The idea of having short films celebrated in a festival format for Ugandans started in 2016 with the Kampala Short Film Festival at the National Theater.
The next year, Goethe Zentrum would partner with Maisha Film Lab to set up the Ngalabi Short Film Festival, featuring East African films and a few from the UK and German.
If last year’s debut edition was deemed a success, the organizers may as well have cemented the event into a fixture on the Ugandan calendar thanks to the very successful second do.
The selection this year had films from German and the UK and another lot of African films from Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, Ghana and of course Uganda among others.
With topics tackling religion, loss, myth and family, the three day festival curated one of the most complete fixtures that were not baised on topics.
Ali Loukman’s The Bad Mexican was the charmer of the day thanks to a complete fourteen minutes that respectfully mirror his inspirations like Quentin Terantino.
The film follows a budding film maker whose day goes bad after a Mexican meal he had the previous day, he has to do all it takes to pitch his script where he hopes to make money and pay off a drug lord that is hurting him down.
The film boosts of good visuals thanks to Loukman’s unmatched skill on the camera but then his biggest weapon becomes the sound design, editing coupled with brilliant storytelling.
But it was Sunday that many people were waiting for, the Ugandan premiere of the 2018 Oscar nominated short film Watu Wote.
The film is directed by Katja Benrath, a German film maker though it was set in Kenya with a Kenyan crew and actors.
Watu Wote follows events that arise after terrorists attack a bus heading to Mandera, a small town in North Eastern Kenya along the Somalia boarder.
This year the festival focused on networking, getting script writers and other film makers in a hands on training facilitated by Femi Kolade, a lecturer at the London Film School.