In what appears to be the ultimate wrap-up of a highly prolific year for Uganda’s film industry, a new local TV series is set for a grand premiere next Saturday.
Incorporating an array of genres, ranging from horror to adventure, Stranded will on November 30 premiere at Mandela National Stadium (Namboole)’s Kiprotich Hall, Wakiso district.
The show’s writer and director, Dickson Kaluya, exclusively spoke to this blog today and explained why he chose a rather unconventional premiere that will also feature a red carpet entry, music performances and a cocktail.
“We wanted to give the whole event a homely feel with cocktail tables rather than the cinema auditorium. The hall is also much more spacious than most of the cinemas around town,” Kaluya said of the event tipped to attract at least 500 moviegoers, with the flamboyant Soroti Municipality MP Mike Mukula as chief guest.
A graduate of film from the acclaimed Sydney Film School in Australia, Kaluya produced the serial under his Dix International Film and Television Institute (DIFTI), a Bweyogerere-based institution that seeks to train young Ugandans in filmmaking.
Initially, it was made as a feature film and submitted into the maiden Uganda Film Festival (UFF) where it screened in the non-competition category. It courted positive reviews for its cinematography and fascinating storyline involving a group of students who go hiking but end up lost in a thick and mysterious forest.
The warm reception at UFF, coupled with a new government directive to have all local TVs show 70% local content during prime time beginning January next year, has since inspired Kaluya and team to expand the film into an 18-season TV series.
On premiere day however, only the first two episodes of the first season, each about 30 minutes long, will be showed to the audience.
“I am in talks with a number of cable TVs including Zuku and DStv in regards to the series’ distribution. It is a bit frustrating with Ugandan TVs,” explained Kaluya, who has a decade-long experience in film and media having worked with SABC, BTV and NBS TV in South Africa, Botswana and Uganda respectively, before starting up DIFTI five years ago.
The institution, comprising of over 30 young actors and other film professionals, already has three movies to their credit. But Stranded is promising to be their best hit, having already generated some considerable buzz within local film realms ahead of next week’s show.
The series’ trailer, available here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxLcJt3pPI0&feature=share, is slowly garnering hits and offers interesting insights on what awaits audiences.
It opens with some students expressing their suspicions over the bizarre set of rules governing their trip, including one that forbids them from having sex. In the following clips, terrified students are then seen frantically running away from bloodthirst beasts, as the situation degenerates into a matter of life and death.
When asked about their preparations for the premiere, most of the cast members said they were nervous considering it is the first of such event in their lives. They are nonetheless hopeful the public will appreciate their talent. Plus, they have stocked up some really cool outfits for the red carpet!
Tickets are selling at Shs50,000 and Shs10,000 for VIP and ordinary seats respectively, and gates will open at 6pm. For more information, please contact: 0783718215 or 0706710078.