For the hopefuls, Uganda's film industry can be as resourceful as the hyped oil sector - with potential to turn around Uganda's economy.
These derive their hope from success stories in countries like Nigeria, South Africa, India and USA. In South Africa for instance, Gauteng province, where an estimated 75 per cent of filming and television industry is based, film contributes $360m annually and directly employs more than 8, 500 workers.
Nigeria's Nollywood, on the other hand, employs about one million people in the areas of film production, distribution and exhibition and is ranked as the second revenue collector - after oil. Film contributed an estimated $800m between 2009 and 2012.
Creating a favourable working environment and funding from government has been one of the secrets behind the success of the film industry in these countries.
"An organized film industry in Uganda could reap similar benefits," said Fred Otunnu, the acting director of competitions and consumer affairs at the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
Otunnu speaks of a critical need for capacity building and skills development. "Actors in Nigeria and America have all gone for formal training. Our actors may be talented but they also need to go to the schools of art to be able to make professional and globally competing productions," he says.
Unfortunately, Makerere University is the only public university offering creative arts programmes. Even here, the department is the most dilapidated; students lack instructional materials and sometimes lectures are conducted under trees. Otunnu's words come at a time when UCC is organizing a week-long maiden Film Festival in Uganda scheduled for August 26-30.
Themed "The Uganda's Film Industry: Emerging Opportunities", the festival is seen as the first ever move by a government entity to streamline and build capacity for Uganda's film industry.
The festival is seen as an indicator of government's commitment to develop what he calls, "a virgin sector with lots of untapped creativity and skills." Fortunately, UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi points out that a framework to regulate the film industry has already been developed. "Its implementation will assist in the protection of film producers for their creative works and also protect the public from unsuitable content viewing in public places," he said in an interview.
Besides the unfavourable legislations, Uganda's film industry faces challenges of poor attitude, lack of professionalism, piracy, limited government support and most importantly, lack of air play on local television.
To counter this, UCC early this year, directed all TV stations to ensure that an average of 70 per cent of their programming during prime time (6-11pm) consist of local content. Of the 70, 50 per cent would be feature drama, comedy and reality show programmes.
And Otunnu says this is a bright future for Uganda's film. But he warns that this does not mean that producers should come up with fake films. "We expect people to make regionally/globally competitive films like The Hostel," he says.
At least eight awards are up for grabs in categories: Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Animated Film and Best Student Film. The others are: Best Cinematography (photography), Best Screenplay, Best Sound and Film of the Year.
This year, the commission received 129 entries but only 34 have been nominated for the final awards.