As the music blared from loud speakers inside, anxious passers-by kept craning their necks to catch a glimpse of what exactly was going on in this usually quiet place.

Inquisitive children also joined in on the frenzy, even getting closer to the action by peeping through the fences and metallic gate to follow proceedings of the action happening at this arena.

Inside, there is a sizable crowd that has braved the sweltering head from the afternoon November sun to follow proceedings. Boda boda cyclists also take a break and park nearby to see for themselves.

They look shabby and dirty but on closer inspection, it in understandable as the audience is mostly comprised of mechanics and blacksmiths. It is their home. This is Katwe, the home of creative survivors and also in recent times, the home of the budding film industry in Uganda.

Their greasy overalls and makeshift work gear doesn’t deter them from enjoying the action. They don’t even shy away from photographers snapping away in front of them.

On stage is a reggae artiste, presumably a Rastaman, judging from the elaborate costume he is donning and long dreadlocks.

He hopes up and down in a calculated rhythm to the beat as he swings his head left and right with his long dreadlocks moving the opposite direction each time he lifts up his knee.

It is the film exhibition market at the Muganzirwazza plaza in Katwe. The expo is a part of the ongoing 2018 Uganda Film Festival (UFF) organized by the Uganda Communications Commission.

There are exhibition tents where different stakeholders and industry players are showcasing their work and products.  Partners like telecommunication companies, pay TV companies and banks are also using the opportunity to interact with potential clients as well as responding to queries from existing clients.

Most of the companies we talked to said they were at the exhibition market to introduce new products into the market as well as for festive season promotions. They had printed brochures, business cards and other promotional items.

In the film production section, many young directors and producers of local films were showcasing their films, latest equipment like monster cameras as well as some of their cast and crew for new releases as they sold DVDs.

“I came to introduce myself to other key industry players as well as UCC so that I can be recognized and appreciated as an upcoming director. Basically I came here to network and I am happy that I have achieved what brought me here,” Eddie Farouk Walakira, the director of Stone Gate Films, told this reporter

Another director and CEO of Giraffe Motion Films said he had exhibited for all the three times the market has been organized there and benefited a lot as he made new friends and got new clients each time.

Besides the production houses, there were also budding film schools and institutions that showcased some of the works done by their students – case in point being Media Vision Academy who offer courses in Videography, Photography, Cinematography, Video Editing, Acting Craft, Motion Graphics, Screenwriting, Directing and Film Art Production among others

“Our students can now produce their own films and they are doing well. We have come here to showcase some of their works and tell people out there that our school is doing great things,” said one of the company’s directors.

As the exhibitions continued throughout the festival week, there were also screenings at night as well as performances from local artistes that kept the plaza lively.