francophone de Vaulx-en-Velin, France du 15 au 22 janvier 2011.


TISFF, THESS INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL of the city of Thessaloniki is a new festival and this was its 4th year. It is a festival having as target and objective the best cinema in shorts from all over the world. And from its first years acquired a reputation for its high quality cinema. This year, NA WEWE was one of our top selections! You can find out more about TISFF at our FaceBook profile ( THESS INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL) and our site

SOIREE SPECIALE BURUNDI - 27 novembre 2010

Le 27 novembre aura lieu au Rayon Vert (Bruxelles) une soirée festive avec projection du film et super concert de Jérémie Hakeshimana à l'occasion du lancement de son nouvel album. En "première partie" : Jean-Luc Pening qui chantera quelque unes de ses chansons. Les fonds récoltés seront versés à Menya Media International et ses projets au Burundi.

Bilan au 22 Novembre

Prix reçus:

  • Premier prix à tübingen
  • Deuxième prix à Berlin
  • Classé Top 10 en Grèce
  • Prix du public à Bruxelles
  • Prix des auteurs à Bruxelles
  • Prix ciné-court à Paris
  • Prix de la presse à Namur
  • Prix TV à Namur

Depuis mai : participation à 15 festivals au Canada, en Afrique, en Europe, en Europe de l’Est ... Bientôt l’Asie ?


NA WEWE reçoit le deuxième prix au festival International du court-métrage de Berlin.


Na wewe est invité à participer au 26ème International Short Film Festival interfilm à Berlin du 16 au 21 November 2010.

NA WEWE EN ESTONIE - 21 au 24 novembre 2010

The 11th Student and Short Film Festival Sleepwalkers (Tallinn, Estonia) is happy to announce that Your film "You Too" has been selected to the International Professional Short Film Competition Program 2010. Overall we received more than 1200 entries from more than 50


Au festival Médias 10 10 de Namur, sur les 6 prix remis aux fictions, NA WEWE reçoit le Prix de la Presse et le Prix Be TeVe.

FESTIVAL MEDIAS 10 10 DE NAMUR - 14 au 20 novembre 2010

En compétition au 32 ème festival Médias 10 10 de Namur Belgique, du 14 au 20 novembre 2010.


Nawewe remporte le grand prix au festival de Tubingen-stutgart (Allemagne)

EN COMPETITION AU FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE Tübingen-Stuttgart (Allemagne) - 4 au 10 novembre 2010

Na wewe participe à la Compétition Internationale des courts métrages du festival international du film francophone de Tübingen-Stuttgart, du 4 au 10 novembre 2010.

Prix SACD - 7 novembre 2010

Ivan Goldschmidt et Jean-Luc Pening reçoivent le prix SACD des Auteurs au festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles, Belgique


Na wewe a été sélectionné dans le cadre de la Compétition nationale du 37e Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles.Cette compétition se déroulera du 3 au 5 novembre 2010 au Centre Culturel Jacques Franck (Chaussée de Waterloo, 94 - 1060 Bruxelles). Horaires sur :


Na wewe est en compétition au festival international du Kenya. Projection à l’Aliance Française de Nairobi le 29 octobre 2010.


Le centre du cinéma de la Communauté française de Belgique programme 1h30 de courts-métrages belges francophones dans le cadre du weekend « Cinéma Troïka » au BOZAR. (Mise à l'honneur des cinématographies des 3 pays partageant la présidence du conseil de l'Union européenne de janvier 2010 à juin 2011: Espagne, Belgique, Hongrie ) :
La projection aura lieu le dimanche 24 octobre à 12h00 dans la salle "Studio" du Palais des Beaux-Art de Bruxelles.


24e édition du festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie du 23 septembre au 2 octobre. Le film est en compétition officielle pour le prix du public du meilleur court métrage international.


Dans le cadre de ses programmes de court-métrages mensuels Courts du Jour, Courts du Soir, l'Aremberg Bruxelles a programmé NAWEWE lors de la séance du mardi 21 septembre prochain (12h00 et 18h30).


Le 6 septembre passage dans le cadre du Filmfestival Oostende (Belgique)

NAWEWE AU PERCÉIDES - 19 au 21 aout 2010

NA WEWE participe au festival de cinéma LES PERCÉIDES – 2e ÉDITION à Percé (Canada) du 19 au 21 août 2010 .

NAWEWE au Festival Off courts de Tourville - 3 au 11 Aout 2010

Du 3 au 11 septembre NAWEWE participe au Festival Off courts de Trouville (France).


Na wewe reçoit le prix Ciné-courts lors du festival «Le Court en dit long» organisé par le Centre Wallonie Bruxelles de Paris.Prix offert par • CINECINEMA, partenaire officiel du


Article de Philipe Berkenbaum: Jean-Luc Pening, L'aveugle qui donne à voir


Ivan Goldschmidt reçoit le prix du public pour NA WEWE au festival du court-métrage de Bruxelles !


Article de Nicolas Crousse: Les grands cinéastes belges de demain

NA WEWE A LEUVEN - 1er Mai 2010

Le 1er mai NA WEWE est projeté à Leuven lors de la soirée de clôture du festival du film Africain Accueil très favorable du public et des professionnels ! Merci les Guido.


Entre le 30 avril et le 9 mai, NA WEWE participe à une compétition lors du festival du court-métrage de Bruxelles où il est projeté 3 fois.


Le 30 Avril 10 Concert de Jérémie et de Sybille à Leuven.


Le 25 avril 2010 première du film au centre culturel d'Uccle en présence du bourgmestre de la commune, de l'ambassadeur du Burundi en Belgique, de toute l'équipe technique et de plus de 300 amis et partenaires ! En suppléments : un concert de Jérémie et une expo des photos de Philippe Vandendriesse et de Jean-Luc Pening. Quelques photos officielles :


Avant-première au Burundi. Un très grand moment en présence du ministre burundais de la Jeunesse, des Sports et de la Culture, d'un représentant de la Présidence, de l'ambassadeur de Belgique qui offre un verre, du réalisateur et de son épouse, de l'auteur et de son épouse, des médias locaux et de tous les acteurs et techniciens. Le film est très bien accueilli par tous ! On parle de lui faire faire la tournée des écoles et universités pour lancer des dialogues sur l'appartenance éthnique ... Que du positif. Le 3 le film est montré aux familles des participants et aux amis toujours au CCF de Bujumbura. Merci aux sponsors et tous ceux qui ont soutenu ce projet ...

generique- ils l'ont fait

Produced and directed by
Ivan Goldschmidt
An idea by
Jean-Luc Pening (Menya Media - Burundi)
Written by
Jean-Luc Pening et Ivan Goldschmidt
Helped by
the audiovisual French-speaking Community of Belgium
and Télédistributeurs Wallons.
With the support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund
Belgium Minister of Foreign Affairs

A coproduction : Cut ! sprl – A Private View – RTBF (télévision belge) – Menya Media (Burundi)

Burundi is a country in Central Africa at the heart of the Great Lakes district. Among all neighbouring countries, Rwanda is the closest to Burundi because both of them share geographical, historical and human identities as well as similar languages.

Demographic and Linguistic Data

In 2005, the Burundian population was estimated at 7.8 million. Hutus represented 85%, Tutsis 14% and Twas (Pygmies) 1%. All original Burundians (whatever their ethnic background – Hutu, Tutsi or Twa) speak the same language, Kirundi. French, as a co-official language together with Kirundi, is essentially learnt at school and used in formal or official occasions.

Historical Data

Burundi and Rwanda have a common history, at least until their independence. Like Rwanda, Burundi is thought to have been populated towards the 8th century Batwas or Twas, a pygmy population of forest hunters. A few centuries later, an agricultural people, the Hutus, are reputed to have cohabitated with the Tutsis, pastors from the North, purported to have settled there between the 10th and the 15th centuries. From the 16th century onwards, the region organised itself in kingdoms each ruled by a Mwami (king). The Mwami was not entitled to exercise power on his own – hence the establishment of an entire political, administrative, social and economic system. In each district of the country, one would in principle find a chief of pastures (generally of Tutsi origin) for the raising of cattle, and a chief of lands (generally of Hutu origin); this “administration” was completed by a military organisation with army chiefs (generally recruited among the Tutsis). Burundi reached its maximum expansion under the rule of Mwami Ntare Rugamba (1796-1850). In his reign Burundian society was structured in two classes: the Tutsis and the Hutus. This division mainly mirrored social distinctions, for a Tutsi could become a Hutu and vice-versa. This distinction between Hutus and Tutsis was reinforced with the arrival of the German, and then the Belgian colonisers.

The German Protectorate

In 1858 the first Europeans arrived in Burundi. After 1879, catholic missions endeavoured to settle in the kingdom of Burundi and in 1890, the Germans managed to integrate Burundi and Rwanda into their possessions in eastern Africa. Careful not to spend too much on their far-flung possessions, the Germans chose a system of “indirect administration” that subjected the kingdom to their control. The German governor assumed the role of Mwami (king) but leaned mainly on the collaboration of local chiefs. The Germans already realised at the time that they should ally themselves with the Tutsis who dominated Burundian society. However, the Germans were unable to fulfil their “civilising aims” because of the loss of their colonies as a result of the first World War.

The Belgian Mandate and the Catholic Church

After the defeat of Germany in 1918, the Versailles Treaty handed over its colonies to the victors. Under a mandate from the League of Nations, Belgium was entrusted with the administration of Rwanda and Burundi. At the beginning of the Belgian mandate, its Administration took over the “indirect control” policy over Burundi and continued to lean on the authorities in place, i.e. the Mwami and the Tutsi aristocracy. The Catholic Church immediately repressed the traditional religion and favoured the Tutsis considered to be the “elite” of the country. They ensured their “conversion” to Catholicism while instilling in them the notion that they constituted the “feudal lords” (advanced and related to the white race) whereas the Hutus and their chiefs were “serfs” (Negroid and wild) destined to be dominated.

The myth of “advanced Tutsis” » and “Hutus born to obey” was meticulously conveyed during several decades by missionaries, teachers, intellectuals and academics who accredited this vision until the end of the sixties. The Belgians imposed the famous identity card (1933-34) with the ethnic mention Tutsi or Hutu, the effect of which was to stress the social distinction between the two groups that later transformed itself into “racial” segregation. The colonial administration even required that each owner of at least ten cows be considered a Tutsi, the others automatically remaining Hutus. That is when poor Tutsis became Hutus and rich Hutus became Tutsis. The two indigenous communities who had lived in peace for several centuries came to hate each other because of rivalries brought about by the white coloniser.

Decolonisation Trends and Changes of Ethnic Allegiance

After World War II, decolonisation movements reached Burundi and Rwanda. More educated and considering themselves capable of governing the country, the Tutsi elite came to desire the departure of the Belgians. On their part, the Hutus, while requesting that independence be delayed, denounced the “dual colonisation” of which they had been the victims: first, according to them, at the hands of the Tutsis, then at those of the Belgians). Feeling betrayed by their Tutsi elite that had become anti-colonialist, the colonial authorities and the Catholic Church decided in the early fifties to favour the Hutus, viewed as more submissive and malleable. The Tutsis were henceforth considered as « enemies » of the Church and the State. In 1959, in neighbouring Rwanda, a real “social revolution”, inspired by the lessons learnt from the Belgian authorities and the representatives of the Catholic Church, brought about the replacement of the “Tutsi minority rule” by the “Hutu majority rule”. Civil war broke out in Rwanda in 1959, Tutsis being hunted down and massacred by the thousands. In Burundi, Hutus hardly had the opportunity of gaining power. Worried by the situation in Rwanda, Tutsis in Burundi immediately moved first and seized power and the army. They let themselves be drawn into a spiral of repression, especially after the assassination of Louis Ragwasore in 1961, a charismatic leader opposed to racial discrimination who had been against any transposition of the Rwandan crisis into Burundi.

After Independance

Burundi reached independence on 1 July 1962. It became a constitutional monarchy, in a climate of ethnic conflict exacerbated by the Rwandan crisis. In fact independence marked the beginning of 30 years of political instability during which several coups by the Tutsi military and Hutu uprisings succeeded each other, followed by massive massacres of the rebels (1966, 1972, 1988, 1992).

From one Coup to the next

In 1966, the monarchy was abolished and the republic proclaimed by Tutsi Captain Michel Micombero who seized power and was designated president. After a Hutu uprising in 1972, the Tutsi army in a reflex of ethnic security massacred between 100,000 and 150,000 Hutus and excluded the Hutus from the country’s circles of power and administration. In 1976 a coup brought down Michel Micombero who was replaced by the Tutsi Jean-Baptiste Bagaza. He was himself replaced, manu militari, by one close to him, Colonel Pierre Buyoya in 1987. In June 1983 the first free elections took place. Melchior Ndadaye was the first Hutu president to be elected in Burundi and was murdered a few months later during a coup mounted by Tutsi military, which led to new massacres. The new president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, another Hutu, succeeded Ndadaye and strove to put an end to the repression conducted by the army dominated by the Tutsis. On 6 April 1994, he was killed in turn, along with Rwandan president, Juvénal Habyarimana, their plane being shot down by a missile over Kigali (in Rwanda). The ensuing genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda incensed the Tutsis in Burundi who on their part controlled the political power and the army in their country even if a Hutu president was kept in place. Since then, Burundi is prey to rampant civil war. In January 2000, loss of human life since 1994 was evaluated at over 300,000. In July 1996, former president Pierre Buyoya seized power and ousted the Hutu president. Neighbouring countries, followed by the international community, declared an embargo while various Hutu factions gained hold over several regions of the country.

The Arusha Agreement

On 28 September 2000, the UN Security Council was able to get an agreement accepted, in Arusha (Tanzania), on an official declaration requesting all Burundian parties to cease fighting and to implement the Arusha Agreement for peace in Burundi. Nevertheless, Burundi continued to live in terror while 800,000 persons were living in “regrouping camps”.

Notwithstanding the passing of power between president Buyoya and a Hutu president of the assassinated Hutu president’s party (FRODEBU), the rebellion has maintained the country in a state deadly of civil war.

Towards Democracy?

In 2005, new elections take place. Pierre Nkurunziza, a former rebel chief, is elected president. A long and difficult process of reconciliation an democratisation is evolving. But only in January 2009 does the last rebel faction sign the peace accords and deigns to lay down its arms. 2010 is a new cornerstone year with another presidential election.

Sources : Site of the University of Laval.
For further information: do not hesitate to consult the excellent site of the University of Laval : Université de Laval




Freddy, the man in gym gear

Hello, Jean-Luc ! My testimony on the shooting and the adventure of Nawewe is already to have had the good fortune of participating in this film, to have crossed the paths of people who love their job and who know how to communicate, but mostly to have learned so much and to have experienced such marvellous moments with the whole team in an atmosphere where work and pleasure were at one. One can only ask for more! So, when next?? Many thanks to the whole Nawewe team. Freddy

Gaposho Ismail.

Being first and foremost an artist, a musician and an actor, I am very gratified and happy to have participated in a film that tells a real and true story, and especially to have held my own in the part of chief of the rebels. The seven days with the other actors and the whole team has made a lasting mark on me. Usually, I am a hard worker, reliable, honest and above all sentimental – and then I ask myself what my family and friends will think of me when watching this film because in it I appear so ferocious. Further, I would welcome other important and challenging parts.
Thank God.

Issa, the Driver

Incredible but true. To tell the truth heals! My whole life long I have been hearing and sometimes seeing things. One afternoon, I was at home. I saw a man approaching by the name of Thierry Ndabahagamye. He wasn't looking for me but for a HUTU actor who knew how to drive a car. I told him i was the one he was looking for. He didn't accept because he had never seen me drive. But I then convinced him I was able to do the job and he agreed. When I arrived at the cast's venue, I met a man called IVAN. The first thing I saw in his eyes was INTELLIGENCE. It was the first time I was interviewed for a PROFESSIONAL CASTING. After the audition, I heard the PROFESSIONAL IVAN tell me that I was on. It was a huge surprise for me to hear that I had passed a professional's test!!!!
The night that followed was EXCEPTIONAL! Only my dear wife and two children knew how happy I was. At the shooting, I was glad to see the actors gathering and creating the team spirit in which I hadn't believed. YOU REALLY ARE PROS. Something else that touched me deeply was the sharing of tasks within the technical team. One thing – smoking – proved quite trying because I had to smoke too much during the shooting. It was the first time in my life and that caused headaches every evening.
What impressed me was the professional knowledge that I acquired as well as the atmosphere on the set. If that were possible, life in our country, Burundi, ought to be organised along the lines we experienced during this pleasant occasion of film-making – that way our country would be the best in the world. LONG LIVE THE NAWEWE FAMILY
Yours, ISSA, the driver-actor.

Jean-Luc Pening, The One Responsible, damn it!

Nawewe. After-the-shooting testimony.
How did I live the shooting and the adventure of Nawewe? Too much to say. Everything happened so fast, so well, so nearly naturally. And then one day, one sits down and notices that where there was nothing, there is now a mountain. An adventure? A path of immense happiness. I would begin by quoting more or less from the speech I made at the closing party organised in Burundi in the presence of 150 people who had all directly or indirectly taken part in the adventure:
"I hope that you will realise what this moment means to me. Nearly 14 years ago to the day (August 24th 1995) my life stopped a few kilometres from here. That day, I thought I would definitively bury my dreams, my life, my motorbike, my tennis, my travels, my work as an agronomist, my photographs, my movie camera through which I tracked my children, everything,... And then life resumed its course. Very quietly. A life made of encounters, of little pebbles converted into stone, stones converted into bricks, bricks turned into houses, houses that make men... The encounter with Jérémie who opened the gates of music for me, the encounter with Jean-Luc K and the creation of Menya Media, the encounter with little shy Sybille who became a great lady, the encounter with Bernard who introduced me to coaching, and the reunion with Ivan who initiated me to film-making – a paradox! And then the encounter with all of you and the intensive sharing of this week of shooting. So I wanted to take advantage of this moment to thank my parents who gave me life, to thank my wife and my children who made sense of my life, and to thank you all for having proved that life can be beautiful..."
I closed by exhorting all Burundians to continue to build peace, to iive in love and to continue to move mountains and hills. How can one not come out of the Nawewe adventure without being moved, exalted and deeply transformed when...
When a friend who you were out of touch with for years and had become a film director of renown tells you "Your script, Jean-Luc, I will shoot it"?
When shy and a little anxious, you are ushered into the office of the Minister of Culture of Burundi and he says "Jean-Luc, you are at home here"?
When, starting from a short piece of writing, you see everyone get going with high spirits and enthusiasm?
When roads are blocked off, authorities mobilise, microphones are thrust forward, men and women believe in you?
When Ivan takes you by the hand, involves you in the actors' preparatory exercises and asks your opinion on everything whereas you don't have a clue, or that actors request your advice on what they should be saying?
When Purcheline, after causing the entire set to cry, comes to you and says "Jean-Luc, that is my dedication"?
When at every turn there is always an arm, a word, a thank you to accompany you, to guide you?
When Yvette tells you with a twinkle in her eye (twinkling eyes make very audible sounds) "My dreams have come true, I always said to myself that before dying, I should get on to a film set"?
When Eddy, the mechanic who never utters a word, staggering under the sun and the weight of the camera, says with a smile on his lips "Everything's fine"? When Renaud, the Belgian professional actor who throughout the shooting has made the whole team piss from laughter, almost tenderly leads you to the banana grove when nature calls?
When around you you hear all those who live, dialogue, share their pains, speak of the absurdity of this war? And who say "To think we did all that!"?
When African Mothers (with a capital M) who participated in the adventure with love and passion call you "Papa"?
When in the evenings you are all together in a Seminary with Hutus, Tutsis, a prince, former rebels, Flemings, Walloons, Frenchmen, mulattos, all of them singing, dancing and laughing to drums and an old guitar?
When invited by the whole team around a table as long as a street in a popular district you partake in eating mitchopos and drinking a warm Primus beer? When, making a little speech, you feel like telling them all "I love you" and you can't bring yourself to say so?
When, the last evening, Ludo comes to see you and admits that he and Philippe have done everything they could to make the sound track impeccable for you "since that is all you will be seeing in the film, the sound had to be perfect"?
When Sugar, on the day of departure, tells you "There are important times in life, like the one I have just lived through, that makes one more mature? When you see that a training project will give the film concrete after-effects and that Sybille will go on to the AID in Belgium for training in film production?
And even when, on the homeward bound plane, an air hostess offers you "a little treat" in the form of Côte d'Or chocolate, a perfect produce "such as you would have liked tonight"?
And when?
And when?

How could you not feel exalted and fulfilled?
Thank you, Ivan, thank you all, thank you.
And according to Ivan, it isn't over ... I expect the worst!

Joseph Karundi, alias Batwa

Hello everybody and thanks for this opportunity to express my impressions on the making of the Nawewe film.
As in any test, to have been admitted among the actors of the film first dazzled me given the fierce competition. It then showed me that I had the ability – albeit modest – to join the set. And finally my role incarnating the "Mutwa" gave me a sense of accomplishment. A fantastic and unique experience! I spent unforgettable moments during the shooting of Nawewe with the whole team. Indeed, life at the Great Seminary was fulfilling, a life of sharing, and I wasn't bored at any time nor overcome by solitude. I still remember the great evenings with majestic steps of rock'n roll by Ivan and his wife, with the rhythm of Freddy's tom-tom, with a few airs by Kaposho, Kendo and Excellent, with the gracious dance of Purcheline and Régine, not to mention them all in the end!!! On the set, there was anxiety at first, fear not to be up to the screenplay, fear to be disappointed after all the illusions, entertained during the first moments, of becoming a "film star". But luckily, it was only a temporary and normal pang that marks the beginning of any new enterprise or adventure. The rest was pleasant and I already had the feeling of becoming an "old hand" in the profession despite all my shortcomings and clumsiness.
Nevertheless I realised that shooting a film is not a restful exercise and that you have to give your best at all times. In this connection I still remember the many rehearsals under the scorching sun, the to-ing and fro-ing on the set, Freddy's interjections, Ivan's professional recommendations, the exhaustion, etc. But all of this in an atmosphere of fraternity and mutual respect! A really professional team!!!!!
In closing, may I salute the courage of Jean-Luc Pening who wanted to screenplay this dramatic episode of Burundi's history despite his sad experience of it, not by extolling the drama, but by bringing it to the stage in order to trivialize ethnic stereotypes, to reconcile the Burundian people and to take a further step towards building peace in the world. May he find herein the expression of my moral support!!!
To one and all my heartfelt thanks for having helped me to play the part of Batwa in "Nawewe"
What a passionate adventure!!! .
Joseph Karundi alias Batwa.

Ornella Nijimbere - The Mulatto

Life is made up of experience. I believe in chance. A dream one has in life may come true one day. To have a role in a film was my dream. When I watched films, I told my sisters that some day, I too would be a great actress. And then towards the end of July 2009, I auditioned, I was with my sister who was also there for the test. Back at home, I asked myself questions: will it be my elder sister, me or neither of us? The next day, my mobile rings and an unknown number shows up on the screen. I hook on and the voice of a strange man says I am retained. Immediately I begin to shout and to cry. During the rehearsals everything went fine but, when the rebel thrust his machete to my breast, I was frightened. In all my life I had never been inland, it was the first time – hooray for Nawewe. As for the shooting of the film, only the good God knows the life I led – words fail me.

Purcheline Matega

First of all, my apologies for being late because it has been at least two weeks that Thierry informed me that I might give you my impressions concerning the way the film was shot. Well, I was very impressed and moved by the organisation of the venture from the start. Quite frankly, ever since I did similar work, I had never come across such a well organised team as Nawewe's
- given the establishment and the distribution of clear and precise assignments
- given the rigour and the paternal guidance of the director
- given the fraternity and understanding of the other actors
- given the adherence to what was agreed
- given the courage of the scriptwriter Jean-Luc
- given the know-how, the experience and the patience of the team.
In any case, as far as I am concerned, I could never say enough. I am delighted to have been part of the film.
Thanks once again.

Aster KAMPAYANA - Sugar

General set manager, Burundi
The shooting of the film Nawewe is one of the most beautiful pages of my life. It was first an opportunity and an honour to have been part of the team, to be surrounded by movie professionals. I learned a lot, not only with respect to films, but also regarding life in general, and more particularly concerning the professional sphere and human resources management. I was taught real lessons in making use of and managing time, and also in team work, which will be useful for my future. I also had lessons in communications, in rigour and precision in work. There is a motto that will always stay engraved in my memory "Nothing is serious, but everything is important". I first thank the Almighty to have given me the Nawewe family, then Menya Media for its coordination, also Cut and its entire team for its guidance, and more especially Ivan who believed in this adventure – and now it has become reality. And above all, my best thanks to Jean-Luc Pening without whom Nawewe would not have existed. Thanks for your inspiration, your coaching, your faith and your courage, you are my hero, my elder brother.

Thierry Casting , the Rwandan

Hello everybody. It all began like a dream, the day Sybille called me to offer the job. She explained everything I had to do. My work was to take care of the pre-casting, something I thought would be easy because I was among actors but I was wrong. Two days of casting and I realised that what I believed wasn't right. It was good to have a competent teacher, the film director: Ivan took the trouble to teach me what casting is. And then I was retained as 2nd assistant director. There I learned a lot besides the training that the director gave us. You will understand how many times I benefited not only from the pay but also from knowledge that is so costly. Afterwards, I couldn't come to grips with the RWANDAN but I finished by learning the part. So the shooting begins and all the actors and the technical team are housed at the Great Seminary. We constituted a real Nawewe family. I shall never forget the good times we spent together. On the set everything goes according to plan, everyone does his best, work flows smoothly, know-how proves itself, you don't feel tired, you keep on learning. Today, I know a lot thanks to MENYA MEDIA and CUT. I shall never forget the last day when the rebels burst out shooting – it brought back many reminiscences. One day in 1997 I too was made to get off a van in the middle of KIRBA Forest, but thank GOD, we were later allowed to go on. GOD bless the NAWEWE team.

Sybille Cishahayo

Over and over again I could recount my experience with the shooting of the film NA WEWE, so much have I seen, gained and learned. But let me just tell you about two people who made their mark on me and a fact that opened my eyes on the course of my life. I have known Jean-Luc Pening for ten years, I admired him for his competence, his way of approaching and doing things. I am one of his fans because I acquired professional polyvalence thanks to his coaching. But through NA WEWE, I discovered the immense love he has for mankind as well as the unequalled positive attitude that nourishes his soul. I had read his letter of intent and shed a few tears, nothing more. But to have seen him on the set with such enthusiasm, I realised how much he is attached to this country. I understood he wanted only one thing, that people face up to their errors, ask each other for forgiveness and stop being silly. Ivan possesses extraordinary inner strength. May I recall that there are many film directors and producers around the world. But few and far between are those who would pack their bags and go off to shoot a film with people who have never heard of the word "fiction", let alone "set". Well, he is not taking risks, he is confident in his inner strength that can awaken competencies and qualities asleep in a human being. That can also energize body and soul so that they give their best. After two weeks, I have seen Ivan transform an amateur team into a professional one by going through a few interviews, meetings and training sessions. THAT is something that left its mark on me.
And now for the best one: if NA WEWE hadn't existed I would still be asking myself what profession I should embrace. Having learnt by doing and dabbled in one thing and another, I was lost, I didn't know how to plan the future. And I had never dreamed of films. To be a great lady in communications or marketing, well yes perhaps. Frédéric Rouillez, the Head of Production told me several times that I could be a film producer. He assured me that I had a good base from which to develop. It is thanks to him that I learned that the AID offers training in production and so I plunged in. I am finishing the course and will rush into the fray. Thanks to NA WEWE my professional path is drawn.
Sybille Cishahayo, Deputy Legal Representantive, Menya Media, Production Assistant Burundi, Singer