By Moses Serugo and Tukundane Yonna
The potential of the African film industry has long been inhibited by challenges of distribution and exhibition of African and diaspora cinema on the continent.
In particular, a coordinated and concerted strategy across countries is needed to develop audiences for African content in the region. The lack of networks and resources of independent cinemas has often meant limited access to quality content.
As a result, African audiences rarely see their own films or those of the diaspora on their local big screens. Yet at the same time, cinema attendance is on the rise in many countries, creating a space for a greater diversity of African content.
The objective of the #AfricanMovieNight is to provide a platform for the coordination and promotion of contemporary African cinema in Uganda in a bid to act as a vehicle for the expansion of audience access to, knowledge of, and demand for African film.
The #AfricanMovieNight has since January 2016 screened five movies so far at its well-attended monthly showcases at the National Theatre. They are;
January – VEVE
February – Zamora
March – Desert Flower
April – Sometimes in April
May – LUMUMBA
Tomorrow Sunday 12th June, the #AfricanMovieNight will showcase five movies in a daylong 10-hour screening marathon at the National Theatre starting midday to 10pm as follows;
12pm – Surprise Ugandan classic
2pm – Desert Flower. “Desert Flower” is as much a commentary against Female Genital Mutilation as it is about the fashion industry ecosystem; models, the photographers that ‘discover’ them and the enterprising agents that find them work. This and the glaring reality that human mannequins have a shelf life. This movie is for you.
4pm – African Metropolis shorts: This is a compilation of six short fiction films, set in six major African cities, a unique partnership towards new African cinema. The films from Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi tell urban tales about life in African metropolises.
6pm – LUMUMBA: The story of a pan-African hero comes to the big screen in LUMUMBA, a gripping political thriller about the legendary African leader Patrice Emery Lumumba. Called “the politico of the bush” by journalists of his day, the brilliant and charismatic Lumumba rose rapidly to the office of Prime Minister when Belgium conceded the Congo’s independence in June, 1960. He would last two months in office. This is a true story.
8pm – Dar Noir: DAR NOIR; A narcotics cop who moonlights as a heroin addict, finds redemption and a future in a sassy working girl who sees the gentle, loving man within, if only he can escape the darkness that keeps pulling him down. Winner Best International Film Award at Amakula 2016.