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The Journal Gazette

  • FILE - This Feb. 17, 2012 file photo shows actress Rachel Mwanza arrives for the screening of the film "War Witch" (Rebelle) at the 62 edition of International Film Festival Berlinale, in Berlin. Mwanza has been granted a visa to travel from the Congo for the Academy Awards. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign picture on Jan. 10, 2013. The 85th Academy Awards will air live on Sunday, Feb. 24. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer, file)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 6:03 pm

Young actress from Congo granted visa for Oscars

The Associated Press

The 16-year-old star of the Oscar-nominated "War Witch" has been granted a visa to travel from Congo for the Academy Awards.

The film's distributor, Tribeca Film, said Wednesday that Rachel Mwanza (MWAHN'-zuh) will be able to attend upcoming award shows, including Sunday's Oscars.

"War Witch," directed by Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen (WIN), is nominated for best foreign language film as Canada's submission.

Shot entirely in the Congo, Mwanza was cast despite no prior acting experience. She had been living at her grandmother's house and on the streets before Nguyen picked her to play a child soldier caught up in an unspecified African revolution.

Mwanza won best actress at both the Berlin Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival last year. "War Witch" opens in New York theaters March 1.