Following a successful world tour, acclaimed Ugandan filmmaker Patrick Sekyaya’s latest feature, The Ugandan, is finally coming home.
Themed on racial tensions between native Ugandans and Asian-Ugandans, the film will make its much-anticipated home debut tomorrow evening (6pm) at the National Theatre in Kampala.
The Shs70m budget AfriPlus Films-produced movie stars former Miss Uganda Dora Mwima and singer Halima Namakula in supporting roles, and had its world premiere at last year’s Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) in California, USA where it won the Best Narrative Feature Film award.
Since then, it has enjoyed successful spells in Boston, Burkina Faso, Los Angeles, Zanzibar and Nigeria, where it has been lauded for its cinematography and the candor manner in which it tells a historical racist feud that traces its roots in Dictator Idi Amin’s regime.
But tomorrow’s premiere, taunted to sellout, has been long overdue. The film came close to screening here in August at the maiden Uganda Film Festival (UFF), but Sekyaya pulled it out on the last hour in a bizarre move that left many local film fans furious.
Apparently, Sekyaya was mad at the fact that his film, the surprise winner of this year’s Best Child Actor award [in the name of 13-year old Benjamin Abemigisha] at the African Academy Movie Awards (AMAA), had not been nominated for any gong at the national festival.
In a recent interview with a local daily, Sekyaya reckoned he doesn’t regret his decision to keep the film away from Ugandans until tomorrow. He is even optimistic the international hype the film has by far garnered will pull crowds.
“I am not even looking at profits because they are not there. I do films because I want people to appreciate how I tell my story,” the seasoned director said of the movie that won him last year’s Super Talent award for Most Gifted Ugandan Filmmaker.
I personally loved the twists in The Ugandan. It starts out as a normal land row between two families – one Asian, the other Ugandan – but soon degenerates into a love affair and fraud scheme, peppered with racism and violence.
Obviously you don’t expect me to divulge more than that, lest I keep you from buying ticket – which are already on sell at the theatre box office. You will have to part with Shs20,000 and Shs50,000 for ordinary and VIP tickets respectively. See you there.