For the first time in history, Uganda has got an unprecedented opportunity to participate in world’s most prestigious film awards dubbed the “Oscars.”
The academy awards are for artistic and technical merit in the film industry given annually by the academy of motion pictures and arts sciences (AMPAS).
The awards are international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the academy’s voting members.
Speaking at the press conference for the official unveiling of the ‘Oscars Uganda academy and selection committee’ (UASC), the committee chairperson Godfrey Musinguzi said the Oscars present an unprecedented opportunity for Uganda to showcase its film making potential in the world.
“Our participation at the Oscars will generate a lot of international interest in Ugandan cinema and tourism while inspiring the next generation of local film makers. The selected film each year will serve as a branding tool for Uganda abroad,” said Musinguzi.
He added that it’s a task to lift up Uganda’s flag as a founding committee in Uganda and assured that Uganda has the potential to out compete the known successful film making countries not only in Africa but world over.
However, Musinguzi highlighted the issue of lack of budget as the main constraint faced by the committee and called on all relevant Agencies to come on board and find remedies for challenges faced by the film industry in Uganda.
According to Musinguzi, UASC wrote to all relevant Agencies including Ministry of Gender,UCC and UTB among others, on how to address the challenges faced by not only the committee but also the entire Ugandan film industry but no single agency replied.
Polly Kamukama, the film practitioner at Makerere University said the awards are crucial for the country’s tourism.
He added that they will provide an opportunity to showcase Uganda’s film making potential, create global ambassadors like the most popular Kenyan actress Lupita Nyongo among others.
The committee issued a call to local film makers to submit their films for consideration for the fourth coming edition of the academy awards due February 2020.
Films that will be eligible for the awards are those that were released between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 and the submission will run for one month closing on August 24, 2019.
The winning entry will be announced in September this year after which it will be submitted to the academy where it will yet again compete for nominations with other entries from across the globe.
The submitted films will also be required to have a significant representation of Uganda (have Ugandan producers, directors and writers), should have shown in the cinemas for 7 consecutive days and have a non English dialogue among others.