The Clan’s Wife, an upcoming film about HIV/AIDS pandemic in western Uganda during the mid ‘80s, was the surprise favorite as Pearl International Film Festival (Piff) announced nominees for their fourth awards last Friday.
The local picture, written and directed by Hassan Mageye, is leading the race to this year’s ‘Ugandan Oscars’ with a whooping 12 nominations including nods in Best Feature Film, Director, Script, Actor and Actress categories.
Reacting to the nominations at the low-key ceremony held at Astoria Hotel in Kampala, an excited Mageye said he was both shocked and humbled by his film’s dominance.
“It’s surreal because I’m still doing some improvements to the film. What I submitted in is not the final copy,” he said, revealing he was only looking at collecting the audience and critics’ views about the film at Piff.
But as it now appears, however, The Clan’s Wife is poised for a knockout debut. Mageye’s previous film, King’s Virgin, won five of its 11 nominations at last year’s Piff, and has since been selected to participate at this year’s Zanzibar International Film Festival (Ziff).
Besides the ‘big four’, the film is also eyeing awards in the technical and supporting categories, including a double in the Best Supporting Actor category, where Mageye is also nominated for his work on another film.
Close in the awards chase is the compelling Luganda drama, Ensasagge. The film about the emotional journey of a girl as she desperately searches for her long-lost twin sister boasts nine nods, including Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Other films with multiple nominations include: Broken Silence (six), Run the World (five), Ensi Eno (three) and Secrets of High School Teenagers (three).
Surprisingly missing on the nom list, however, is Game On, the urban dance movie that premiered to rave reception in November last year. The Route, one of the biggest Ugandan movies last year, was not submitted.
A total of 46 films, up from last year’s 30, are participating at Piff 2014, out of which 25 will compete for awards in 17 categories. Best Animation and Best Documentary categories pulled a few entries, so all the participating films in both categories will only get certificates mentions.
The festival’s organizing committee gives out four honorary awards including Outstanding Media Personality, Best Media House, Lifetime Achievement and Special Award.
But unlike in the previous editions where the festival has been a weeklong affair at the National Theatre, this year’s Piff will largely target bibandas (video halls) and areas outside Kampala.
It will also be held in two phases, with the first phase (May 23-June 8) involving outdoor screenings in nine upcountry venues including Mbarara, Jinja and Masaka. The second phase, whose dates are yet to be announced, will include a syndicated screening programme across 15 bibandas in Kampala, and will end with the closing awards ceremony at National Theatre.
The festival’s founder and director, Moses Magezi, explained that the massive restructuring was aimed at solving the festival’s perennial financial problem by baiting sponsors with the prospect of reaching wider audiences.
The awards head Jury, filmmaker and scholar Cindy Magara, said majority of the participating films boasted impressive cinematography and acting, but had poor plots, irrelevant stories and terrible sound management.
Full Nomination List
Best Feature Film
- The Clan’s Wife
- Run the World
- Broken Silence
- Ensi Eno
- Paul Okurut & James Babalanda (Broken Silence)
- Ahmed Lubowa & Bava Kaweesi (Ensasagge)
- Charles Tyaba (Ensi Eno)
- Farooq Mutebi (Run the World)
- Hassan Mageye (The Clan’s Wife)
- Secrets of High School Teenagers (Zainab Aziz Patel)
- Ensasagge (Jennifer Nakulima)
- Run the World (Joan Ndagire)
- The Clan’s Wife (Hassan Mageye)
- Broken Silence (Paul Okurut & James Babalanda)
- Lenya (Esteleo Kidde)
- The Clan’s Wife (Williams Bbosa)
- Broken Silence (Paul Okurut)
- Village Girl (J.B Edit)
- The Phantom Tales (Denis Dhikusooka)
- Bbosa Sserunkuuma (Abasama)
- Jamada Kafeero (Enkomerero)
- Goodman Ofla (Clef)
- Yasin Lubowa (The Clan’s Wife)
- Jakira Suudi (Bwebatyo)
Best Supporting Actor
- Bbosa Sserunkuuma (Enkomerero)
- Hassan Mageye (Village Girl)
- Tonny Mukisa (Omukwano Kyeki?)
- Prince Joe Nakibinge (The Clan’s Wife)
- Ahabsalam Khuzeo (The Clan’s Wife)
- Mariam Kyazze (Broken Silence)
- Jennifer Nakulima (Ensasagge)
- Faridah Kuteesa (The Clan’s Wife)
- Sofia Kawooya (Enyonta Etavumulwa)
- Nampala Claire (Run the World)
Best Supporting Actress
- Elizabeth Kobusingye (Ensasagge)
- Jennifer Nakulima (Enyonta Etavumulwa)
- Rashida Namulondo (The Clan’s Wife)
- Joy Agaba (Secrets of High School Teenagers)
- Quin Kigozi (Find Me a Wife)
Best Makeup & Costume Designer
- Shakira Kibirige (The Clan’s Wife)
- Shakira Kibirige (Bwebatyo)
- Mariam Ndagire & Nuluat Nalubega (Ensasagge)
- Ponsiano Mugisha (The Document)
- Damalie Orishaba & Joan Nangendo (Trespass)
- Run the World (Bobich Media)
- Ensasagge (Mohammed Zamunye)
- Bisobera (Jb Edit)
- Mr. Inspector (Yusuf Kinene)
- Sakitegeeza (Charles Tyaba)
Best Original Music Score
- Enkomerero (Ivan Kayongo)
- Bisobera (JB Edit)
- The Clan’s Wife (Eli Arkis)
- Akamuli (Jargezi Kibali, Hassan Mukasa, Joan Ndagire & Madina Nassali)
- Broken Silence (William Ekudo & Amos Edeu)
Best Director of Photography
- Bobich Sserunjoji (Ensasagge)
- Daniel Kiggundu (Once Upon a Time in Africa)
- Yusuf Kinene (Akamuli)
- Rowland Rwamusinguzi (Secrets of High School Teenagers)
- Mohammed Kyeyune (Saakitegeera)
Best Set Design
- Ensasagge (Mariam Ndagire & Nuluat Nalubega)
- Ensi Eno (Dardani Kyeyune)
- The Clan’s Wife (Joshua Wasswa)
- Breaking the Mesh (Joseph Ntesibe)
- The Phantom Tales (Norman Dhikusooka)
Best Short Film
- Me Myself and I
- Campus Scandal
- It’s My Cellphone
- Crazy World
Best Student Film
- Breaking the Mesh (Kennedy Kihire, Mak University)
- Kapeke Town (Daniel Semulema, K’la Film School)
- The Phone Snatcher (Rachael Komushana, K’la Film School)
- On the Line (Joshua Waiswa, K’la Film School)
- In Just Hours (Osama Mukwaya, MNFPAC)
Best Action Film
- Crazy World
- Rescue Team
Best Thriller/Horror Film
- Chicago Bastards
- The Phantom Tales
- The Mutilation
*Best Animation [Certificate and mention]
*Best Documentary [Certificate and mention]
- The Reign of the Nation
- A book for Every Child