By Dickson Ndugwa
Sam Bagenda, popularly known by his stage name Dr. Bbosa, has implored government to create a ministry of entertainment, to harness the immense talent in Uganda.
In the veteran actor’s estimation, the gulf of class between Uganda’s film industry and that of Nigeria is because the latter receive more support from their government.
“Filmmakers in Uganda go through a lot of problems. It is expensive to do film and truth be told, we don’t have that support right now,” Bbosa said at the launch of the Ikon film and TV awards held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday.
According to Bbosa, according the entertainment industry a ministry is long overdue. “Government should give us a ministry. During budget allocation we should be considered. With a ministry and funding, Uganda’s film industry will be like Nigeria We have the talent and passion,” Bbosa said.
With over 1000 movies a year, the Nigerian film industry – or Nollywood – is now the second largest in the world, between Bollywood and Hollywood. A 2021 PwC report indicates that in 2021, Nigeria’s film industry contributed 2.3% and about 239 billion naira ($660 million) to Nigeria’s GDP with export revenue earnings estimated at over $1billion in 2022. Uganda’s film industry pales in comparison.
At the awards, Reach A Hand Uganda announced its support in sponsorship towards The Young Filmmakers Fellowship Program under the iKon Awards: Film and Television with a $5000 ( Sh18m) grant to be shared equally amongst 10 successfully selected emerging filmmakers.
The opportunity is designed to target young, passionate, enthusiastic and emerging filmmakers interested in telling stories in the film and TV industry.