Congolese ‘War Witch’ actress gets travel visa for Oscars
New York, NY – Congolese actress Rachel Mwanza, star of the Oscar nominated Best Foreign Language Film “War Witch,” has just been granted a visa to attend the Oscars, the Independent Spirit Awards and other U.S. and Canadian awards ceremonies, says Tribeca Films.
Rachel Mwanza, who gives a riveting performance, was living on the streets of Kinshasa, when filmmakers discovered her and cast her as the lead in the film, which was shot entirely on location in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The filmmakers continue to provide her with a caregiver and oversee her education.
“We are beyond thrilled and relieved that the governments in the US, Canada, and the DRC will allow Rachel entry so she can celebrate the film’s many accomplishments with us,” said Kim Nguyen, director of War Witch. “Rachel’s story is truly a Cinderella tale – abandoned by her family and living on the streets as a child, her life has been transformed by the making of the film. To have her journey end on the red carpet is beyond anything she could have dreamed of.”
WAR WITCH is nominated for Best International Film at the Independent Spirit Awards, Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars®, 12 nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards on March 3, 2013, and 9 nominations for Quebec’s Jutra on March 17th, 2013.
WAR WITCH and Rachel’s performance have already received many honors including the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Rachel Mwanza for her performance as well as Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Komona (Rachel Mwanza) is only 12 years old when she is kidnapped by rebel soldiers and enslaved to a life of guerrilla warfare in the African jungle. Forced to commit unspeakable acts of brutality, she finds hope for survival in protective, ghost-like visions (inspiring a rebel chief to anoint her “War Witch”), and in a tender relationship with a fellow soldier named Magician (Serge Kanyinda). Together, they manage to escape the rebels’ clutches, and a normal life finally seems within reach. But after their freedom proves short-lived, Komona realizes she must find a way to bury the ghosts of her past.
Tribeca Film plans a platform release beginning on March 1 in New York, March 8 in Los Angeles, and select cities throughout the month. The film is also available nationwide on demand platforms on February 26.