Uganda Film Festival’s VCA a breath of fresh air uff November 30, 2018 uffblog BY ROY RUVA Uganda Communications Commission, the organisers of the Uganda Film Festival, have this year announced a new category in the festival’s awards – the Viewer’s Choice Award (VCA). While officiating at the opening of the festival on Monday, the UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi said the commission has taken on the lead role in streamlining and developing the film industry in Uganda which is in line with UCC’s mandate of regulating the film industry. One of UCC’s immediate goals is to stimulate the film industry so that it can achieve its full potential as a source of employment for Ugandans and actively contribute revenue to the country’s economy. The film festival is therefore intended to help showcase what the industry is doing and at the same time focusing attention to all the other facets of the industry, Mutabazi said. “ “The aim is to generate interest in the Ugandan film industry both locally and internationally, but also to bring all the industry players together in a more focused and promising environment,” he added. And in line with this year’s theme “Promoting culture through film”, the commission thought it fit to introduce the VCA as a means to engage the audiences and direct consumers, especially the downtown crowd which has for a long time been sidelined from the activities of the festival. This has been made possible by building capacity among the viewers through workshops, empowering them to deicide their best films by voting for their favorite feature film after every screening in the respective partner cinemas. UCC has partnered with Century Cinemax, Cinema Magic, NuMax Cinema and Cinemax to screen all films free of charge, giving an opportunity for the audience to watch the films and vote for their favorites for the VCA. UFF 2018 VCA nominees BELLA A movie about a homeless girl Bella (played by Cinderella Sanyu aka Cindy) who lived on the streets for a long time after being kicked out by her father. Armed with an exceptional talent and driven by a dream to become a star, she ends up in the City and befriending a prostitute where she is discovered by a music promoter who nurtures her talent. The movie also features major actors on the Ugandan scene including; Abby Mukiibi, Roger Mugisha, Matthew Nabwiso, former miss Uganda Stella Nantumbwe, Simon Base Kalema, Michael Wawuyo Jr and Joel Okuyo among others. VERONICA’S WISH Written, produced and starring Nisha Kalema, this Rehema-Nanfuka directed picture boasts a whopping 13 nods – including Best Feature Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actress – at the Uganda Film Festival 2018. It tells the story of a young successful couple, Michael and Veronica, who are living their soul mate life and engaged to marry but their journey takes a drastic turn when Veronica gets hit by a mysterious illness days away from her wedding. Veronica must choose between love and saving lives. 94 TERROR The film is based on the ’94 Rwandan genocide which was sparked by the assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana and saw nearly half a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus butchered in one of the world’s most terrifying events. Keza’s family is murdered in her sight but she narrowly escapes with the help of her mates; Shema a Hutu, Mutesi a Tutsi and the rest, together they have to sneak through the risky bushes to make it out of Rwanda alive. The film is directed by the multi-award winning Ugandan director Richard Mulindwa under his production house Limit Production. The cast includes lots of new and young talent like Agaba Joan popularly known as Jojo Nitah (Best Actress Uganda Film Festival 2017), Solidad Ketra Ronah (Ninsiima Ronah), Nabbanja Doryn, Mutebi Farooq, Bobby Tamale and many others. SLAY QUEENS Dumba Derrick, a musician and actor, together with his friends came up with the concept to convey a message very appropriate for the youth and just like that, “Slay Queens” was born. The film showcases the root causes of prostitution and the ladders that the people involved want to climb to be at the ‘top’ of the chain. Some risk it all, others give up and others lose it all. THE AGREEMENT Directed by Kizza Richard, The Agreement is about an unfair arrangement which offers Sylivia (17) to Byabagambi an old rich man who sexually abuses her, leaving her pregnant and helpless. Her attempts to hide the pregnancy so as to stay in school are frustrated by Jovia’s relentless efforts to implicate Byabagambi into this criminal act and chase him out of the school. Sylivia must stand against all odds and fight the agreement.