October 4, 2021 – The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice today announced its financial support for a forthcoming documentary in the early stages of production – Man of the Year, a first-of-its-kind film that will take a deep and unfiltered look at the truth behind the lies of Rwanda’s brutal dictatorship.
For more than two decades since Rwanda’s tragic genocide, President Paul Kagame has manipulated and bent the world’s most powerful people and organizations to his will, successfully getting them to adopt his false narrative and simultaneously turn a blind eye to his ruthless repression. Man of the Year follows survivors of the genocide and activists who courageously risk their lives to expose the deadly workings of the Rwandan regime and the disinformation campaign orchestrated by Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
“Paul Kagame is a complex figure who has had some notable achievements, but his descent into brutal dictatorship has been ignored for too long,” said Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation. “The time has come to expose the dark side of the ‘darling dictator’, and Man of the Year promises to do just that. I am so pleased that the Lantos Foundation can play a part in supporting this worthy project, as I truly believe it has the potential to break through Kagame’s propaganda machine and make it impossible for the world to continue to ignore his regime’s human rights abuses.”
Man of the Year is poised to be a tour-de-force, combining the best elements of investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking. With never-before-seen footage from inside Rwanda, including of Rwandan human rights activists shortly before their arrests, and exclusive access to former ruling RPF officials and United Nations documents, the filmmakers expose the machine that turned a one-sided narrative into official dogma. They demonstrate how journalists, academics, and well-meaning global philanthropists became accidental propagandists for Kagame’s regime, and they show the devastating consequences for those who dared to speak out – and have been silenced.
Man of the Year is directed by Benedict Moran and executive produced by Anjan Sundaram. Moran is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed, reported and produced for major global broadcasters and publications in dozens of countries. Sundaram is the author of Bad News, a book about the destruction of Rwanda’s free press, and one of the most incisive mainstream commentators on Rwanda’s dictatorship.
As part of the Lantos Foundation’s support, Man of the Year received financial assistance through the Front Line Fund grant program, which was created to assist brave individuals and organizations in their fight against injustices around the world. The Foundation’s Front Line Fund has made more than 150 small grants to individuals and organizations located across the globe, from the United States to Canada, Germany, India, China, Bangladesh, the Middle East and more. In keeping with the Foundation’s focus on “Activist Artists”, the Foundation supports select film and book projects through the Front Line Fund, as well as other human rights-related art initiatives that aim to shine a spotlight on major human rights challenges and expose human rights abusers.
For more information about Man of the Year, please visit: manoftheyear.film
About the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice: The Lantos Foundation was established in 2008 to carry forward the legacy of Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the U.S. Congress and a leading human rights champion. The Foundation works with a range of partners and often in cooperation with the U.S. Government on issues that span the globe. The Foundation’s key areas of focus include human rights issues related to religious freedom, rule of law, internet freedom and activist art. The Foundation also administers the Lantos Congressional Fellows Program, supports human rights advocates, activists and artists through its Front Line Fund grant program, and awards the annual Lantos Human Rights Prize to honor and bring attention to heroes of the human rights movement. Past recipients of the Prize include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Professor Elie Wiesel, the real-life hero of Hotel Rwanda Paul Rusesabagina, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Iraqi Parliamentarian Vian Dakhil, Hong Kong Democracy activist Joshua Wong, Bill Browder, the driving force behind the global Magnitsky movement, among others.