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Film: Does “Tembele’s submission to the Oscars matter to Uganda?

by Editorial Team
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By Hussein Kiganda

Uganda’s first Oscars Submission came this year after “Tembele” was pre-selected by the Uganda Academy Selection Committee(UASC) to represent the country at the 95th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards, known as the Academy Awards or simply the Oscars, which are the most prestigious film awards in the world.

Some Ugandans do not understand why Tembele”s submission matters to the country. On social media, many of them have wondered why the submission has been hyped so much.

Dr. Cindy Magara, a member of the Uganda Oscars Committee and a film lecturer at Makerere University, and Samuel Saviour Kizito, the founder of the Committee highlighted on how the submission of Tembele to the Oscars matters.

Kizito explained that the Oscars awards are televised across the whole world and attract over 100 million viewers from across the world every year, which is great publicity if Tembele makes it to the shortlist or nomination list. 

“That alone shows that this platform attracts the attention of hundreds of millions of people around the world, most of which are Film Industry executives and investors,” he said.

According to him Uganda getting on the shortlist, nomination or even award at the Oscars will open doors for foreign investment in the Film Industry since many Global Film Industry executives could notice and recognize the potential Uganda has as far as cinema is concerned.

“This will further increase the Uganda Tourism Sector as many people would be interested in visiting the country where the recognized film was made, and not to forget, Tembele exposes Uganda widely as it not only shows our native ghettos but also goes on to show us the beautiful landscapes of the country that the filmmaker captured while making the film,” he added.

He thinks that there is a higher chance that Uganda could attract more International Co-production projects not only from Hollywood but from other filmmaking territories in Europe and Asia.

“The recognition of Tembele whether it’s on the shortlist, nomination or award level will push our industry many steps towards being recognized on the Global Filmmaking Realm and this would also attract bigger distributors and streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and more to tap into acquiring more of our content as we would have gotten their attention, and when such big distribution platforms come to us, there’s no doubt our Industry will grow better, bigger and faster as there will be enough funding going around and return on investment,” he said.

According to Dr. Cindy Magara, the platform will give chance to Uganda, to showcase her product in film, and will provide positive publicity for the country.

“It means a lot. It is no longer about Tembele as a movie but about the country. With that huge platform, it’s one way of making news especially from a positive point of view. This time, it’s not about Ebola and other diseases or the bad politics and how it manifests in this country. It’s about a good product like Tembele holding Uganda’s flag,” she said.

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