By Hussein Kiganda
Female filmmakers are advocating for the establishment of a body that will protect their rights following a surge in reports of sexual harassment in the film industry.
The filmmakers, who were mentored by actress Nisha Kalema, makeup artiste Esther Nakaziba, and film marketing expert Jesca Ahimbisibwe, during a special film workshop organised by Film Club Uganda at the National Theatre, on May 9, 2023, proposed the creation of a body to provide a safe haven for female filmmakers who face sexual harassment.
“We need a place to turn to when these issues (sexual harassment) are raised. We keep silent because we have nobody to turn to,” one of the female actors said.
Kevin Johns Nabukenya, a director whose movie The Wave won the Viewers Choice Award at the Uganda Film Festival in 2022, suggested that a legal team be established to handle sexual harassment cases within the proposed body. Nabukenya, being a lawyer herself, pledged to provide any necessary assistance.
Additionally, she encouraged female filmmakers to hire more female crew members to assist each other on set.
Addressing the issue of male directors inviting female actors to auditions and rehearsals at their private residences, Nakaziba recommended that the Government, through the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC), establishes designated places for all movie auditions in the country.
The session was themed Navigating The Challenges Female Filmmakers Face in the Film Industry and How to Solve Them.