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Julian CleophasMarch 24, 20162min40

Galz About Town Movie, Hassan Mageye, Waheedah Mwagale, AMVCA, Mashariki African Film Festival, African film, Africa's 1st film blog, zoom-in

Ugandan feature film ‘Galz About Town’ directed by Hassan Mageye won ‘Best East African Movie’ at the prestigious Kenyan Riverwood Academy Awards, held on the 12 March 2016. The feature film by New Cinema Productions had been on a successful run, picking up nominations at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and Mashariki African Film Festival earlier the year. ‘Galz About Town’ written by Waheedah Mwagale, is a story based on the prostitution world in Uganda, exposing the different ways prostitutes service their clients and the lifestyle they live through selling sex. Check out the trailer below…

Country: Uganda (2015)
Directed by: Hassan Mageye
Written by: Waheedah Mwagale
Film Cast: Orishabe Damalie, Kalema Nisha, Fauster Nazir, Mutebi Farooq, Dennis Josiah
Produced by: Hassan Mageye


Julian CleophasFebruary 24, 20164min40

Pearl International Film Festival, PIFF, Uganda Film Festival, Africa's first film blog, African film

The Pearl International Film Festival (PIFF) founded by local film distributors Moses Magezi and Usama Mukwaya in 2011, is an annual film festival held in Kampala, Uganda, touted as one of the biggest events on the Ugandan film calendar. The Pearl International Film Festival runs over 1 week taking place at the National Theatre, concluding with a glamorous awards evening at the end of the festival.

“The main reason that inspired the founding of PIFF was to get a platform that would finally grant   local filmmakers (usually low end, third grade films) the opportunity to have their work seen by the public” says J.B Busuulwa, filmmaker and close associate of PIFF organisers.

The Pearl International Film Festival attended by various film stakeholders concludes with an awards evening offering filmmakers 14 award categories that include:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Best Producer

Best Young Actor

Best Young Actress

Best Editor

Best Actor/supporting role

Best Actress/ supporting role

Best Short Film

Best Screenwriter

Best Director of Photography

Best Actor

Best Actress

Best Feature Film

Pearl International Film Festival, PIFF, Uganda Film Festival, Africa's first film blog, African film

PIFF aims to raise the profile of films by local filmmakers, contribute towards local cinema development and celebrate Ugandan cinema on a national level. In addition to the film festival, scheduled programs taking place include:

  • Film Awards
  • Film Workshops
  • Opening and Closing Night
  • Student Programs
  • Exhibitions

Submission deadline for the 2016 Pearl International Film Festival is 18 March 2016 and must be submitted at the locations listed below:

For more information on dates and submitting at PIFF click here


Julian CleophasJanuary 4, 20162min40

ZARRON MOTION PICTURES, Zoom-In,, Africa's 1st Film Blog, ZZiwa Aaron, Ugandan film, African film, Wako Film

“Wako” is a feature length film from award winning director Zziwa Aaron Alone set in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Director Zziwa Aaron Alone co-directed  “The Superstition” with Paresh Gondaliya which went on to win a number of international awards. Wako tells the life story of a young hustler \ going through the criminal underworld to save the life of his cervical cancer-stricken sister. See the official trailer below…

Country: Kampala, Uganda (2015)
Written and Directed by: Zziwa Aaron Alone
Screenplay: Zziwa Aaron Alone
Film Cast: Jayant Maru, Robert Ernest Bbumba, Masaba Rogers, Nirmal singh, Natuhwera Brighton, Echakara Geofrey, Wilson Egessa Okwenje, Bwanika felix
Produced by: Zziwa Aaron Alone and Natuhwera Brighton
Website: WAKO Facebook


Julian CleophasDecember 10, 20152min50

Award winning Ugandan feature film “House Arrest” directed by Joseph Ken Ssebagala, will celebrate its official public film premiere on the 19 December 2015. Hailed as production of the year, the film won six awards at the Ugandan Film Festival, including Best Film and Best Director to name a few.   A glamorous red carpet event will be held at the National Theatre on the 19 December 2015, to celebrate the production by Zenken Films.

House Arrest, Africa's 1st Film Blog, Uganda film

“The picture was good, I had the best Actress, the location for shooting was good and I worked with the best crew” said Joseph Ken Ssebagala to Chano8. The films established cast includes award winning actress Faridah Kuteesa Farshee, William Ndawula and Jakira Suudi. Check out the official trailer to House Arrest here.


Julian CleophasDecember 10, 20152min30


A woman marries an abusive, violent man, who cheats on her with a woman he introduces to his wife as a sister-in-law. The wife, Alice, gets frustrated and in one of his violent attacks on her, she kills him in self-defence. She is acquitted of the case. Her co-wife, Viola, bewitches her, unleashing charms that make Alice unable to leave her house. Worse still, her husband’s ghost returns to haunt her from within, seeking revenge. Unable to go outside, haunted from inside, the movie tells the events of Alice’s struggle to get her life back.

Genre: Drama Thriller
Director: Joseph Ken Ssebagala
Written by: Joseph Ken Ssebagala
Produced by: Joseph Ken Ssebagala
Production Company: Zenken Films


Julian CleophasDecember 4, 20155min80

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



Thiru NOctober 30, 20157min30

Since 2009 Wilson Egessa Okwenje has been profession driven as an actor in the Ugandan film industry under Maisha Film Lab.

His first movie was a short film, known as “The Pardon”, a story of a genocide survivor who is the writer and director of Imbabazi. “The Pardon” – short film produced and shot in Rwanda, is about Karemera the character whose family had been butchered during the tribal conflict of the Hutu against the Tutsi. In the movie Wilson acted as Karemera and the short film really did tremendously well around the world, winning awards such as best short movie in the Silicon Valley African Film Festival.

Winning that award has resulted in him being very grateful and giving thanks to his first director, Joel Karekezi from Rwanda who also directed Wilson in the feature film “Imbabazi The Pardon” – Watch trailer here.

The Pardon - Imbabazi - KAREKEZI Joel

Why did you choose the film industry/how did you get into the industry?
I chose film/movies to tell stories that inform and educate people so as to change and improve their lives in the world. I joined the film industry through Maisha Film Lab workshops and that’s how I managed to act in my very first short movie known as The Pardon – Watch trailer here.

How old are you and how long have you been in the film industry?
I am 30years old and have spent 7years acting in the movie industry in Uganda.

What work did you do before working as an actor?
I was a marketing intern at Bayimba Cultural Foundation and also worked at Warid Telecom as a production person in Uganda. And yes they have been paying my bills as an actor. Also been doing chicken poultry farming.

Who is your inspiration/role model?
My inspirational person is my reverend Pastor Chris Oyakilome Phd.

Who was/is your favourite director to work with and why?
Joel karekezi is my favourite and first director, because he would always keep informing me about the behaviours of the character so as to maintain the character till the shoot is done, and he is so open to new ideas.

Do you have any advice for upcoming actors?
To all actors and actresses believe in yourself because it starts with you, and also remember there is always room for learning and development. In other words have a listening ear to criticism and then learn to change. And also to better yourself watch movies that have won Oscars Academy Awards so as you may be able to learn different skills and abilities done by the different actors in the award winning movies, this will help you improve your acting game.

What is your future plans?
My future plans, is to work with all movie directors and scriptwriters around Africa and the rest of the world and then WIN at the OSCARS and GOLDEN GLOBES.

Early in his career Wilson Egessa Okwenje acted in a number of movies such as;

1. A Good Catholic Girl – Watch short film here

2. Karemera – The Pardon Short Film – Watch trailer here 

3. Karemera – Imbabazi The Pardon Feature Film – Watch trailer here 

In later years, the talented actor worked on a number of movies such as Nico The donkey (Character – Reverend) a Raising Voices Project, The Test – short film (Character – Friend), The Hostel – television series (Character – Lawyer), Bye Bye Mzungu (Character – Bar Tender), and he also acted as a Prison Inmate in State Research Bureau (S.R.B) under the guidance and direction of Matt Bish – Watch trailer here.


Since the start of his career in 2009 Wilson Egessa Okwenje acknowledges that he has learnt and acquired vast knowledge from all the directors he worked with in Uganda and is grateful for that.