Veronica’s Wish lived up to its billing by winning nine of its 13 nominations at last Friday’s Uganda Film Festival (UFF) 2018 awards held at Serena Hotel in Kampala.
The feature film about a young loving couple’s tragic fate in the wake of a cancer diagnosis took home awards for Best Feature film, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Post Production and Best Costume. It also won individual accolades for Best supporting Actor (Simon Base Karma) Best Director (Rehema Nanfuka) and Best Actress (Nisha Kalema).
The film tells the story of a couple (Michael and Veronica) whose soulmate life comes crashing after Veronica gets hit by the killer disease days before their wedding. She now has to make a choice between love and saving lives.

The film features some of the finest local actors in the game including Nisha Kalema, Simon Base Kalema, Housen Moushema and newcomer Malaika Nyanzi.
Bella, the other film with several nominations that was expected to give Veronica’s Wish a run for the money, only took home one award – Best Supporting Actress for Stella Nantumbwe’s stellar performance as a city prostitute.

The newly introduced category, Viewer’s Choice Award, which was decided by the audience, predictably went to 94 Terror, a film themed on the 1994 Rwanda genocide. The film got the biggest audience during the screenings throughout the festival week in different cinemas.  During its corporate screening on Thursday at Century Cinemax, the hall was filled to capacity that some fans had to watch from the corridors while standing.

While speaking at the award’s gala night, Uganda Communication Commission’s Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi said that starting next month, the commission will be mandated to implement a policy to promote local content on media platforms especially televisions which will be required to allocate at least 70% of their prime time to local content.
“Starting next month, It will be an obligation for local television stations to allocate 70% prime time to local content or we else we close down those who do not comply. We are starting this process in early January 2019,” Mutabazi said.

Chief Guest and State Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Idah Nantaba, echoed the same issue, emphasizing giving more time to local content while praising MultiChoice which she said had taken the lead in spotlighting local content by way of its new customized Ugandan, channel Pearl Magic.
“Government is going to reduce taxes on film equipment to help filmmakers import quality equipment to ease their work. I therefore ask filmmakers to produce a film about the Ugandan parliament next year,” she said.

Other notable winners of the night included, Raymond Rushabiro who won the Best Actor award for his role as a dying man in Days to Live, the Best Short Film award went to Kyenvu while legendary actor Abbey Mukiibi was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards were hosted by Roger Mugisha and Flavia Tumusiime while singers Jose Chameleone, Winnie Nwagi, Steve Keys and the Kika Troupe entertained the guests.

Best Student film… Idi Amin’s Boat
Best short film… Kyemvu
Best Animation…. Chebet
Best Documentary….Your Music, Your Voice
Best East African film… World Toufouti
Best African film…..Sometimes In Yesterday
Best Actor in a TV drama…Ejule Paul
Best Actress in a TV drama… Nantambi Juliet
Best TV drama….Mistakes Gals Do
Best costume…Veronica’s Wish
Best Sound… Veronica’s Wish
Best post production/editing…Veronica’s Wish
Best Cinematography….Veronica’s Wish
Best Script (screenplay)…. Veronica’s Wish
Best Supporting Actor (Male)… Simon Base Kalema (Veronica’s Wish)
Best Supporting Actress…Stella Nantumbwe (Bella)
Best Actor… Raymond Rushabiro (5 Days To Live)
Best Actress….Nisha Kalema (Veronica’s Wish)
Viewers Choice Award….94 Terror
Lifetime Achievement Award….Abbey Mukiibi
Best Feature film….Veronica’s Wish
Best Director…. Rehema Namfuka (Veronica’s Wish)