Monthly Archives: January 2014

Zanzibar, Durban, Rwanda Film Fest submission calls on

It’s festival submission season and Ugandan moviemakers can now get their cinematic works assessed by way of showcases at three African festivals of note. The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) submission call ends January 31st 2014. ZIFF is the region’s premier cinema showcase and takes place on the enchanting Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar.  Priority at ZIFF 2014 will be given to films reflecting the theme of global cultural interaction, cultural encounters or socio-cultural commentary although filmmakers are encouraged to submit works in any genre. Works-in-progress will be accepted but they must be semi-completed no later than April 1st, 2014. Submission forms are available at


For the 2014 Durban International Film Festival, submissions will be made through an online database called Evential. Filmmakers will be required to log onto, create an Evential account, submit an entry form and send your DVDs before the March 28, 2014 deadline. Only films completed in 2013 and 2014 will be considered. More information is available at The Rwanda Film Festival will hold its 10th edition aptly titled “10 Years of Hillywood” and submissions are on until March 29, 2014. The festival, whose character draws from the notion that Rwanda is the land of 1000 hills, is open to all genres, length and languages. The 2014 edition will focus on “Reflection” and is looking at putting together a selection of films that will look at historical and contemporary issues from around the world. These will include intercultural interaction, social and political changes, climate change and young people on the move. The festival aims to take its audience on a trip around the world. The selection of films within the festival’s program will reflect on their filmic aesthetic and context as well as from the angle of social relevance that well vets around the word “Reflection”. Additional info is available at




Sauti za Busara 2014; not so arts journo friendly


Culture vultures heading out to the idyllic Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar for the 2014 Sauti za Busara Festival this February should have finalised their travel and accommodation plans by now. East Africa’s premier world music showcase is a pilgrimage of sorts that books out the ferry service between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. This coupled with an absence of [hotel] rooms for those that do not plan very early. The wise thing is to reserve one’s place of abode up to six months in advance. Unless you want to take a chance on sleeping out in the sweltering sea level heat, an adventure on its own. Joel Sebunjo is the lone Ugandan on the festival bill this year in what is yet another indictment of the World Music scene in Uganda. One would have expected fine outfits of note like Janzi Band, Myko Ouma, Suzan Kerunen or even Lilian Mbabazi to have made the grade. Let’s hope the folks at Bayimba, a partner festival to Busara, have not been napping on the job in not aggressively pitching our export-quality World Music talent.

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The Lessons Of 2013

The CHRONICLES of Eristaus

  1. Learn To Trust In God And In People

People are people, they will always let you down yet ironically its very exhausting to live without trust. Two things; apply wisdom and discretion but most importantly trust God to bring the right people in your life. Sometimes the wrong people are the right people because they come teach you how to appreciate the right people when they come

  1. Be Yourself

This is probably one of the most difficult things to do in life and for very many reasons. First of all African parenting doesn’t encourage individuality. This guarantees a crisis at point X in ones life. The good thing about it is that if dealt with well, it can be the best thing to happen to you – “Self Discovery”. Secondly, Society has been spending a lot time teaching us what it thinks we should be, unfortunately we cant all be…

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Africa Magic at 10: Tokenism for Uganda


Ugandan audio-visual content producers may not have much to look forward to even as Africa Magic toasts to 10 years. They may have to settle for the tokenism that is a lone nomination at the 2014 AMVCAs. Veteran film industry practitioner Michael Wawuyo earned himself a Best Make-up nod for the film The Felistas Fable. Being a technical nomination, his winning luck will be determined by a specialist panel unlike Mathew Nabwiso’s aggressive social media canvassing that earned him a Best Supporting Actor trophy at last year’s inaugural event.  

The other tokenism is by way of the dignified “extras” supporting cast roles in Kona, the ambitious 250-episode Africa Magic drama series that mostly features a Kenyan cast and crew. Only two Ugandans Cleopatra Koheirwe and Joel Prynce Okuyo have roles in what should be a pan-East African audio-visual effort. Koheirwe landed the role owing to being cast earlier in the TV series, Changes. Okuyo on the other hand may have to pray harder to his God. The grapevine is rife with word that the stain caused by the human trafficking mud thrown at him last year may see him dropped from the series altogether. Sad if that happens to one of Uganda’s most bankable rising screen stars. Continue reading

2014: The Year of Lilian Mbabazi

2014 may have been designated as the year of the horse. However, one Ugandan songstress could easily lay claim to it and not for equestrian reasons. It will be 10 years this year since an unassuming youngster walked into the Coca Cola Popstars audition room at the then Kampala International Conference Centre and wowed the judges with her full throttle rendition of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. The worry though at the time was whether, for a competition that was out to scout for a pop trio, Lilian Mbabazi wouldn’t eclipse her other two singing mates vocally. The judges took a chance on her regardless and booked her into the next stage where 15 hopefuls each from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda tussled it out for a slot amongst the trios from their respective countries. At the Mombasa boot camp, Lilian proved she can work in a group and by mid year, following a gruelling grooming stint in South Africa, she was unveiled in 2004 alongside Jackie Chandiru and Cinderella Sanyu as Blu*3, the Coca Cola Popstar trio from Uganda.


Lilian Mbabazi performs at Coke Studio Africa

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