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Kampala Amakula, Uganda’s oldest film festival is back

For a number of years, Amakula International Film Festival (AIFF) was the sole Ugandan festival and one of the biggest in the East African region.
However, due to issues beyond the management, they had to pull the plug on the festival before it celebrated its tenth birthday.
This week, the festival will make its way back to the social calendar with an epic tenth edition that is slated for the 16th-20th at the Uganda Museum.
For those five days, film lovers will experience probably the country’s modern day era drive in cinema where both in competition and out of competition films from Uganda, Africa and the rest of the world will be screened.
The return edition is curated by Bayimba Cultural Foundation’s Faisal Kiwewa, Caroline Christgau of Geothe Zentrum, Arlen Dilsizian of Kampala Film School with content advice from Maisha Film Lab’s Fibby Kiora.
Talking to The Observer, Christgau noted the purpose of AIFF is to get Ugandans appreciate films done by both Ugandans and African creatives with a vision of connecting the industry to others industries.
Some of the films to screen during the festival include Oscar nominated Timbuktu, highly successful Malawi film B’ella, Bala Bala Sese and Dar Noir among others.
Timbuktu is a 2014 French-Mauritanian drama film directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. On release in 2014, it was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or the main competition section at the Cannes Film Festival. 
It went on to win the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the François Chalais Prize. It was later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, and has been nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language at the 69th British Academy Film Awards.
The film looks at the brief occupation of Timbuktu, Mali by Ansar Dine. Parts of the film are influenced by a 2012 public stoning of an unmarried couple in Aguelhok.
But Timbuktu is not in competition for the Golden Impala Award, Best International Feature Film but Bashir Lukyamuzi’s Bala Bala Sese, Hamadi Mwapachu’s Dar Noir, Tawanga Taddja Nkhonjera’s B’ella and Nadya by Shams Bhanji.
Bala Bala Sese, is one of the films representing Uganda at the Luxor Film Festival in Egypt later this year and was one of the best reviewed Ugandan films in 2015 with Polly Kamukama noting that the film was relevant because of its topic but didn’t try to be an activist kind of art. 
The picture that stars famous couple Michael Kasaija and Natasha Sinayobye, shows a botfriend’s battle for love through perseverance.
Other awards up for grabs are Best International Documentary and Best East Africa Short Film.
According to Kiwewa, AIFF aims at contributing to a vibrant local film industry by broadening access at contributing to a vibrant local film industry by broadening access to developing audiences.
Entrance will be shs50,000/= for a full festival pass.

About Kaggwa Andrew

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