Ugandan Official Selection Committee paves way for Oscar nomination

Published on 21 July 2020 at 14:26


Congratulations on this exciting piece of news!

This is a huge milestone as most Ugandan filmmakers never believed this was even possible. I spent the last three years trying to promote the Ugandan film industry to the Academy,  letting them know that it has credible films and deserves their consideration. After numerous emails and much research on their part, they finally got back to me and tasked me to set up an Oscar Selection Committee for Uganda, which I did. They took several months to vet the committee members but we got the good news in May this year. We will be able to start submitting films to next year’s 92nd Oscar edition in the Best International Feature Film category. Uganda’s participation is a huge deal, as it connects the country to the rest of the world.

Tell us a little bit about the Ugandan Film Industry today…

From my perspective, the Ugandan Film Industry is a young but fast growing industry. Currently, the film industry is making steps onto the international scene with films that have pushed boundaries and spread out of Uganda and Africa to grace various prestigious international festivals. Despite the fact that there are usually less than five movies that represent Uganda internationally a year, there's hope that this number will increase significantly in the coming years. This is due to the fact that there are more and more filmmakers that make compelling films that can compete on international platforms. 

What themes do you like to explore in your films and tell us about your most recent film 'The Forbidden'?

I always intend to tell stories that will inspire people to become better individuals, to their friends and families and their communities at large- generally to become better citizens. I have so far explored the themes of Poverty, Deception, Suffering, Incest, Love, family, Betrayal, Adultery, Marriage. “The Forbidden” addresses the lack of awareness in Uganda regarding HIV/AIDS related issues in connection to the African girl and youths in general but also the responsibility of parents to educate their children on such topics. Many families in Uganda face similar situations to those portrayed in “The Forbidden”. Sexual reproductive health should be taught in schools today but parents must also take action in mentoring their children through this process.

Tell us about the Ghetto Film Project and your involvement in it?

The Ghetto Film Project was founded in 2013 by notorious filmmaker George Stanley Nsamba. It is a non-governmental organisation that mentors, rehabilitates and nurtures young individuals in the slums of Kampala. Young people are taught filmmaking and other arts to tell stories from the ghettos of Uganda. They also learn how to become responsible citizens in their communities. 

I have been a member of this organisation since 2014 and its where I learnt some of my filmmaking skills. Since 2019, I have also been mentoring the youths at the Project. The filmmaking skills taught at the Ghetto Film Project are so advanced and great that I have never seen any film school in Uganda that teaches and mentors students better than how it's done at the Ghetto Film Project.


Check out the trailer to Kizito’s film ‘ The Forbidden’

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