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Talent instantly recognizes genius

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - EntSun -- Rodney Kimbangu is a Congolese artist pursuing a double degree in painting and film production at Berea College. He has been attending the school for over three years and is a senior graduating in the spring of 2020.

Three years ago, while a freshman, Rodney inspired thought to go to his home city Kinshasa, to make a documentary about young people taking care of themselves by recycling metals into charcoal stoves and cooking pans. At that time, he had a few videos on his portfolio but did not have a single documentary made, which made skeptics doubt his storytelling abilities.

He started a campaign to fund the movie but raised only 3% of the necessary fund to go make the documentary. As he was passionate about the story, Rodney took a leap of faith and put the remainder of the production cost on his credit card and return penniless after he spent a month filming parts of the movie in DR Congo.  He submitted to the power of the story he felt he had the urge to tell, as he always says, and he acted as a channel through the story is telling itself.

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This past summer, while on an internship in Chicago, a connection reached out to him and asked him to submit a short documentary under 5 minutes, covering any topic. As he had enough material to cover up to 5 minutes of the story, Rodney assembled a shorter version of the movie he filmed two years ago, titled it Lituka, and released it on August 25, 2019. The movie was well-received by his audience and caught people's attention in America and DR. Congo.

He submitted Lituka to film festivals and participated in the competition. To this day, the film has been selected for two film festivals and has won third place in the competition he entered. Lituka will screen at the Newark Short Film Awards this Saturday, October 12, 2019, in Newark, NJ, and at Life Screenings International Short Film Festival on October 20, 2019, in Florida.

Today, Rodney Kimbangu remembers that Arthur Conan once said: "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius." While it might be easy to disregard student work because of the running stereotype that students cannot be professional, Rodney is proving once and for all that student filmmakers of today are the Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, Ken Burns, or Kathryn Bigelow of tomorrow. After all, not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere, said Anton Ego from La Ratatouille.

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