Joel Karakezi is a Rwandan genocide survivor. In 2008 he received a diploma certificate in film directing from Cinecours. In 2009 he attended the Maisha Film Lab for screenwriting.
Afterward, he directed his short film THE PARDON, which won the Golden Impala Award at the Amakula Film Festival in Uganda and won the 2010 award for Best Short Film at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival. THE PARDON was screened at the Kenya International Film Festival, the Zanzibar International Film Festival, the Durban International Film Festival, and the Images That Matter Short Film Festival in Ethiopia.
In 2010 he attended the Berlinale Talent Campus in Germany. From April to October 2010 he worked on his feature script IMBABAZI: THE PARDON with Columbia University and Maisha Film Lab Mentorship program. He received a development award from the Göteborg International Film Festival Fund for his first feature film IMBABAZI: THE PARDON. The following year, he received a post production award from the Global Film Initiative for the same film. Recently his script THE MERCY OF THE JUNGLE won the CFI Award for the Most Promising Audiovisual Project at Durban FilmMart 2012. He recently started his own production company, Karekezi Film Production, in Rwanda with the intention to make African films for worldwide distribution.
- OFFICIAL SELECTION FOR IMBABAZI: THE PARDON feature film
- WORLD PREMIERE GÖTEBORG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2013
- OFFICIAL SELECTION SAN DIEGO BLACK FILM FESTIVAL 2013
- OFFICIAL SELECTION PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL 2013
- OFFICIAL SELECTION FESPACO 2013
- OFFICIAL SELECTION SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2013
- OFFICIAL SELECTION FESTIVAL DES FILMS FRANCOPHONES 2013