Audiences at the forthcoming Uganda Film Festival (UFF) are in for a creepy treat, thanks to a host of zombie movies lined up to participate.
At least 15 of the 180 films selected to screen at the maiden festival, running August 26-30, 2013, tell freaky stories of blood-sucking beasts, we can reveal.
Whether this points to a trend within Ugawood or whether Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the festival’s organizers, gave these grotesque films an upper hand is a story for another day.
What is apparent though is that it takes a lot of creativity and heart for a filmmaker to venture into this genre of movies, known to captivate audiences if well executed.
And that is the kind of treat UFF is promising to offer come time for screenings –a feast of scary Ugandan movies filled with creepy creatures as they sadistically make a feast out of human flesh.
Leading the pack is Okusaalimba: The Trespass, a gut-turning feature chronicling the ill fate of a group of students on a hiking trip in a haunted forest.
Trouble for the students begins when one of them picks and pockets a necklace belonging to a ghost. Enraged, the ghost launches a brutal revenge mission, indiscriminately slaughtering her victims, one by one.
And it seems the film’s lengthy portrayal of the ghost’s brutal exploits impressed UFF’s judging committee – it’s leading the awards race with four nomination slots.
Another zombie movie, Ekikolimo: The Curse, closely follows in the awards race with two nominations up its twisted sleeve. The film pretty much tells a similar story – a group of students on field work find themselves trapped by cannibals. In the end, only their teacher [played by Agaataliko Nfufu news anchor Sumaiya Muwonge] manages to flee and tell the story to a shocked nation.
Then there’s Wrong Destination, which dwells on the unfounded and rather derogatory rumors of cannibalism in Bukunja, a remote area in central Uganda. It is no movie for the faint-hearted as it features explicit scenes of cannibals skinning, roasting and devouring their victims.
But perhaps the one movie to look out for is Stranded. Reminiscent of the hit American series, Lost, this feature is arguably one of Ugawood’s finest productions in recent times.
The film, initially meant to be a series before its director changed his heart and patched it up for the festival, showcases a rare tale of suspense, treachery and horror where evil forces take over a group of camping students and turns them against each other.
The film’s young and inexperienced cast couldn’t hide their disappointment at the fact that their superb performance failed to land them a nomination.
“Everyone who watches this movie will understand why we feel we deserved to be nominated. We will let the audience do the judging,” said actress Paviah Nalubega, adding the snub has motivated her to do better.
Indeed, mistakes are bound to be made when selecting films for such a big festival. UCC however deserves credit for giving Ugandan filmmakers a national platform to showcase their works.
In fact, save for a few complaints mainly emanating from the selection criteria for competition section, the festival has largely enjoyed goodwill from the local filming community. And as though to return the favor, UCC has prepared a couple of hands-on workshops to run during the festival.
But it is the screenings which are tipped to steal the show. Aside the zombie and other shocking films, the inaugural edition of UFF will feature a range of educative/informative films, genuinely addressing Uganda’s culture, history and social ills.
Can’t wait to be part of this historic experience!