A new Ugandan film that claims to educate lovers on how to achieve an everlasting relationship is set to premiere Tuesday next week at the National Theatre in Kampala.
Aptly titled The Counselor, the film explores major reasons behind the massive divorce rates and family breakups, and goes on to offer priceless tips on how to fix a crumbling relationship – according to its director and write, Hussein Omar.
A fast-rising filmmaker with over five titles already under his belt, Omar says his newest film was partly borne out of his experience with his girlfriend of one year, but that he was mainly inspired by the rate at which his friends were falling in-and-out of love.
“If you watch the movie, you will see that it’s an exact representation of today’s relationships. It captures the everyday struggles amid tough financial times and increasing dishonesty among couples,” the 32-year-old told us in an exclusive interview yesterday.
The Development Studies graduate-cum-filmmaker says he started researching for the film mid last year by talking to several happy couples, heartbroken people and relationship experts.
But he was stuck with too much information about love and marriage that he didn’t know how to craft it into a sensible film. Eventually though, he decided to tell the story through an eponymous character, Bob – a disgruntled relationship counselor whose own marriage is at stake.
Although a Counseling graduate, Bob’s real passion is in business. But when one day a bad deal crushes his enterprise leaving him penniless, and at the plodding of his wife of one year, he’s reluctantly seeks a job with a counseling firm.
Things take a drastic twist when he’s assigned to reconcile a wealthy but troubled couple at the verge of a divorce. Can he really do it without breaking the rules and further complicating his own marriage?
“This is a story about love and life, and I hope it will touch many young people,” explained the lanky filmmaker, sharing with us the behind-the-scenes and a few teasers.
Although the clips don’t give away much, they do provide some interesting insights about what awaits audiences – especially the two-minute trailer, now available on YouTube.
The rather captivating trailer is illuminated by a soulful guitar strum; and in it, Rose (Esther Bwanika) and husband (played by Christopher Lwandaga) are seen opening up to Bob about their marital woes and the impending divorce.
In the ensuing scenes, tensions boil as Bob’s wife; Suzan (Mariam Kubita) grills him over constant absenteeism and closeness to Rose. Elsewhere, another young couple is struggling with mistrust while Bob’s boss is incensed by the counselor’s unconventional approach to work.
“I had worked with some of the cast before so they clearly understood my vision for the project. We didn’t even rehearse until when we went on set,” Omar said, revealing he had to change almost the entire original script during shooting after discovering he hadn’t done enough research about counseling as a profession.
He also had to omit some scenes because they were too expensive to shoot on a self-funded budget of less than Shs7m. But as a complete filmmaker trained in writing; directing; cinematography and editing; Omar overcame the challenges to come up with an impressive product.
Now, he hopes his film’s realism and natural appeal to young audiences will draw in audiences. After Tuesday’s premiere, he hopes to take the film to other festivals as well as holding other commercial screenings across the country.
To attend the premiere, audience will have to part with Shs20,000 and Shs50,000 for ordinary and VIP tickets. The red-carpet fete will open at 6pm with a cocktail and photoshoot paving way for the screening.
Tickets are already on sale at the theatre box office, but for more information, you can contact organizers on 0703800759.