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FILMS: Harnessing local resources to create top notch content

OPINION | LEONARD AMANYA | The world today is centered around innovation, which innovation comes at a time when there is a ton of growth around the film industry in Uganda. The rate at which we have seen an increment of content creation and in tandem submission into the Uganda Film Festival, despite our coming out of a global pandemic is encouraging.

Along with the increase in content being submitted into the few platforms that receive and share this content with the Ugandan public also has seen the rise of raw talent, a contribution that are made by the Makerere University School of Performing Arts, Kampala Film School and other field players.

In our last Uganda Film Festival, we saw some outstanding films which have gone on to win accolades, in and outside Uganda. Movies such as Kemi and Stain have been outstanding. Movies such as the Blind Date and Girl in a Yellow Jumper have received international recognition and achieved heights that we have not seen in Uganda yet.  Series like Sanyu have received a rating of 9.6 out of 10 on IMDB, all of which go to show that there is clear growth in the local content industry in Uganda.

As we prepare for the 9th Uganda Film Festival, we have partnered with some great brands and taken some of the outstanding films from last year into the local regions, this has given us the opportunity to directly interact with the people in the regions, as well as train university students on how to shoot film on their mobile phones in partnership with the MultiChoice Talent Factory. This ties into our harnessing what we have available, knowing full well that most people interested in film will have a mobile phone. Our hope in doing so is for us to plant the seed of interest in film outside of those who have the opportunity to be part of a film school.

With the nominations being announced this week ahead of the festivities which will happen at Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT) on 3rd June, we are keen to see who the judges have voted as great content creators, whose work we are going to recognize, and those who will emerge winners. We are also curious to see the mix between our seasoned and new talent.  We are also thrilled that there is growth of various players in and outside Uganda who have taken an interest in taking and paying for the work coming out of Uganda. This will continue to energise our film makers and encourage them by showing them the worth of their work.

We urge the various stakeholders that play within the industry to continue to join forces with us and give our local content makers a boost. As Uganda Communications Commission, based from the evidence we see, we firmly believe that a few years our industry will be flying.


The writer Leonard Amanya, is a Film Office at the Uganda Communications Commission.


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