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Ugandan actor crowdfunds for local short films

Ugandan-American Hollywood actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine. PHOTO | COURTESY

Ugandan-American Hollywood actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine is crowdfunding to raise over $10,000 to be awarded to the winner of a short film competition that aims to promote tourism in the country. He has pledged $1,000 of his own money.

The competition, dubbed This Is Uganda, is Ntare’s initiative, open to original productions by Ugandans, done in any local language with Kiswahili or English subtitles; and not be more than five minutes long. Multiple entries are allowed and deadline for submissions is April 15.

The best short film will win $5,000 and best female director $5,000. The submissions can be sent via e-mail to tiu@bewareoftime.com. The judges will be Fibby Kioria (programme director at Maisha Film Lab), Ugandan filmmaker Loukman Ali and Ntare.

Ntare was recently appointed the country’s Goodwill Cultural Tourism Ambassador to promote local talent and market the country as a tourist destination. “My mission is to inspire you to tell our own stories and share it with the rest of the world,” he told artistes in Kampala recently. Besides acting, his photographic work has exhibited at The United Nations, Rush Arts Gallery, the UCLA Fowler Museum and The Latino Art Museum.

Ntare was in the country last year in December and met with local filmmakers at the Uganda National Cultural Centre and at the Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC) under the invite of the Screen Actors Guild, in partnership with UCC and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB). “Any additional funds received will go directly toward creating runner up prizes for best short film and best female director,” he said.

Ntare’s recently appeared in Farewell Amor, by Tanzanian filmmaker Ekwa Msangi’s, which will premiere at Sundance this year. He has also appeared in Queen of Katwe, Boost, Blood Diamond and 40.

His directing credits include Kuhani, which won best achievement in directing at the International Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Switzerland. His feature length documentary Beware of Time won best film at the Berlin Black International Cinema Festival.

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