Uganda: Debate Over How to Build a Sustainable Film Industry (Video)

#Uganda: This week, an insightful discussion took place on Ugandan broadcaster NTV’s program “Morning at NTV,” under the segment titled “Building a sustainable film industry in Uganda.”

The 45-minute panel, with host Idris M. Seawa and guests actress/writer/filmmaker Nana Kagga and journalist/critic Andrew Kaggwa, focused on the current state and prospects of the Ugandan film industry in 2024 and beyond, highlighting both its challenges and potential.

A summary of what was discussed:

– There’s a sense of anticipation for a cinematic renaissance in Uganda post-pandemic, with more access to technology like digital cameras and a rise in online platforms offering distribution and exhibition.

– They tackle the difficulties filmmakers face, including the usual, like limited budgets, as well as the impact of digitalization, and the need for more diverse and quality work.

– A significant issue discussed is the misallocation of budgets, where filmmakers often take a large portion of the funding for personal use, leaving little for actual production costs.

– The lack of professionalism in various production stages, especially in scriptwriting and pre-production planning, was highlighted. This lack of professionalism leads to compromised film quality.

– The guests emphasized the need for proper education and training in filmmaking, advocating for both youth and experienced filmmakers.

– The establishment of guilds for different film industry sectors to hold filmmakers accountable and protect actors and crew members is suggested as a solution.

– They discuss the need for authentic Ugandan stories in local languages and lament the repetition of certain themes like domestic violence and witchcraft in Ugandan cinema.

– The criteria for funding and investment in film projects are debated, with a call for more thoughtful and targeted investment in quality film projects.

Overall, the discussion paints a picture of a film industry at a crossroads, facing significant challenges but also with great potential for growth and improvement.

It also mostly aligns with recent official regulatory reforms and key developments in the Ugandan film sector, as well as expectations for strong economic growth in the country this year and beyond.

According to the IMF earlier this week, Uganda is expected to be among the top 10 “growth spots in 2024,” along with Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and DRC.

Watch the panel (it’s in English).

1 thought on “Uganda: Debate Over How to Build a Sustainable Film Industry (Video)

  1. Fidel Thomas

    Depressing discussion again. They need educational programs before thinking about building an industry.

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