By Hussein Kiganda
The Uganda Film Festival (UFF) screenings, which commenced on May 22, 2023, have reached the halfway mark of their scheduled duration, showcasing a variety of movies to the audience.
On the opening day, the screenings drew a substantial crowd, nearly filling up the cinema halls. However, as the days progressed, the turnout dwindled, with attendees claiming that the announcement of the screenings was delayed.
Among the films showcased, The Kitara Chronicles garnered a significant audience and nearly filled the Arena Mall in Kampala on May 23. Another screening that enjoyed remarkable attendance was The Passenger on May 22, 2023.
Additional films, such as Nkwazi’s Slip, The Fallen Advocate, and When You Become Me, witnessed a reasonable level of audience engagement.
Thus far, over 20 films have been screened, and more are expected to be featured in the second phase of the screenings. Notably, on Sunday, May 28, 2023, Biro, directed by Ugandan Hollywood actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, will be presented at the National Theatre.
Engaging with attendees who watched some of the movies at Arena Mall, many expressed their appreciation for the remarkable improvement in the quality of Ugandan films. However, they noted that if the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) desires a larger audience, they should consider allowing free entry.
“It was an enchanting movie. I never anticipated such a high-quality production. It is disheartening to witness such a low turnout, possibly due to the entry fee. Initially, I assumed these screenings were complimentary, which may have discouraged some individuals from attending,” shared an enthusiastic moviegoer who attended the screening of “The Passenger.”
Another movie enthusiast, Akram Kamya, called for nationwide screenings, highlighting that Kampala is just one district among many in the country.
“On the screening’s is there any plan to get UFF screenings outside Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, and Entebbe for someone who can’t access cinemas nearby places like Hoima or anywhere or we haven’t yet reached there?” Kamya inquired.