13 December 2012

Uganda: Film Festival Takes Human Rights to Bibanda

Film festivals are known to be glamorous. They take place in big, expensive venues only accessible to our city's elites.

Their opening and closing ceremonies are the most pompous, featuring plenty of socialites and Champagne. But organizers of Manya Human Rights International Film festival (MHRIFF), an annual film event organised to promote human rights, chose a different path. And it was, again, evident as their third edition kicked off on Monday.

Themed Social Responsibility Towards Human Rights Abuse, this year's six-day MHRIFF will traverse over 40 city-based video shacks, popularly known as bibanda where a total of 82 human rights-themed films from across the globe will be screened. Seventeen of the movies are Ugandan.

The festival, whose official opening ceremony takes place today at the National Theatre, will also feature workshops, trainings and debates about the current state of human rights in Uganda. To emphasize authenticity, all the movies have been translated into Luganda, a language well-known to bibanda diehards, who are usually the city's not-so-affluent dwellers.

One of the listed movies to screen is award-winning Canadian feature-documentary, United States of Africa: Beyond Hip Hop, a story about how rap music can influence African politics. The movie also puts into context neocolonialism, something Ugandan audiences will intimately relate to.

Access to the festival is free of charge. More information can be got from Manya Cultural Foundation offices, located on Communications House in the city. Today's opening ceremony kicks off at 5pm. See you there.

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