A lot has been happening on the local film industry of late, from an ongoing enforcement for classification, the arrest of film translator/commentator VJ Junior, to the launch of this year’s Uganda Film Festival by Uganda Communication Council.
Sadly though, as all these are happening, very little screen time or newspaper space has been dedicated to the actual works people are doing.
In fact, this could be the reason why some releases have totally gone unnoticed especially with a public that’s yet to jump off their seats because of a local product.
And it’s literally the story of Rain, a debut production effort by local film couple Mathew and Eleanor Nabwiso that premiered at both Theatre Labonita and National Theatre earlier this year.
Though with the drama that has engulfed the art industry generally, we somehow didn’t have time for this film.
Produced by the couple, the film tells a story of Dora Nantogo (Eleanor Nabwiso) alias Rain, a Kawuku based girl that has dreams bigger than the village she stays in.
She hopes she will one day leave Kawuku and make a name for herself as a musician – at the opening, we in fact see many people including her grandmother (Joanita Bewulira), boyfriend (Michael Wawuyo Jr) and uncle (Philip Luswata), it’s this dream that drives and gets her in trouble.
It all starts when she escapes from home to perform at a local talent show, what follows this are a series of misfortunes as she ends up sleeping with a DJ that leaves her pregnant and infected.
But the film still doesn’t take a turn for the worst, Mary Nyanzi the story writer somehow manages to weave a number of entertaining dialogues to keep her audience with the events unfolding – she manages to keep rain’s pursuit of a dream alive while tackling sub plots of what happens in lives of people looking to achieve something.
We see Rain partly become a maid, a bartender before later ending up in an hospital compound sick.
The film is a wise message of HIV/Aids that is carefully told to avoid being preachy or all over the place; the writer finds a careful way of introducing his story by using a counseling session to introduce Nantogo’s character.
But Nantongo is the counselor who’s using her personal story to get a teenager open up.
The film is a debut for the Nabwisos as producers but also a first one for Daniel Mugerwa the director; he does a good job from the choice of characters and cast that he totally exploits for the best, you see him get more than silky jokes from the likes of city comedian Richard Twanjye or getting Eleanor to be slutty as opposed to the refined good girl roles she has embodied before.
The film’s only short coming in fact could be an exaggeration with the camera work, some scenes were done with a drone for aerial views which really looked beautiful but somehow said or added nothing to the story, then there were those random shots of Kampala’s skyline that seemed to show one kampala building after the other with questionable transitions.
Rain is expected to get a number of nominations at the annual Uganda Film Festival awards later this year as it is already doing well in regional festivals.