Recent strides in Uganda's film quality, organisation and regulation are clearly inspiring more talent.
The latest player on the local movie scene is Unbound Media, which, if the plot and script are anything to go by, promises to serve Ugandans with something to compete on the international stage. Unbound Media will be shooting a movie partly inspired by the July 11, 2010 bomb attacks in Kampala.
Co-written by Martin Kayondo and Pius Bbaale, Aftershock will be touching on a sensitive topic of home-grown terrorism and will delve deeper into the intricacies of terrorists' lives. During auditions held at the National Theatre last Saturday, Kayondo, CEO Unbound Media said the movie will explore terrorists' dating and family dynamics using more than 300 characters.
"We are looking for people who are fit, emotional, but not afraid to suffer because it is a very physical movie. We plan to train the selected cast with the police for at least one week," he said.
To bring a Hollywood feel to the movie, the movie's producer Samuel Kizito plans to use high technology, a trend they hope other producers will follow. Kayondo and his Unbound Media partners come from an animation and high-level IT university background, making it easy for them to conceptualize and pull off bomb explosions, buildings crashing down and other graphic details of terror.
"We want to push out the old sleepy stuff and bring in new, hard-hitting movies that will leave people amazed. We plan to use 3D animations, colour gridding, green screens, crazy visual effects and we shall be shooting in 2K (a cinematic size resolution)," Kizito explained.
The crew that made its casting call on Facebook received over 3,000 responses and are hopeful they will get a great cast. Judging from the many wannabe actors who turned up for the auditions, it was clear that Ugandans love acting. However, only a few of them made the cut.
Many who auditioned were nervous, did not understand the roles they were auditioning for, and just crammed the dialogue. Some seemed to think they were auditioning for a drama or comedy, which infuriated the judges. After hours of watching hilarious auditions, the judges finally picked interest in a handful of actors.
"We found a few who are very good but they still need fine-tuning," Kayondo said.
Susan Birabwa, Sebamala Douglas Dubois and Nalongo Nsimbe, for example, simply blew the judges away. It was no wonder all of them had acted professionally before. Two more auditions will be held to choose the final cast.
The movie is currently running on a Shs 60m budget financed by Abdul Latif, a businessman passionate about movie making. From these young men's passion and the support they have garnered already, movie lovers have every reason to watch the space.