The Observer (Kampala)

13 January 2013

Uganda: Ndugwa Reawakens Uganda's Movie Industry

With curtains drawn and lights out, all eyes of about 500 spectators were glued on the wide screen to experience Omugave Jolly Ndugwa's first production in the movie industry.

And he did not disappoint.

Ndugwa's new film, Love Collision, caught everyone's eye from the word go when it premiered last Friday at the National theatre. Both the setting and the plot are world-class. The movie, set, produced and directed in California, revolves around family issues whereby people find themselves sucked into love triangles characterised by deception - something that happens in everyday life. It also looks at adoption of the Western culture by some Africans born and bred in the US.

It is a movie version of Ndugwa's 1988 Black Pearl's play Emikwano Nsi that he wrote while still a student at Tulsa college of performing arts, Oklahoma, USA. The movie features mainly Ndugwa's US-based Mugandu Pearls' crew with Halima Namakula as the only Ugandan-based actor. Going by the Ugandan standards, Love Collision, is destined to scoop various awards.

Ndugwa joins the movie industry with over 35 years' experience in the arts industry -having been on stage for so many years. Ndugwa is an author, script director, producer and actor. He has, for the past 30 years, written over 30 plays and 300 poems. With such experience coming on board, Uganda's film industry is surging fast forward.

"Artistes are usually ignored and left to stand alone, but I think we need to support them if our industry can fend off the intruders (Nigerians)," noted Buganda premier, JB Walusimbi, who was guest of honour.

The movie was first premiered in California and Boston last year and received good reception. Ndugwa and his co-producer Hemdee Kiwanuka have now set their eyes on restarting and propelling Uganda's film industry.

"We started from Hollywood but we hope to involve more Ugandan actors in the next production," said Ndugwa, who will soon premier his second film, Out of Great Lakes.

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