SAAS Students Create Documentary on Rwandan Genocide

SAAS Students Create Documentary on Rwandan Genocide

Robert Herbolich ‘19 and Trevor Dunnigan ‘19 have been making films together for two years. With the support of Cheryll Hidalgo, SAAS film teacher, they have made four films together. One of their first films was shown at the 2017 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). Their current project on Rwandan Genocide is their biggest undertaking yet.

Trevor and Robert would like to travel to Rwanda this summer to complete a documentary on the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Last year, they interviewed Benigne Muvunyi, a 27-year-old survivor of the genocide, as part of a project on the Holocaust and Genocide. Benigne and her husband now live in Bellevue, Washington. The students were so inspired by the incredible story of the Muvunyi Family’s survival that they decided that they had to find a way to travel to Benigne’s village of Gahini, Rwanda, to meet her parents and capture the family’s story. It is a story of tremendous loss and unbelievable survival. It is a chance to make a documentary and to educate the world on the horrors of genocide.

The students have had generous support from friends and family, and they are very close to meeting their goal. They have raised sixty-five percent of their $19,850 goal, and Koerner Camera Systems has donated the use of over $50,000 worth of camera gear for the trip. It has taken ten months of work and planning, but Robert and Trevor know that the Muvunyi Family has a story that needs to be told.

When asked why he is so passionate about this project, Robert offered, “I am a filmmaker and a student. I am also Jewish. From an early age, I have been taught the stories of the Holocaust. It is my family’s hope, and the hope of all Jews, that these stories will not be lost, and that history will not be repeated.”

To learn more about this project, CLICK HERE.

We wish Trevor and Robert the best of luck with their goals and look forward to seeing their completed film.

Above:  Benigne Muvunyi