Uganda’s film makers are now breaking into the global film industry albeit at a slow pace. Going by some of the recent breakthroughs of local film makers like Loukman Ali, through the lenses of movie and drama series-lovers, one would imagine that Uganda’s film industry has greatly improved and transformed over the years.
Contrary to popular belief, local film stars still demand better opportunities to enable them to advance in the industry and improve their skills and fortune.
Uganda currently struggles with having skilled professionals that have adequate training. This like a ripple effect has trickled down to the quality of films produced for the consumption of the film lovers in the country.
Seeing similar actors and actresses on the films that make it to the screens has since made certain films too cliché. In addition to that the crew working behind the scenes like the sound engineers, script writers, film directors, are few and as such are stretched out with having to deliver for all top tier film projects introduced into the market.
Amidst these challenges, certain key players have identified gaps within the industry and found solutions to help in salvaging the situation. A case in point, is the MultiChoice Uganda agenda in skilling and enabling filmmakers tell the African stories with utmost authenticity, which resulted into the introduction of programs like the MultiChoice Talent Factory and channels like Pearl Magic, Pearl Magic Prime and Maisha Magic Movies which are platforms specifically curated to air and showcase Ugandan film series and movies.
These channels have not just amplified Ugandan stories but also pushed Ugandan filmmakers to aim for excellence and quality film production. Little wonder when drama shows like Prestige air, some are forced to think that they could have been shot and directed by foreign filmmakers.
From my experience, the professionals I have interacted with from the MTF academy through the opportunity presented to me from the Prestige show, have shown that indeed exposure to international film experts sets the expectation bar so high, as these individuals are challenged by these trainers to do and produce better films.
Additionally, I have been exposed to several skill sets and challenged to better my craft as an actress and filmmaker. The doors to opportunities within the industry are tremendous and it is upon Ugandan filmmakers to aggressively seek these opportunities and partnerships to better position their work. Until filmmakers become intentional with the quality of work they push out, the partnerships they make or training opportunities they sign up for, the request for more will always linger.
The writer is Evelyn Kironde a Ugandan Film maker.