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Mukwaya wins film contest

“Do it now if you can, when you can. Sometimes later goes for never and it’s not about being cute or not, but the confidence of how you see yourself in the reflection...”

Usam Osam Mukwaya’s famous quote fits well in last weekend’s glory as he walked away with $1000 (Shs 2.6m) when his film Just Hours emerged the winner in Mariam Ndagire Film and Performing Arts Centre (MNFPA) movie furnace (Tanuulu).
The annual event was last year won by Hakim Bigaruka.

Mukwaya’s movie beat three others, Take Me, Ram and Obutamanya. This year writers were given human interest themes about sickle cell anaemia and fistula, and Just Hours which was about sicklers was even screened during the recent sickle cells symposium at Hotel Africana.

The furnace held at Bat Valley theatre on July 12 had participants from the film classes of 2010 to 2012. Last year Mukwaya tried with his Smart Attempt and didn’t make it to the primaries.

“I have finally made it. This is just the beginning as I am looking forward to being a very big screenwriter, film director, actor and television host in Uganda and beyond,” says the filmmaker with more than 10 films to his credit.

Handing over a dummy cheque to the winning crew, Ndagire said her centre aims at improving and elevating Uganda’s entertainment industry through nurturing committed, honest and disciplined artistes.

“This year we have over 85 students who are about to hit the streets; this now brings it to over 200 who have gone through the school since 2010 and we are proud that they are doing a great job out there,” she said.

“We are also looking beyond Uganda and I am encouraging my students to do quality works, that is why the movies they make in class are already on DStv [including mine such as] Belated Trouble,” says Ndagire who is also writing another series, Nothing But Love, for NTV.


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