And the Hillywood’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to: Guido Huysmans!

I met Guido at the Rwanda Film Festival, four years ago. I was part of a Jury he chaired, to select the best short film. We immediately appreciated one another.

I saw a humble and decent man, who loved Rwanda and its people passionately. I saw a Flemish, with a respectful approach to Africa, its culture and its people; I saw an artist, a generous heart, a selfless servant;

I have seen him every year since. I spent quality time with him at each occasion; we spoke about Africa; about film, art and literature; we spoke for hours…

On our last two occasions, we shared on the difficulties of publishing a book; because yes, Guido had finalised a book on Africa, Cinema and Rwanda; Like we say in Africa, ‘His death is a library that has burned to the ground…’

Just the other day, he was Jury president of the 10th edition of the Rwanda Film Festival; He looked, as usual, full of life with his contagious smile, his musical voice and thick french accent; we didn’t know it was the last time…

His passing is a reminder of how precarious this life is, but also how eternal one’s good deeds are. Although He has gone, today we celebrate his friendship, his work to promote African film and his lifetime support to the Rwanda Cinema Centre.

I have lost a dear friend, a comrade; the Rwanda Cinema Centre has lost one of its senior advisors; My condolences Eric! thank you for having introduced me to this special man; Thank you Guido for your  time, you energy and your contribution: You lived a full life, you changed the world! Eric will miss you, Nganji will miss you, Jacques will miss you, Carole will miss you, Kivu will miss you, Mussa will miss you, Romeo will miss you, Albibi will miss you, Atome will miss you, Leuven, kigali and Buja will miss you..

Godspeed Guido! See you, maybe one of these mornings, we’ll catch up on our last conversation…

Posted 2nd August 2014