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Amakula brings African cinema to Kampala

A scene from office vacation.

The eleventh edition of the Amakula International Film Festival on March 14 kicked off at the Kampala Film School in Ggaba.

Opening with a cocktail at 6pm, the festival was making a comeback after skipping 2017 due to poor submissions and with an extended team that brought film scholar Polly Kamukama on board as a co-curator. With seasoned journalist and film critic Moses Serugo was also as a panellist for a discussion and the Kampala Film School as a partner, this edition promises more than before.

Spread in two venues, the festival is happening at the film school for many of the workshops, short film and documentary screenings. According to Bayimba Foundation, the organisers of Amakula – having the festival go to the film school is one way of opening the school up to film makers that have no idea it exists.

The festival this year brings to Kampala the world of cinema with films from Turkey, France, South Korea, Sweden, Brazil, Italy but above all, they bring the cinema from African countries like Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal among others.

On March 14, the programme opened with short films like Office Vacation, a collaboration between film maker Gerald Namanya and Kampala Film School students, family drama Mikono Salama from Tanzania, Jethro x Jethro and one of the best films of the day, The Bad Mexican.

The festival this year tried to gather more entries from film makers outside of Kampala which saw entries from two karamoja based film makers, Opacho Daniel and Agnes Etadu.

More screenings took place on March 15 while on 16 (today), the festival will usher in the second phase that will see Ugandans again enjoy the drive-in cinema experience at the Uganda Museum on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday, the festival will host a cocktail that will see awards handed out to the best films competing in the different categories.


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