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Diaspora film festival is back

The second edition of the Nile’s Diaspora International Film Festival (NDIFF) kicked off last Thursday evening at the Kampala Serena hotel.

It was the start of week-long events organized to celebrate and promote the local film industry. NDIFF is a brainchild of Canada-based Ugandan, Phad Mutumba, and his wife Xena Mutumba.

Their plan is to give Uganda’s budding film industry visibility and exposure beyond borders. Guests started arriving around 6pm for the red carpet event. The biggest number was of people working in the industry, especially those whose films are scheduled for viewing during the festival.

The event lacked last year’s glamour, mainly caused by the absence of Ghanaian stars: Majid Michel and Jackie Appiah, who were expected to grace the opening night. However, the duo is expected into the country for the screenings, workshops, charity events, and closing night.

Once settled into Victoria hall, saxophonist Isaiah Katumwa kicked off the night’s event with his fine tunes. Wind Beneath My Wings and Sunrise laid the foundation for the rest of the night’s events.

Susan Marian Atengo Weyoye, UCC’s director Legal Affairs, who represented UCC’s executive director, called upon the filmmakers to use their talents to tell Ugandan stories in a way that stands out. The media regulatory body has called for an increase in local content broadcast starting from next year.

Making the Band, a film about a music reality show directed by Phad Mutumba, was the first to be screened this year. In total, 58 films are to be screened.

However, the French, Canadians and Spanish filmmakers make majority of the films. The six winners at the inaugural Uganda Film Festival (UFF) organized by Uganda Communications Commission earlier this year also got automatic entry into NDIFF.

Also look out for The Route (Jayant Maru), In Just Hours (Usama Mukwaya) and Kennedy Kihire’s Hangout and Watch Over Me.

The free movie screenings are currently going on at Cineplex Cinema and they will continue up to Thursday. Thereafter, a glamorous event has been organized at Royal Suites Bugolobi on Thursday evening to close the festival.


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