Adriana Lima’s film ‘FIFA: A Love Letter to Rwanda’ debuts at Taormina Film Festival

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Esha Saxena Mandala
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Adriana Lima, a renowned Brazilian supermodel and FIFA Global Fan Ambassador, graced the prestigious Taormina Film Festival on Wednesday, June 28, for the much-anticipated world premiere of the short film “FIFA: A Love Letter to Rwanda.”

The film delves into the captivating story behind the FIFA congress held in Kigali, Rwanda, in March. Kigali is the first-ever host city of a FIFA elective congress in Africa.

Famous Hollywood actress-turned-director Bella Thorne is lending her support to the short film as its backer. As the curator of the prestigious ‘Influential Shorts’ evening, Thorne has played a pivotal role in securing the attendance of supermodel Adriana Lima to premiere FIFA: A Love Letter to Rwanda.

As the executive producer and face of the 20-minute short, Lima embarked on a remarkable journey exploring Rwanda’s remarkable transformation since the devastating 1994 Genocide, which claimed the lives of over one million Tutsi.

The film sheds light on the nation’s vibrant creative scene and delves into the efforts to protect the endangered gorilla population, with former poachers now dedicated to their conservation.

In an interview with the Deadline Studio, Lima expressed her deep passion for projects that make a positive impact, aligning perfectly with her role as a FIFA Global Fan Ambassador and her love for football.

When asked about her relationship with the sport, she playfully corrected the term “soccer” to “football,” emphasizing the intrinsic connection Brazilians have with the game. Football, according to Lima, is ingrained in their culture, religion, and even their blood.

Joining Lima in the film are FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Cedric Mizero, a rising multi-talented artist from Rwanda known for his prowess in arts, fashion, music, and costume design.

In an interview, Cedric Mizero expresses his deep passion for art, stating, “I’m in love with everything that involves storytelling and sharing my memories. I’m on a mission to share my country with the world.”

As a member of the new generation, born in 1993, Cedric reflects on the significance of the Genocide that occurred 29 years ago. He explains, “We don’t have that reference of how things were, so we are the ones making noise, trying new things, and striving to share the essence of Rwanda beyond the narrative of the Genocide.”

Lima marveled at Mizero’s extraordinary talents, describing him as a true visionary. “His artistic abilities seemingly know no bounds, as he effortlessly transitions between being a musician, painter, designer, and creator. His diverse skill set continues to astound those who encounter his work around the world,” she said.

Directed by Craig Goodwill, produced by Andre L III, and executive produced by Adriana Lima herself, “FIFA: A Love Letter to Rwanda” is a compelling testament to the power of film in conveying profound stories of resilience and hope.

The short film will highlight the interconnections between culture, football, and the environment in Rwanda, showcasing the significant ties to FIFA. It will delve into how these elements intertwine and contribute to the unique narrative of Rwanda, presenting a multifaceted perspective that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of sports and entertainment

The Taormina Film Festival, held in the captivating city of Taormina, Sicily, South Italy, reinforces its long-standing connection with the world of cinema. With a remarkable history spanning 68 years, the festival commenced on June 26, and will conclude on July 2. The event features an international competition exclusively dedicated to feature films, alongside highly anticipated premieres showcased against the stunning backdrop of the Ancient Theatre—an enchanting open-air cinema recognized as one of the most breathtaking in the world.

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