Director Matt Bish talks to Polly Kamukama at the UFF 2018 opening ceremony


Local feature film Bella continues to impress one year on after it premiered in a glamorous ceremony at Serena Hotel in Kampala.

The film tells the rags-to-riches story of a disadvantaged but musically-talented girl named Bella who finds herself in the city after being thrown out of the house by her alcoholic and violent father.

As fate would have it, she makes friends with a renowned city prostitute who helps her settle in the city and work on her dream to become a music star. This is in reward to Bella saving the prostitute’s life after she had been attached by a rapist.

Singer Cinderella Sanyu aka Cindy makes her acting debut and performs exceptionally well, while the humorous Simon Base Kalema and comic Isaac Kudzu did their part. The film also stars Matthew Nabwiso and former Miss Uganda turned actor Stella Nantumbwe among others.

“I have been following Cindy for a long time, I like her performances and also knew she can sing so it was just easy for me to settle on her because I felt she was the right person for this role,” director Matt Bish explained of his decision to cast the dancehall star and first time actor.

Although work on Bella started as early as 2012, the film was only released last year and has since only been available to the public in bits until recently when it started showing on the new MultiChoice channel, Pearl Magic.

So when it received multiple nominations in this year’s Uganda Film Festival awards, it was inevitable for the public to get a chance to view it for the first time. And Tuesday provided that opportunity as many people flocked Century Cinemax to support the compelling film with Matt Bish himself ushered in the guests.

It was rather a pleasant surprise to hear that many people were actually watching the much-hyped movie for the first time.

Bish’s earlier productions such as Battle of Souls, State Research Bureau and the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award winning A Good Catholic Girl made him a formidable force to reckon with in Uganda’s film industry.

Bella heads to Friday’s UFF 2018 awards ceremony as one of the biggest contenders, along with the likes of Veronica’s Wish and 94 Terror.