Uganda had a reason to celebrate as Africa had all its eyes on Lagos last Saturday. Quietly, the team made up of Rwamusigazi Kyakunzire that was representing The Forbidden, Eleanor and Mathew Nabwiso, the producers of Rain, Joan Agaba and Raymond Rushabiro, the lead actors in The Torture, as well as Cinderella Sanyu, the lead actor in Bella.
Of course since most of the films had more than a nomination, they had come with their producers and directors.
Unlike other continental awards where all nominees regardless of where they come from get a chance in the limelight, the Ugandan crew had it rough.
For nearly twenty minutes, Mathew and Eleanor walked the red carpet as some un-interested journalists snapped away, but after walking the whole of it, they faced a fact that no one in Nigeria was that excited to see them.
Through a Nigerian friend, some forged interviews with TVs like Trybe and Hip TV but that was almost it.
With mostly local media accredited to cover, it became challenging from foreign actors or producers to get interviews, in fact, most of the invited journalists ended up sitting through the event like guests.
The Torture, the film that produced two Best actor and actress nominations for Rushabiro and Agaba was one of the most nominated as its producer and director, Richard Mulindwa had picked up a writing, director and East African category nominations.
“When am writing films, i try my best to work with many actors that people have not seen, in that way I get the best from them,” he said in an interview with sQoop magazine.
Last year, during the annual Uganda Film Festival (UFF), The Torture courtesy of Rushabiro and Agaba took home Best Actor and Actress, and it was the third time a film by Mulindwa was winning a Best Actress accolade.
Agaba and Cindy both lost to Jalade Omotola who noted that Alter Ego was her first movie in many years, the actress had taken a hiatus to concentrate on real estate which she calls her second love.
For the Nabwisos, Rain was their first effort as producers and are still impressed by everything it has achieved since its premiere back in late 2016.
The film follows a naive young girl whose pursuit for fame lands her in more trouble than she ever bargained for.
Like The Forbidden, Rain has won a countable number of awards in both Africa and Europe; “For us this nomination is a sign that we need to work harder,” said the couple.
Ugandan films lost to Kenyan film 18 Hours by Phoebe Ruguru that ended up winning the Best Overall Film.
According to Ruguru, like the Ugandan market, Kenyans don’t warm up to local films the way they react to Hollywood though, she noted she believes the trend will soon change as cinemas are slowly giving them a chance.