Ugandan director Richard Mulindwa’s upcoming film Freedom is off to a dazzling start after scooping a whooping nine nods at the forthcoming Uganda Film Festival (UFF) awards.
The film, set to officially premiere later this November, scooped nominations in every major competition category at this year’s UFF scheduled for next month.
Based on a true story and set in the 80s, the English language picture details the despicable abuse suffered by one unlucky girl at the hands of her adoptive father.
The film has landed nominations for Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
It has also scored Best Actor and Best Actress slots in its lead cast of Raymond Rushabiro and Nisha Kalema, as well as nods in the costume, sound and editing categories.
“I endured many challenges and made plenty of sacrifices to make this film. I’m thankful to God for rewarding me in this magnitude,” an emotional Mulindwa said in reaction to the nomination list released today.
The 29-year-old filmmaker is certainly the man to beat at this year’s UFF awards as his other new film The Only Son, which premiered in a glamorous red carpet event at Serena Hotel in Kampala just last week also raked in six nods including Best Director, Best Feature Film and Best Screenplay.
Hassan Mageye’s Invisible Cuffs, which charts the unnerving story of a man’s struggle with cannibalism, comes hot on the heels of Freedom with eight nods having only missed out on Best Cinematography among all the top categories.
Mageye, who also plays lead character Deo in the film, will be looking to take home the Best Actor gong with his biggest rivalry coming in the form of Rushabiro.
Mageye’s onscreen wife and the drama-thriller’s heroine Tania Kankindi will also go head-to-head with the high-flying Kalema for the Best Actress accolade.
Other top contenders at this year’s UFF awards include among others Kennedy Kihire’s New Intentions, Aaron Ziwa’s Wako andDream America by Paresh Gondaliya with six, four and four nods each, respectively.
Bobby Tamale, producer and lead actor of The Only Son, landed two acting nods – one for the film, the other for the WBS TV series It Can’t Be for which he also doubles as producer.
Although largely praised as a fair lineup, this year’s UFF awards nominations haven’t fallen short of controversy.
Among the rather outstanding performances overlooked by the five-man UFF jury this year include that of John Wayne Muganza (New Intentions), Specioza Amito (A Girl from Lamwo) and Yvonne Sue (Freedom).
Imbabazi, Don’t Lick, Five Seconds, Chebet and Mr Ability are some of the other good films that didn’t make the cut.
The supporting categories were also unjustifiably scrapped off in favour of three new TV categories which pit Coffee Shop andDeception as the top contenders.
Organised by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), UFF seeks to promote the local film industry by providing a platform for filmmakers to showcase their works to the world.
The fourth edition of the annual cinema showcase takes place Aug 22-26, 2016, under the theme ‘Promoting Culture Through Film’ and will make use of all the major cinemas around Kampala.
The weeklong programme will feature a series of activities including film screenings, forums and workshops, and will culminate with a lavish awards gala were winners are feted with crests and laptops.
This year’s awards jury includes film experts Femi Femi Odugbemi (Nigeria), Cliff Okumu (Kenya), Leonce Ngabo (Burundi), Dominic Dipio (Uganda) and Joshua Ssali Sentongo (Uganda).