Rwandan film ‘The Bride’ scoops three awards at Novos Cinemas Festival in Spain.

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Rwandan film ‘The Bride’, directed by Myriam Uwiragiye Birara, secured awards at the eighth edition of the Novo`s Cinemas festival in Pontevedra on Sunday, December 17. Courtesy

Rwandan film ‘The Bride’, directed by Myriam Uwiragiye Birara, secured awards at the eighth edition of the Novos Cinemas festival in Pontevedra on Sunday, December 17.

It won the Novo`s Cinemas Award for Best Feature Film in the Official Selection, the Novo Jury Award for Best Director and the Jurado Novo Prize.

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The annual Novos Cinemas festival, held in Pontevedra, Spain, provides a global platform for the recognition of emergent filmmakers. The International Jury commended ‘The Bride’, Birara’s debut feature, for its “ability to transform a violent situation into an emotional testimony of love and solidarity.” The film’s seemingly simple narrative was lauded for enriching the storyline with skill and harmony.

The film delves into the social drama of forced marriages, recounting the harrowing journey of Eva, a young woman born into a refugee family in Zaire. Eva’s life takes a tragic turn when she becomes a victim of abduction and coercion into marriage at a tender age—a distressing practice once prevalent in Rwanda.

The jury emphasized “the evidence of a look, in its sensitive and natural portrait of a complex reality, an impeccable staging, and a great job with the cast.”

Director Myriam U. Birara, in a past interview with The New Times, shed light on the inspiration behind The Bride. Growing up in the mid-’90s, she witnessed the plight of young women abducted and forced into marriages, a practice leaving brides trapped in situations of shame and scorn.

Drawing from the personal experiences of her own aunts, victims of forced marriages, Birara explored the impact on their lives, contemplating how they navigated such circumstances—whether giving up on dreams, accepting life with a stranger, or finding the courage to rebel. These questions laid the foundation for “The Bride,” marking the director’s debut film.

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