Rachel Mwanza, 'War Witch': Congolese actress gets visa to attend Oscars


Congolese actress Rachel Mwanza wins the Silver Bear for Best Actress in the film Rebelle at the Closing Ceremony during day ten of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival at the Berlinale Palast on February 18, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.


Sean Gallup

Rachel Mwanza of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a teen star tipped for the Academy Awards, is all set to walk down the red carpet now that her visa has been secured, the film's Canadian director said Thursday, reported BBC News

Mwanza already scored best actress at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals for her moving portrayal of a girl enslaved by rebel soldiers in Canadian filmmaker Kim Nguyen's Oscar-nominated film "War Watch," which also goes by its French title, "Rebelle," said BBC

Mwanza had no acting experience before being cast in "War Witch," according to a statement from the filmmaker, saying the young actress' life "has been transformed by the making of the film," according to BBC. But producer Marie-Claude Poulin told the Los Angeles Times that the 16-year-old's real idol isn't the Oscar's legendary golden statue -- it's her favorite celebrity, Beyonce. 

"That's all she talks about," Poulin said. "The only English words she knows are Beyonce and Rihanna songs." Poulin said they are working on arranging a meeting, according to the LA Times

Even if she doesn't get to meet Beyonce, though, Mwanza's trip to Hollywood "is beyond anything she could have dreamed of," according to the Nguyen statement cited by BBC

Mwanza has also reportedly been provided with a guardian to help manage her education. 

"War Witch" opens March 8 in the United States.