Meet Isaac Nabwana, Uganda’s DIY King and his $200 feature films!

[ 0 ] December 4, 2015 |

While browsing the web, I came across a headline that read “Uganda’s Tarantino…” which immediately shifted my focus and  I decided to read further. After reading it, I was left amazed, inspired and completely bewildered by what Ugandan film director Isaac Nabwana, was able to achieve with his $200 viral feature films.

Isaac Nabwana is the master mind behind Ramon Film Productions located in Wakaliga, a slum on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. It is in this exact location where self-taught filmmaker Isaac Nabwana has developed his art form and shot 40 low budget action films, each costing around $200 to make.Zoom-In, Africa's 1st Film Blog, Isaac Nabwana, Uganda's Tarantino, Wakaliwood

To make things even more unbelievable, Isaac’s films have gone viral, building a considerable following of film enthusiasts who love his work.  His followers had been so mesmerized, that Lake Placid Film Festival Programme director Alan Hoffmanis packed up his things in the United States of America, to join Isaac in Uganda.“In the West when you have no money, you shoot two people having a conversation… You don’t make a war film” says Alan Hoffmanis.Machine Guns, Africa's 1st film blog, Zoom-In,

So, I decided to watch the trailer of “Who Killed Captain Alex?” punted as Uganda’s first action film. The trailer had me bursting out with laughter, making me think of action comedy film “Hot Shots” the parody of the blockbuster film “Top Gun”. Starting off with a child’s voice over announcing the production company (Ramon Film Productions), what I was seeing was remarkable, computer generated helicopters bombing buildings, replicas of machine guns welded from scrap metal, carved bullets from wood and loads more to leave you in awe.

In the case of Isaac Nabwana, with a volunteer cast, lack of money, equipment and facilities, it is pure passion that gets a film made in Wakaliga, also known as “Wakaliwood”. The action films have a comedic twist to them, “I include comedy, there was no comedy in the violence I witnessed” says Isaac Nabwana.

To counter the distribution problem, the crew and cast work for free, but get to keep 50% of the profits for any DVD they sell.  The films can sell for up to 3 000 shillings or 1 dollar, but they only have one week to sell them before the films become pirated. We do man-to-man or door-to-door all over the country to sell them…” says Nabwana.

                                                                                                                                         video’s via Nabwana

From “Hollywood”, “Bollywood” and “Nollywood”, its clear that “Wakaliwood” will soon be the new kids on the block and a force to be reckoned with. Isaac Nabwana is testament  that with passion and innovation anything is possible .  For more information on Isaac Nabwana’s films click here

images from BBC News


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