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MBABARIRA - A story of reconciliation in Rwanda
$8,035 raised
54% of $15k goal
62 contributors
33 Weeks running


We have been given unprecedented access by the government of Rwanda to document the stories of genocide prisoners confessing their crimes for the first time, victim families learning the fates of their loved ones, prisoner families discovering truths previously hidden, and astonishing acts of repentance and forgiveness occurring in communities ravaged by the 1994 genocide. After three years of filming, we have a unique opportunity to finish production by shooting key events with our main characters this October and December. Please consider a TAX DEDUCTIBLE contribution (through our fiscal sponsor and partner) to support our work!

Chaplain Noel


Prior to 1994, Rwandans already plagued by mass killings, took sanctuary in churches and the homes of sympathetic neighbors. But during the Genocide, it was different. The Interahamwe (Hutu militia) factored the churches and sympathizers into their plans. They conspired with pastors to lock up their own congregations and then tip off the militia when their flocks were captive inside. Community members like Sylvester - a Hutu grade school teacher – were pressured by relentless propaganda to disclose the hiding places of their Tutsi neighbors and the children that he once taught.

In 2015, two community organizations --- Prison Fellowship Rwanda and The Word for All Nations --- received permission from the Rwandan government to launch Project Ubumwe. This initiative encourages genocide perpetrators, like Sylvester, to finally confess their horrific crimes to victims’ families – seeking reconciliation and helping to heal the still open wounds of genocide.

Genocide prisoner, SylvesterProject Ubumwe is a long, rigorous journey that begins when previously unrepentant genocide perpetrators commit to the reconciliation process. After a full and verified confession, prisoners may be accepted into the program. Prisoners undergo counseling and training while Project Ubumwe chaplains locate victim families who are also offered the opportunity to enroll in a program of counseling and training. During this time, chaplains and prison authorities arrange face-to-face meetings for the prisoners to confess and ask forgiveness from the victims’ families, both in person and in front of their communities. This can involve sharing information on where loved ones’ bodies were hidden and disclosing the details of their deaths – many of which had previously been unknown.


Two trips in October and December 2018, documenting key characters in the film, MBABARIRA, will be our last before focusing squarely on the Post-Production and Distribution.

We will continue documenting the journey of Project Ubumwe chaplains as they hit the ground to shepherd more prisoners, victims, and communities through the path of reconciliation. As the story of this film continues to unfold, we have discovered that chaplains like Francois, a Tutsi, and Noel, a Hutu, working side-by-side, are the living embodiment of reconciliation.

Noel and Francois

By focusing on former enemies working together and genocide perpetrators’ repentance, reconciliation & reintegration into the community, Project Ubumwe directly challenges the western concept of justice. At a time when Americans are increasingly politically polarized and dissatisfied with a mass incarceration system aimed at punitive justice, the Rwandan model presents a striking alternative based on unity, restorative justice, and significantly lower rates of recidivism.

The film will explore the driving forces behind the post-genocide reconciliation movement in Rwanda. As a fly on the wall, our lens will bear witness to the testimonies of the perpetrators and the reactions of the victims’ families. Are the confessions sincere? Are the communities ready for those prisoners to be released? Has forgiveness taken root?


Documentary filmmaking is a long, challenging, and arduous process with very few funding opportunities in the United States. The success of Project Ubumwe has opened doors with the Rwandan prison Authority. They have granted us extraordinary access to film the confession and reconciliation process - where no other documentarians or journalists have ever been allowed.

Please consider making a TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION to help us finish filming by December and begin the Post-Production process in full!



We had the opportunity to edit a 30-minute episode for The Africa Channel about the work that Project Ubumwe is doing. Check out the first few minutes on their website!

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Meet the team

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Position Total raised


$25 USD
Grassroots Warrior
We will post a public THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Our grassroots supporters mean everything!
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$50 USD
Movie Lover
Digital copy of MBABARIRA once it becomes available for sale.

Thank you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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$60 USD
Tea Hugger
A box of single origin, Rainforest Alliance Certified RWANDA MOUNTAIN black tea AND a Digital Copy of Mbabarira once it becomes available for purchase.

A THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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$60 USD
Wear It With Pride
A handmade RWANDA BRACELET so that you can remember what you're contributing to AND a digital copy of MBABARIRA once it becomes available for purchase.

A THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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$100 USD
For Your Wall
Own a MOVIE POSTER and two Digital Copies of MBABARIRA once it become available for purchase.

A THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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$200 USD
The Big Screen
All donations above $200 will receive a THANK YOU in the MOVIE END CREDITS, on IMDB, and a Digital Copy of MBABARIRA once it becomes available for purchase.

A THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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$500 USD
It's A Wrap
Invite to a WRAP PARTY celebrating the completion of MBABARIRA in Los Angeles (airfare, hotel, etc not included) AND your name in the MOVIE END CREDITS and on IMDB AND a Digital Copy of MBABARIRA once it becomes available for sale.

THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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$600 USD
Location Headshots
Get HEADSHOTS shot on location in Los Angeles by Director/DP Thabo Wolfaardt. Great for actors, models, business owners, and professionals!

A DIGITAL COPY of the documentary once it is ready for release AND a THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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$1,000 USD
See It For Yourself
An INVITE TO RWANDA on our next production trip to MEET the Project Ubumwe staff and chaplains as well as individuals from the film! (Airfare, hotels, meals, etc. not included.)

Invite to the WRAP PARTY for Mbabarira AND a THANK YOU in the Movie End Credits and on IMDB. A DIGITAL COPY of MBABABIRA and a THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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$2,000 USD
I'm A Producer
Be a part of getting our film made with an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit on the movie and on IMDB!

Receive an Invite to our next shoot in Rwanda, be a guest at the WRAP PARTY, get 20 digital copies of MBABARIRA, and a THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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