Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has released nominees for the fifth edition of Uganda Film Festival (UFF2017) indicating an increase in number of participants from 118 in 2016 to 145 this year.
This development comes as industry players prepare to celebrate Film Festival Week scheduled to begin on August 28 with several activities and end with the awards gala on Sept. 01.
Some of the 16 award categories for this year include; Best student film, best animation, best short film, best feature film, film of the year, best actor, best actress, best documentary, best East African film, best TV drama, best sound and more. Winners will walk away with prizes in form of cash and tangible items, according to Isaac Kalembe, the UCC’s senior public relations officer.
The festival week will be celebrated under the theme; “Celebrating culture through film.”
Speaking at the UCC headquarters on August 16 on behalf of the Executive Director, Fred Otunnu, the director of corporate affairs said they have so far achieved some objectives for which the idea of the festival was originated in 2013.
“It has stimulated interest in the film industry from different actors which we have seen from the growing numbers,” Otunnu said, adding, “It has stimulated growth of the industry to match with the industry standards globally in addition to creating job opportunities.”
Otunnu said that since its inception, the festival has been growing from strength to strength in terms of credibility and actors and that the latter have trust in the commission organising this event.
“As a commission we have seen the entries grow in numbers and in quality,” Otunnu said. He added that the trainings they offer during these festivals have helped the actors, script writers, actresses to improve their skills.
“In summary we have done so well and we believe 2017 will be much better,” Otunnu said.
The UCC is the regulator of communication services in Uganda including audio visual content according to the Uganda Communications Act 2013.
Industry observers say Uganda’s film industry has universality in terms of stories but say there is need to improve on quality, sound, lighting and writing of films for actors to further compete internationally.
Ugandan film actors have had a chance to air more than 60 films on the popular MutiChoice (DSTV) channel – M-net Africa – based in South Africa.