Kantarama is an award winning filmmaker.
In 2019, Kantarama wrote and directed "ETHEREALITY", a short film about migration and the sense of belonging. The film premiered at Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (2019), Clermont-Ferrand ISFF (2020), Chicago IFF (2020), Namur IFF (2021) and won Best Short Film at legendary FESPACO (2021).
"Tapis Rouge", her first feature film has been screened and awarded worldwide including TV5Monde Best Francophone Feature Film (Geneva International Film Festival) and Best Directing (Chelsea Film Festival, New York), followed by a theatrical release in Switzerland and in France (2017).
Kantarama is an ALUMNA of:
- Realness Institute's Residency (South Africa, 2018) selected after evaluation of more than 130 projects from the African continent and curated by Urucu Media.
- La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français (10 projects selected worldwide) during the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (France, 2019).
- Artists in Residency by Africa Centre, one of the 5 artists from Africa to be awarded a residency in 2019 (Bundanon Trust, Australia).
- Zurich Film Festival Masterclass, Switzerland, October 2019.
- 5x5x5 Residency, by Langfilm-HSLU-Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Switzerland, 2019.
- The prestigious Moulin d'Andé Residency - CECI, France, 2020.
- The renowned Berlinale Talents program, Berlin Int. Film Festival, Germany, 2021.
Since 2014, she also teaches directing, writing & producing workshops to help younger artists implement their work (in Rwanda, Switzerland, Brazil, Malaysia, Tunisia, Kenya, Tanzania).
In 2004 she was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Swiss Benevolent Scholarship that helped her jumpstart her film career.
As a freelance producer, she has been working on various films, TV and commercials in East Africa and the United States.
Her recent achievements as a writer/director include
Honour and Awards
- Best Short Film Award - POULAIN D
- Avant-Garde Award (Mashariki African Film Festival, Rwanda) - December 2021
- Best Director Award (Switzerland Diaspo Awards) - November 2021
- Honorable Mention of Mostra de Cinemas Africanos Award (FIFF Cotonou, Bénin) - October 2021
- Best Documentary Short Film presented to director Kantarama Gahigiri (Short Encounters IFF, Greece) - July 2021
- Best Documentary Short Film presented to producer Olivier Zobrist (Short Encounters IFF, Greece) - July 2021
- Best Editing Nomination (Short Encounters IFF, Greece) - July 2021
- NYWIFT Outstanding Female Content Creator Award (New York Women In Film & Television at Nova Frontier Film Festival) - June 2021
- Best Documentary Short (Nova Frontier Film Festival) - May 2021
- Expanded Shorts Jury Award (This Human World Film Festival Austria) - December 2020
- Best Short Film - Africa Shorts (Arica Nativa Film Festival Chile) - November 2020
- Best Short Film (Rastro Film Festival Brasil) - June 2020
- Award of Merit (IndieFEST Film Awards Los Angeles) - February 2017
- Best Animated Short Award (Berlin Independent Film Festival) - February 2017
- Festival Award (Festival Effervescence, France) - October 2016
- Foundation Award 2016 (Fondation Suzanne Huber / SGUP / LODH) - May 2016
- Best Directing Award (Chelsea Film Festival New York) - October 2015
- Audience Choice Award (Delémont-Hollywood Film Festival) - September 2015
- Festival Grand Prix (Nador Film Festival) - May 2015
- Outstanding Ensemble Cast Award (Nador Film Festival) - May 2015
- Best Music Video Award (Berlin Independent Film Festival) - February 2015
- Nominated for Audience Choice Award (Solothurner Film Festival) - January 2015
- Award of Merit - Special Mention (IndieFEST Film Awards Los Angeles) - November 2014
- TV5Monde Best French Speaking Feature Film Award (Geneva International Film Festival) - November 2014
- Best Directing Award (LAWEBFEST) - April 2014
- Outstanding Theme Song Award (LAWEBFEST) - April 2014
- Best Web Series Award (Los Angeles Comedy Festival) - December 2013
- Audience Choice Award (International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts) - November 2013
- Outstanding Ensemble Cast Award (LAWEBFEST) - April 2013
- Outstanding Producing Award (LAWEBFEST) - April 2013
- Nominated for Best Female Filmmaker Award (West Chester Film Festival) - April 2012
- Nominated for Best Swiss Film (Lucerne International Film Festival) - October 2011
- John J. Theobald Graduate Achievement Award (New York Institute of Technology) - June 2006
- Swiss Benevolent Scholarship (Swiss Benevolent Society of New York) - June 2004
- Fulbright Scholarship - June 2004
Her production experience includes
Set work for studio movies , television shows & independent movies:
- MEN IN BLACK 3
- PERSON OF INTEREST
- CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
- SILENT HOUSE
- GENERATION UM…
- PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND
Producer work for independent movies
- THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW JUMPER
- MERCY OF THE JUNGLE
Production Managing of music videos, commercials, reality TV and documentaries.
- 2006 MA in Communication and Film from New York Institute of Technology.
- 2001 MA in International Relations from Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, (IUHEI) Geneva.