Filmmakers Receive Golden Chance

Ugandan cinema has come a long way from days when it was close to a joke to the present when there’s even a festival to brag about.

It should, however, be noted that almost 90 percent of our local filmmakers are self-taught or have acquired a few skills from the minimal workshops they have attended. But with these improvised skills, filmmakers including Paresh Gondaliya (Superstition), Jyant Maru (K3NT and K3TE) or Matt Bish (A Good Catholic Girl) are making waves across Africa, winning awards and getting their works selected at indigenous festivals.

But, the future of upcoming filmmakers is bright they have a chance to hometheir craft and learn from the best, courtesy of the Nigeria-based Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). As part of its developmental agenda for the film sector, AFRIFF is planning to take 10 film students to the United States for practical training in various aspects of filmmaking. According to Chioma Ude, founderCEO, AFRIFF, the scholarships are open to all African students that will show utmost aptitude during the festival-organised workshops.

The aspects of filmmaking to be taught at the workshops include acting scriptwriting directing and cinematography. This was almost the key point in Patience Ozokwor’s speech during the just-concluded Uganda Film festival when she urged UCC and stakeholders to sponsor filmmakers to study better skills of the art abroad. The chance seems timely considering that few filmmakers can afford such courses on their own.

In an email to The Observer, Ude says this skill acquisition programme was conceived using filmmaking as a veritable vehicle for youth empowerment. AFRIFF has since its first edition in 2010, provided free training and talent- development opportunities for young people and aspiring filmmakers, providing ground-breaking education in sound, cinematography and screen writing for at least 500 students.

“We believe we can use this model for a social revolution that will change the economic horizon of the African film industry, by providing technical knowledge and skill sets to the abundant talents in our film community.”

Interested filmmakers can register at the AFRIFF website,, as only registered candidates will be eligible for short-listing for the workshops. Registration for the festival began on Monday.

This year’s edition of the festival will be held from November 9 to November 16, at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, Calabar, Cross River State Nigeria.

Source : The Observer

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