Rachel Mwanza, star of critically acclaimed Canadian film Rebelle, will be the only representation of Africa at the 58th Annual Academy Awards. The Academy Awards, known to most as The Oscars, is an annual award ceremony dedicated to honoring excellent cinematic achievements. Rachel, who plays the role of a war witch named Komona, was chosen after producers saw her performance on a documentary about street kids in Kinshasa. Being abandoned by her parents at an early age, the 16-year old actress spent many years living in the streets.
When Rebelle Director, Kim Nguyen and Producers Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin first came into contact with Rachel she was unable to read or write. Together they agreed to pay for her education and provide her with housing until she turns eighteen. In 2012, the Congolese actress received awards from the Berlin Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, and was nominated for Best Actress at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards.
With Rebelle being nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 58th Annual Academy Awards, last month producers were scrambling to obtain a U.S visa that will allow the young star to attend the ceremony. Reports now indicate that the Congolese actress has been awarded a US Visa in order to attend the Oscars in Los Angeles, California.The 58th Annual Academy Award is scheduled to air on Sunday February 24th 2013.