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‘Ugandan Oscars’ set for Friday

All roads lead to Theatre La Bonita on Friday as Uganda celebrates the best talents in her film industry.

The ongoing Pearl International Film Festival (PIFF), the most glamorous local film gala, will end with an awarding ceremony. In their second year, PIFF awards will have 24 awards, up from last year’s 14, for the best actors and filmmakers.

Media houses and journalists that have been outstanding in covering film-related issues will also be awarded. And The Observer journalists, Abu-Baker Mulumba and Polly Kamukama, are among the nominees in the Best Film Journalist category.

“We have struggled with finances because sponsors shunned us. All the telecoms said their customers are not interested in local movies. Other companies said they had closed their budgets,” said Moses Magezi, the awards director.

Magezi added that he and the rest of the organizing committee have hence had to dig in their own pockets to foot the bills. He, however, acknowledged that some organizations, including Pepsi, Moonberg Lager and Dmark have given them assistance. Bella Wines and Record TV are among the other partners.

Last year’s event at the National Theatre was highly attended and is best remembered for its pomp. Politicians, socialites and foreign dignitaries made up part of the audience. Yet Magezi has promised a more glamorous night this Saturday. PIFF awards are fondly known as ‘Ugandan Oscars’ in the film fraternity.

Tickets are on sale at Theatre La Bonita, National Theatre and Jamo Productions offices at Jesco Plaza. Ordinary tickets cost Shs 15,000 and VIPs are Shs 30,000.

oman@observer.ug

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