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Belgian-Ugandan thriller ‘Papi’ to premiere Thursday

A scene from the movie. COURTESY PHOTO

Papi, a Belgium-France-Uganda co-production film set in Uganda and featuring a predominantly local cast is set to premiere at Theatre Labonita in Kampala this Thursday.

Kjell Clarysse, the film’s writer and director said he was excited to bring the film ‘back home’ following a successful run in Belgium.

“We had a great time filming in Uganda with the local cast and crew, and I hope the audiences here appreciate the film as much as the ones back in Europe did,” Clarysse said, revealing that the film enjoyed rave reviews when it debuted in Brussels in May last year.

The 31-year-old filmmaker and photographer who is currently in the country to finalize arrangements for the February 15 red carpet do is hopeful his debut feature will open up doors for more European co-productions with Uganda.

Shot on location in Kampala back in 2015, the $15,000 (about Shs54.5m) budget film was mainly funded through an elaborate crowd-funding campaign that saw money raised through online contributions and other forms of fundraisers in Belgium and France.

The multilingual thriller revolves around its titular character Papi, a Congolese dandy who finds work as a boda boda rider in Kampala. His life is however turned upside-down when he crosses paths with a troubled woman and a deceitful Belgian expat.

Papy Tshifuaka, a Congolese actor and real life member of the world-famous fashion cult the Sepeurs plays the titular character while Belgian film star Fredrik Declercq is the villain.

The film’s Ugandan cast is on the other hand led by actors Rehema Nanfuka, Daniel Omara, Felix Bwanika, Wilberforce Mutete and TV personality Deedan Muyira.

The film’s two-minute trailer offers exciting insights into what awaits audiences on Thursday with its gripping action-packed excerpts. The brief clip opens with an impressive aerial shot of a Kampala suburb before cutting to what appears to be a meeting between two powerful men. Flashes of Papi’s flamboyant lifestyle then provide a transition to a more gruesome tone as the clip appears to show a rape and murder scene before the credits roll.

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