A $1m (about Shs 2.6bn) budget film that stars an A-list cast from Bollywood and Ugawood, is currently in its final production stages in Uganda.
The making of Escape from Uganda, an action-packed crime thriller, quietly kicked off three months back on various locations in Jinja and Kampala. Its production team has since been working tirelessly to beat its concurrent October release in both India and Uganda. A ‘wrap-up’ cocktail was last Friday held at Sheraton hotel, in Kampala to celebrate the film’s successful shooting.
“It has been an amazing experience working with top class actors from two different backgrounds. We are sure we have made quite a good product,” the film’s award-winning Indian director, Rajesh Nair, told guests.
Nair has roots in Uganda, having lived here nearly half his life, and is considered one of the fastest-rising Bollywood filmmakers following the international success of his recent debut feature film, Annum Innum Ennum. The 35-year-old is optimistic Escape from Uganda, shot by River Nile Motion Pictures (RNMP), an Indian-Ugandan production firm, will strengthen the partnership between Ugawood and Bollywood.
At the cocktail, the film’s stills and trailer were availed to an awed audience. In the clips, actors could be seen pulling daredevil stunts, including blowing up places, high speed chases and gripping gun action. The Malayalam/English language film’s compelling storyline, written by Bollywood icon Salin Mankuzhy, chronicles a middle income Indian-Ugandan family framed for committing a high profile murder. The wife, Shika, played by award-winning Bollywood actress and former beauty queen Rima Kallingal, is subsequently sent to jail.
Facing a death sentence with no hopes of getting justice in a corrupt system, her family is left with no choice but to hatch a suicidal plan to aid her escape. Much of the film focuses on Shika’s loving husband (played by another celebrated Bollywood icon, Parthieban) and his mission to flee the mother of his young daughter.
“It is my first action film and certainly one of my favourite roles,” Kallingal said, revealing her best part during production which came with visiting the source of the Nile.
“People back at home are going to be shocked when they see this movie. We (Indians) have always had a negative perception about Uganda. But I now know the truth; this country is blessed with natural beauty and talent,” added the 29-year-old actress.
Miss Uganda 2013 first runner up, Anita Kyalimpa, makes her debut acting role in the film as the murdered daughter of an outspoken city mayor (played by Ebonies’ John Bagenda) while veteran Ugawood star, Micheal Wawuyo, plays head of military intelligence. Typecast actor and real life cop, Wilberforce Mutete, maintains his day job.
Miss Uganda organiser Brenda Nanyonjo and Tricksters star, Carlos Ombonya, are also part of the predominant Ugandan cast.