By Hussein Kiganda
Uganda’s approach to getting an Oscars Committee came as a miracle to most African countries who thought it was not possible for countries without a film commission.
Uganda managed to get its committee in 2019 after filmmaker Samuel Saviour Kizito engaged the Academy in the United States of America(USA) for two years.
Uganda’s achievement opened doors to several other African countries including Tanzania and Zambia. Picking Uganda as an example, these managed to get their Oscars committees in 2022 and 2021 respectively.
In a chat with The Kampala Sun, Samuel Saviour Kizito narrated how he managed to help Tanzania and Zambia get their Oscars Committees. Kizito narrated that when he managed to get a committee for Uganda.
“When I managed to create a committee for Uganda, news spread across Africa and different countries called me to know how I had made it. The first country to contact me was Tanzania,” he narrated.
Kizito was contacted by a Tanzanian government official, the director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival(ZIFF), and the movie director of Tug Of War. These held a zoom meeting with Kizito on how they could lobby for the committee.
Kizito guided them on who to contact, what to present, and how to present it. He lectured them on how to go about it and use his name as a recommendation.
“I took them through the whole process and asked them to use me as a recommender. I gave them the materials and the samples and I am glad it worked for them,” he said.
However, Tanzania reportedly had an Oscars Committee twenty years back but since they didn’t submit any movie for five years, their committee was dissolved.
The filmmaker narrated that the same way Tanzanians contact him was the way Zambians did. He recalled that he was contacted by a festival organizer called Martina, who later followed the same steps and got a committee for her country.
Despite helping so many countries, he appreciates Zambia’s boldness to recognize his help.
“I do not know why most of them do not recognize me!” He wondered. “I got to know that Tanzania got its committee after they submitted “Tug of war”. They did not get back to me when they got it. I am happy that Zambians called me and thanked me afterwards when they were launching their committee,” he said.