Mariam Ndagire Churns Out New Talent

Three young girls, standing by the roadside, desperately needed transport to be in time for lectures.

They begged for a lift from whatever car that passed by them, until one gentle-looking man in a Ipsum offered them one. But before reaching their destination, he sprayed them with chloroform and they all slept, only to find themselves in a middle of a big forest with two cannibals celebrating such a big catch.

Having gone through some martial arts training at school, one of the girls fought her way to have all the girls escape. It is this storyline that made Ivan Ssewava’s Lift From Hell film, which he co-wrote with James Ndawula, win Mariam Ndagire’s Film and Performing Arts Centre (MDFPAC) 2014 movie furnace (Tanuulu) competitions.

The film beat three other movies: Inherited, Abduct and Naggwano to win Shs 2.5m last Friday at Bat Valley theatre. But it wasn’t an easy win because Lift From Hell and Abduct written by Daniel Kabuuka and Mary Nakiwolo had tied -with the same points.

It took the judges an extra mile to look out for distinctive features such as better cinematography, editing and sound quality to declare Lift From Hell winner. Ssewava, who was filled with tears of joy, said this was the beginning of his Hollywood journey. He had always tried in the previous Tanuulu competitions, but with little success.

“Our principal, Mariam Ndagire, who was the executive director as well as the script editor, has been helpful and determined to produce new talent in the industry. We are grateful and we promise that we shall not let her down,” Ssewava said.

George Kanakulya, whose movie was among the top four, also thanked Ndagire for sharing knowledge with others.

“I remember she one time told me that she doesn’t like being the only big fish in the sea. That is why she is making other big fish to fill the sea,” Kanakulya noted.

In her speech, Ndagire requested government to come out and offer financial support to the young industry, which is brimming with raw talent.

“We have seen a lot, both good and bad, and we are yet to tell it to the people out there. Kenyans praise us for having so many good stories that are yet to be told. With facilitations from government, we can make the industry bigger,” Ndagire said.

Her call comes at the back of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)’s recent move to hold annual movie awards, on top of ordering local TV stations to broadcast 70 per cent local content.

Ndagire also asked broadcasters to have faith in up and coming filmmakers.

“Whenever you go, they want a Mariam Ndagire movie. But I aise them [broadcasters] that people who have gone through my hands have things done the Ndagire way. They should be given a chance prove their worth,” she said, giving the example of Sarah Kisawuzi. The elderly lady in NTV’s Deception went through Ndagire’s school.

Source : The Observer

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