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Europe meets Africa at Theatre La Bonita

Last year was a great year for film in Uganda, with hits like The Ugandan and The Route.

Our films got a number of international recognitions, which means 2013 may have set the pace for the future of the industry. Such success is paying off already as it seems like the industry hit the ground running this new year. So far, we have had the just-concluded Iranian film festival and Japanese Film Festival.

Ugandan Dilman Dila’s Felista’s Fable was also nominated at the second Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) in the category for the Best Make-up in Nigeria next month. And now, the industry has another bout of excitement with another festival: the first ever Euro-Africa Kampala Film festival.

Launched at a colourful event this Wednesday at Theatre La Bonita, the festival freely screens several films from Europe and Africa every day for a week. In the afternoon, long and short films, such as A Cat In Paris and The First Grader will be screened for children.

The festival kicked off with the 2010-Academy-award-winning Danish hit, In a Better World. The film is about Anton, a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to make difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness.

Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian’s mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death.

Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy.

Tomorrow, Cool Kids Don’t Cry will be screened, which is another hit and an adaption from one of the most famous Dutch children novels of the same title. But it is probably Saturday that many Ugandans will get the feel of being home when they screen the 2013-blockbuster by Patrick Sekaya, The Ugandan.

The festival goes on till February 25, next Tuesday when they will screen The Pardon, a movie about the Rwanda genocide.

The Euro-Africa Film festival is a collaboration of the European Union Delegation to Uganda, the Embassies and the cultural institutes of the European Union member states, Maisha Films, Garage Films and the embassy of Norway.

All films show from 4pm to 11pm at Theatre La Bonita.

kaggwandre@gmail.com

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