‘House Arrest’ the film to beat at UFF 2015 awards

POLLY KAMUKAMA

House Arrest, the latest cinematic offering from talented Ugandan filmmaker Joseph Ken Ssebagala, is leading the race to this year’s Uganda Film Festival (UFF) awards with a whooping seven nods.

According to a tentative nomination list exclusively acquired by this blog, the drama-thriller themed on sorcery has scooped nods in major categories including Best Feature Film, Film of the Year, Best Screenplay and Best Actress.

Faridah Kuteesa is up for a UFF Best Actress award courtesy of her compelling performance as a psychologically tortured woman in 'House Arrest'.

Faridah Kuteesa is up for a UFF Best Actress award courtesy of her compelling performance as a psychologically tortured woman in ‘House Arrest’.

It has also been recognized in Best Sound, Best Cinematography and Best Editing/Post Production categories.

“I knew we had a good film, but I could never have imagined that we would get all these nominations. It’s a great honour to me and the entire team,” an elated Ssebagala told us yesterday.

Actress Faridah Kuteesa as Alice in 'House Arrest'.

Actress Faridah Kuteesa as Alice in ‘House Arrest’.

The 32-year-old multi-artist, along with a few other nominees, was on Tuesday informed by phone about the nominations, although the final list is expected to come out later this week.

News of the film’s multiple nominations should indeed have came as a huge reprieve after the project suffered a major setback two years ago and had to be entirely reshot this March.

Joseph Ssebagala and Faridah Kuteesa seen here on the film's set back in March

Joseph Ssebagala and Faridah Kuteesa seen here on the film’s set back in March

In an earlier interview with this blog, Ssebagala revealed that he was forced to abandon the first version of the film in 2013 after he lost rights to access the principle location midway production.

He had to come down to the wire to finish the new version in time for the end-of-May submission deadline of the August 24-28 festival, where it will hold its premiere.

Kuteesa plays a bewitched and traumatized woman in the film

Kuteesa plays a bewitched and traumatized woman in the film

The English language picture, starring actress Faridah Kuteesa as a bewitched widow struggling with memories of abuse, is one of Ssebagala’s two films competing at the third annual edition of the premium local cinema showcase.

His other feature film, Call 112, a thriller loosely based on human body organ trafficking, will head to the August 28 awards with nods in the Best Screenplay and Best Actor categories following its Kampala premiere earlier this week.

'Boda Boda Thieves' teenage lead, Hassan 'Spike' Isingoma, is eyeing the Best Actor award, but will likely not attend the Aug 28 ceremony since he is in jail. The film got a total of five awards.

‘Boda Boda Thieves’ teenage lead, Hassan ‘Spike’ Isingoma, is eyeing the Best Actor award, but will likely not attend the Aug 28 ceremony since he is in jail. The film got a total of five awards.

Meanwhile, House Arrest faces tight competition from Boda Boda Thieves, with the latter film commanding a respectable five nods including Best Feature Film, Film of the Year and Best Actor (Hassan ‘Spike’ Insingoma).

Another new film that will premiere at the festival, The Tailor, from director Hassan Mageye, is eyeing six awards including Best Actress for talented newcomer, Nisha Kalema.

The $1m (about Shs3.2bn) budget Indian-Ugandan collabo, Luzira: Escape from Uganda, could only squeeze in three noms, while critical Luganda language drama Akatiiro scored two.

And in perhaps what is the biggest disappointment about the list, Bala Bala Sese, arguably one of the best films to come out of Uganda this year, was given the cold shoulder.

Many critics and fans who attended the beautifully-shot love story’s premiere at Theatre Labonita in Kampala last month will be left questioning the festival jury’s decision to snub it.

Other hotly-billed films such as Crafts, A Dog Story and The Road We Travel were equally left out in favor of In Reality, Walk with Me and Kyosiga’s Dream in the shorts category.

We could not ascertain the nominees in the Best Student Film category by press time.

Organised by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), UFF was incepted in 2013 as a rather belated effort by government to help promote the struggling local film industry.

The initiative, funded by tax-payers’ money, has often been criticized for failing to address the core problems affecting Ugandan filmmakers such as lack of funding and piracy.

This year’s festival, themed Celebrating Quality of Ugandan Film, takes place Aug 24-28 around Kampala, and will feature a host of programmes including screenings, workshops and a glamorous awards ceremony on the closing day.

Tentative List of UFF 2015 Nominees

Best Short Film

  • Kyosiga’s Dream
  • In Reality (Douglas ‘Benda’ Kasule)
  • My Land
  • Walk With Me

Best Animation

  • Dream Uganda 2050
  • Super Human
  • Chimp Boda

Best Documentary

  • Hooked: Bilali’s Story
  • King of the Road
  • Boda Boda

Best Actor

  • Hassan Mageye (The Tailor)
  • Farooq Mutebi (Call 112)
  • Hassan ‘Spike’ Insingoma (Boda Boda Thieves)

Best Actress

  • Nisha Kalema (The Tailor)
  • Faridah ‘Farshee’ Kuteesa (House Arrest)
  • Rima Kallingal (Luzira : Escape From Uganda)

Best Screenplay

  • House Arrest (Joseph K Ssebagala)
  • Akattiro : The Death Corner (Sinani Kakembo)
  • Call 122 (Joseph K Ssebagala)

Best Costume

  • The Curse 1870 (Ntega Posiano, Asimwe, Matega Ramech)
  • Galz About Town (Claire Nabwami, McQueen Fashion House)
  • The Tailor (Claire Nabwami, McQueen Fashion House)

Best Sound

  • House Arrest (Kazi Isaac Kasozi)
  • Luzira : Escape From Uganda (Mike Kanonya)
  • Boda Boda Thieves (Peter Miles)

Best Cinematography

  • Luzira : Escape From Uganda (Vishnu Sarma)
  • House Arrest (Joseph K Ssebagala)
  • The Tailor (Bobich Serunjongi)

Best Editing/Post-Production

  • Boda Boda Thieves (James Tayler)
  • House Arrest (Mike Kanonya)
  • Akattiro : The Death Corner (Abdallah Kabunga)

Best Feature Film 

  • The Tailor (Hakim Hackman Bagaruka & Hassan Mageye)
  • Boda Boda Thieves (Donald Mugisha)
  • House Arrest (Joseph K Ssebagala)

Film of the Year

  • The Tailor (Hakim Hackman Bagaruka & Hassan Mageye)
  • Boda Boda Thieves (Donald Mugisha)
  • House Arrest (Joseph K Ssebagala)

 kamukamapolly@gmail.com

 

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