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Sqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photosSqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photos

Four One One

Ngalabi no longer needs a drumroll

Peter Niwagaba, director of Spider during a talk back. Photo/Courtesy.

The first time a short film festival was held in Kampala, it was a six hour affair.
It was at the National Theatre, just one Tuesday evening. That had been a creation of Africa Movie Night Kampala, over 15 short films were exhibited. That was 2015.

However, African Movie Night Kampala did not organise another event of sorts. In 2017, Goethe Zentrum Kampala, Uganda German Cultural Society and Maisha Film Lab launched the Ngalabi Short Film Festival. This too started as a small film affair taking place at their premises’ rooftop in Kamwokya. Yet, seven editions later, it has become one of the most anticipated film festivals held in Uganda.

This year’s edition wasn’t a small affair. Held at the plush Design Hub in the Industrial area, it brought together the industry’s stakeholders both in Uganda and the East African region.

Over the years, if there is one thing that the festival has managed to do remarkably well, it has been putting together a good mix of films. Some carefully curated from Europe, while at it, selecting a good fit of African films that project the direction many African industries want to take.

But besides such films, they have also used the festival to celebrate African filmmaking talent that seems to be making waves in other countries.

For instance in 2017, they shed a light on the crew that Watu Wote, a collaborational Kenyan\German film about terrorism in the country. The film had been lauded after premiering in festivals in Europe that it wasn’t very surprising when it scooped an Oscar nomination later.

This year, they did not disappoint with films such as Ttula, a Ugandan animation about mental health or an all female led Keycard by Angella Emurwon. These two films were unique in two different ways, medium and messaging.

Keycard is an investigation, an area we rarely approach in cinema, while the later is embarking on telling stories with the aid of animation, a genre most people think only targets children.
This year also featured a number of first time filmmakers and many experimental ones.

The festival that spanned three days, from Friday to Sunday evening also dedicated the sunday programme to the famous Short Shorts and Shots. It is a Kenyan film exhibition programme that mixes film showcasing with fun. The programme dictates that the audience wears shorts to come see short films.

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