‘Veronica’s Wish’ opens 2018 Uganda Film Festival uff November 30, 2018 uffblog BY ANDREW KAGGWA The sixth annual edition of the Uganda Film Festival (UFF) kicked off on Monday evening at Century Cinemax in Kampala with the screening of the hotly-billed local feature Veronica’s Wish. The film was a big moment for the festival management to celebrate, since it is produced by Nisha Kalema, an actress who has made much of her name off of the festival, even being a two-time winner of the national cinema showcase’s Best Actress accolade. The stellar start to this year’s festival was a pleasant far cry from last year’s edition where audiences expressed dissatisfaction with the opening film in Breaking With Customs, with majority of the moviegoers this time round voicing their approval of the decision by the festival organizers, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), to kick start things with Kalema’s latest cinematic effort. A highly talented actress, Kalema last year decided to venture into production and thus wrote and produced Veronica’s Wish. She was also initially meant to direct the film but ended up enlisting the services of seasoned actress and onetime UFF Best Actress winner Rehema Nanfuka in that role. Actor couple Mathew Nabwiso and Eleanor Nansibo graced the 2018 UFF opening This made the film, a female-driven story produced, written and directed by a woman, quite special in many ways given the longstanding debate about gender representation in Ugandan cinema. The film follows a young couple, Veronica and Michael (played by Kalema and model Housen Mushema, respectively), who seem to have it all – a flashy lifestyle filled with cars, nice jobs and a large house as well as an upcoming wedding to complete their blissful life. On this journey, they are joined by two of their best friends, Bianca and Frank (played by siblings Malaika Nyanzi Simon Base Kalema), who never miss a chance to throw banter at each other. In Veronica’s Wish, Kalema and director Nanfuka deliver a story of a woman desperate to be in love with the man of her dreams yet has this big issue of a disease that is standing in between her and the life she thought she could live. Both Malaika Nyanzi (L) and Nisha Kalema are up for awards courtesy of their stellar performanes in ‘Veronica’s Wish A well-threaded story, the film easily transits between its subplots, some existent while some drawn in our minds – it is a story that benefits a lot from its wealth of emotions that some moments of its screening really got the audience completely invested. Veronica’s Wish is leading this year’s awards race with a whopping 13 nods including Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress among others.