MultiChoice Uganda, the home of great Pay TV entertainment, in partnership with the communications regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), celebrated ten years of the Uganda Film Festival with a gala night at the UICT Institute in Nakawa.
The Uganda Film Festival (UFF) has over the years been a powerful catalyst for the growth and development of the local film industry. This occasion serves as a testament to the immense talent, creativity, and resilience of our Ugandan filmmakers who have made an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape.
For its 10th anniversary, UCC together with MultiChoice and other partners embarked on several activities to mark the UFF@10 celebrations. The teams traveled across the country in the regions for the regional short film competition that recognized the best film makers in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Western parts of Uganda as well as delivery of trainings on Content Acquisition by MultiChoice Uganda and local film screenings for the public to watch.
Filmmakers were also trained through masterclasses on 25th/26th May and & 31st May/01st June 2023 on the thematic areas of The Business of Film, Towards a Quality Production, Women in Film and a Panel discussion on The Future of the Creative Industry in Uganda by Glen Marques and Njoki Cecilia Muhoho courtesy of MultiChoice Talent Factory.
These activities included movie screenings of the various films in cinemas across Kampala. These activities culminated into the Awards Gala night that saw creatives awarded in different categories.
The Uganda Film Festival owes its inception and remarkable journey to the Uganda Communications Commission. Eng. Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the Ag. Executive Director, shared insights into the festival’s origins, stating, “We initiated the Uganda Film Festival with the vision of creating a platform for our local filmmakers to shine. Over the past decade, we have witnessed incredible growth and artistic excellence within the industry, and we are immensely proud of the achievements of our Ugandan filmmakers.”
With the lack of an affordable film school to support the film industry, Sewankambo pledged the commission’s dedication to delivering more trainings to equip creatives with skills to create more proficient work. “The trainings we have delivered throughout this month are playing a great role in ensuring quality control with films produced. I would like to thank all those who came forward not just today but over the years to participate, you stepped forward and told the African story, we intend to go back again to the regions to ensure all Ugandans utilize their talent with our support.”
Multichoice Uganda takes great pride in its commitment to the local film industry, and the gala night presented an opportunity to showcase the fruitful partnerships that have been forged through the years.
Rinaldi Jamugisa the PR and Communications Manager Multichoice Uganda, expressed excitement about these collaborations, asserting, “We are honored to have collaborated with partners of the creative industry in Uganda spearheaded by the Uganda Communications Commission, to ensure the quality and safety of the content created. Our collaboration has led to the establishment of frameworks that protect our audiences, promote creativity, and preserve the rich cultural heritage of our nation,” Jamugisa noted.
The night saw MultiChoice Uganda’s commissioned shows take home awards with Junior’s Drama Club (JDC), a children’s musical winning the award for best TV Drama Series, while Diana Nabantanzi was awarded the accolade for best actress for her role in JDC as Linda and Amon Nuwamanya winning the Best Actor TV Drama for his role in Kojja.
Allan Manzi, the director JDC, thanked MultiChoice for believing in Ugandan content, asserting, “This win is not just for me but the whole cast, crew and everyone who watches JDC. Thank you MultiChoice Uganda for taking a chance on us and putting us out there.”
In line with its dedication to promoting local talent, Multichoice Uganda has made substantial investments in the acquisition and broadcasting of Ugandan content.
Rinaldi Jamugisa emphasized, “We firmly believe in the power of homegrown content. Through our three flagship channels Pearl Magic Prime, Pearl Magic and Pearl magic Loko, we have provided dedicated platforms for Ugandans to showcase their content. From captivating dramas like Sanyu, Prestige, to hilarious comedies such as POPI, the Salvado Show and thought-provoking reality shows like Kan See Me and Take Me Back, we have seen the diversity and cultural wealth of our nation brought to life on our screens. We are immensely proud to be a platform for local talent, offering a gateway to showcase their creativity and narratives to a wider audience,” Jamugisa stated.
Mariam Ndagire won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Nana Kagga took home the award for best feature film with Mukisa that also had Godfrey Kasozi winning as Best Director. Other awards went to Passenger for Best production and the Best actor.
Abubaker Isiko, an Alumni of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), took home awards for; Best Sound Designer and Best Post-production/Editing for the night, a success he attributes to fully-sponsored full-year training he got through MultiChoice Talent Factory that he has been able to put to good use on the productions he is involved with.
Multichoice Uganda acknowledged the hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment of creatives to their craft, “We applaud the incredible talent showcased at the festival and congratulate all winners. I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to all the filmmakers, actors, producers, directors, and everyone involved in the Ugandan film industry. Your passion, dedication, and distinctive creative capabilities have breathed life into our screens, captivated audiences, and left an engrained mark of satisfaction on our hearts.”
The much-anticipated gala night, was an evening of glamour, recognition, and jubilation, with industry stakeholders, filmmakers, and film enthusiasts from across the nation brought together, as the achievements of the past decade were celebrated and with stage set for an even more remarkable future for the Ugandan film industry.