The genres and styles of Ugandan cinema have evolved over time and as filmmakers get bolder, newer ideas are coming in.
Just last year, the first ever Ugandan dance movie was premiered. It is like filmmakers are ready to undertake any project as long as it gives them an edge. On March 16 at the National Theatre, an audition was held for Uganda’s first ever sports movie.
Basket 53 is a basketball romantic drama whose story rotates around a boy whose desire is to be great at the game but is held back by family. It is a film about pushing for what you are passionate about even when everyone does not believe in you.
Last Saturday the producers held the second audition to screen candidates shortlisted from the first audition. The successful actors will go through another tougher test where the final cast will be chosen.
When it comes to basketball, swagg, height and accents usually come in and the audition was no different. Tall budding actors turned up in big numbers some were outrightly good, others moderate and most of them ‘just there’!
One thing they all had in common was the quick adaptation to an accent and swear words. You couldn’t blame them Basket 53’s executive producer, lead actress and one of the panel judges is NTV presenter Robin Kisti. Her presence must have convinced contestants thatshe wanted to hear them speak with an accent.
The girls, however, seemed intimidated by her presence. One of the hopefuls, a Lupita Nyong’o lookalike, wanted to woo the producers as a house girl, but she became tongue-tied when Kisti asked her to act. The best auditions came from renowned actors Diana Kahunde and Edwin Mukalazi.
Kona actor Prynce Joel Okuyo carried the day with his natural audition as the coach he was so flawless that he received a standing ovation and the role. Nevertheless, even as the project looks promising, the script gly needs a touch-up. It is entirely in English and some lines sounded clicheacute and borrowed from various Hollywood movies.
Many times, the feel of Ugandan basketball was not there it sounded too cosmetic. The script was predictable if you listened to a line, you could tell the next. Hopefully this was just an audition script and not the real deal.
Shooting starts in July and will last two months. The movie stars Kisti and The Observer scribe Felix Eupal in the lead roles.
Source : The Observer