Sunday, 21 July 2013
Why the Ugandan Team Loves DIFF - By: Polly Kamukama
More than ever before, Ugandan filmmakers are looking up to international festivals to boost their careers and to network with industry players from across the world. But perhaps no film festival has enchanted Ugandans more than the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has done. For about six years now, DIFF has not fallen short of Ugandan contingence.
From the famed filmmaker Carol Kamya to film critic Moses Serugo, it seems as though more Ugandan film professionals are eager to come to Durban. And this year hasn’t been any different. Over 30 Ugandans applied to join the festival’s Talent Campus, a five day programme of master classes and interactions amongst film professionals from across Africa. However, only two – producer Nathan Magoola and journalist Polly Kamukama – were selected. Producer and cinematographer Bob Nyanzi will on the other hand be pitching his latest project, Wasswa at Filmart.
When asking Ugandan DIFF participants about their inspiration and love for South Africa’s oldest and biggest international film festival, “DIFF is structured in a manner that allows for extensive networking particularly during workshops, master classes and cocktails,” says Magoola.
As a budding producer, Magoola also knows a thing or two about the possible financial remunerations of associating with such an acclaimed festival. He has previously received funding from Goteborg International Film Festival (GIFF) for his first feature film, Felistus Fable in 2008.
“It even goes beyond just money. It is also a shopping ground for technical crew and actors,” Magoola says, revealing he is interested in working with South African sound engineers and editors.
Nyanzi shares a similar story – he is hopeful he will find more funds for his film. Already, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR)’s Hubert Bals Fund has sponsored the film’s script development.
On the other hand, one can assume that DIFF has a potential to change the landscape of African cinema, thanks to its diverse programming with emphasis on African films. This year alone boasts over 60 African titles, out of the 150 scheduled to screen throughout the 10-day event.
Hundreds of fans who flocked DIFF’s opening ceremony on Thursday were however disappointed to discover that the publications and film board had banned what was meant to be the opening film, Of Good Report, by South Africa’s evolutionally director Jamil XT Qubeka.
Other festival programmes have however since continued normally as the Qubeka and team plot an appeal and a possible law suit.
Polly Kamukama (Uganda) is a participant of Talent Press Durban 2013
Photo by: Polly Kamukama.