By Hussein Kiganda
Several Ugandan movies have made it to nomination lists at international festivals and fronts.
Morris Mugisha’s Stain received seven nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards and won Best Actress In Leading Role.
The movie has won several other awards in Egypt, Nigeria, and Uganda.
Loukman Ali’s The Girl In The Yellow Jumper and Mariam Ndagire’s My Husband’s Wife were also nominated in the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards.
As the country finds a glimmer of hope in these few directors that bag international awards, The Kampala Sun had a chat with them about what they meant to them and the country.
Director of Sixteen Rounds Loukman Ali thinks the awards are just tools of publicity and that there is nothing more to gain from them.
“You become known as an award winner and potentially meet some cool people at the event. I think they bring publicity to the project, but I prefer awards that come along with money,” he says.
Morris Mugisha thinks that Ugandan awards are better because some of them come with money, unlike international awards which are prestige based.
Cissy Nalumansi, the director of Kela, co-writer of the Ugandan series Sanyu, and a film instructor at Multi-Choice Uganda, says there is a lot to gain from the awards.
“It’s sort of appreciation, credit, and applause for the work done and since there is competition, you feel like you have beat everybody else. Some come with money like the Uganda Film Festival (UFF) and this can be used to kickstart a new project. We have also improved in creativity, production, and tactics because we are competing,” she says.
Nalumansi also considers the endorsements brought in by the award and how far the award takes her as a creative.
“For me, I am looking at the aftermath of the awards. Who is going to call me for a co-production, writing, and directing gig? When you win an award, at times you even get funders, collaborators and some finances,” she says.
About the just-concluded Oscar Awards, Mugisha and Loukman think Ugandans can win them, but not now.
“Ugandans will want to hear me say that we can win the Oscars, but the truth is that we cannot win them now. Not because of lack of money, but because we are not yet creative enough,” Loukman says.
“It will probably come one day because there is a category called Best International Movie, so someday, if chance knocks and the academy jury chooses us, but this will not come soon,” he says.
To Nalumansi, the glory and glamour of the Oscars have been built over time so we have to build our own awards too.
She advises Ugandans to concentrate on our own stories because these relate to us more, compared to movies that are Oscar awarded.
“The Oscars have been there for 94 years. Our UFF has been here for just nine years and that’s why the Oscars have got such hype. If we also keep ours for that long, they will also have the hype,” she says.