'War Witch' star's life is no 'fairytale', says director
Congolese actress Rachel Mwanza reacts after she has been awarded with the Silver Bear as best actress in the movie War Witch (Rebelle) during the awarding ceremony at the 62 edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. (AP / Markus Schreiber)
Published Saturday, September 15, 2012 3:39PM EDT
TORONTO - "War Witch" star Rachel Mwanza has gone from living on the streets in the capital of Congo to winning best-actress trophies at the Tribeca and Berlin film festivals.
Yet Kim Nguyen, the Montreal-born writer-director of the Canadian drama, says the situation is "not a fairytale for her."
Mwanza had never acted before she took on the role of a child soldier in the drama that's earning praise at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Nguyen said he has set up a four-year program for the now-15-year-old that includes getting her room and board, education and food in her hometown of Kinshasa.
But he added that the challenges are immense for her, noting the person who was providing her room and board hit her the other day and she had flee.
The Toronto International Film Festival ends Sunday.