The Ugandan movie industry is growing steadily as we get to see new budding actors, directors, screen makeup artists, costume designers and script writers.
Two weeks ago, Kyooto Productions premiered four short films at the National theatre in a Red Carpet event. It was a sold out event, as movie-goers showed up in numbers to support the Ugandan movie industry.
To our surprise, all the films premiered were written by the same person, and three of them (Demented, Esteem, and Equanimity) are already selected for the Lift-off Film Festivals in Europe.
Matooke Republic caught up with Josephine Kabahuma for an exclusive interview, the young talented scriptwriter whose words on paper, or screen, made it to the big screen at the Uganda National Cultural Center and if all goes well, they will make it to the big screens in Europe very soon.
Who is Josephine Kabahuma?
I am a 3rd year journalism student at Makerere University. I went to St. Mary’s Primary School, Kinyamasika, St. Maria Gorretti Girls’ school for O’ Level and Hanna International School Uganda for A’ Level.
When did it occur to you that you can actually write?
I am actually a newbie in this. I did my first script in February this year.
What inspired you to start writing?
I am a literature student, and I love telling stories. At first, I would think that novels are the only way stories can be told until Kizito Samuel Saviour (who is a director himself) introduced me to script-writing. Sometimes I would also go for auditions and get turned down so a friend advised me to start telling my own stories.
Do you have a specific genre you feel is the best you can write?
[Laughs] I don’t know why but I feel I can write about anything, because as writers, we believe anything is writable. But okay I am more comfortable writing romantic comedy and action detective.
How fast can you write a script?
I can write a feature film in two weeks, and can do a short story in two days.
Tell us about the movies that made you nominated. What do you think made your work standout?
I don’t know really. I think the people selecting were impressed by the originality of my work. [Laughs] I don’t know really I am just happy. We submitted three short films and they were all selected.
What are some of the challenges you face?
Funding. As first-timers, it is hard to cast prominent actors because we are not able to fulfill all their money requirements. Another thing is actors disappoint. They agree to work with you and then turn their backs on you by not coming for shooting and rehearsals. Others just don’t see your dream.
What do you think is the biggest problem for the Ugandan Movie Industry? What do you think is still lacking?
Ugandans are selfish and they don’t appreciate. If I have done something, appreciate my effort, tell me my errors so that I can correct them in my next project, other than trashing my work. Ugandans have a bias about Ugandan movies that some of them trash our work even before watching it.
How do you spend your free time?
I am still a student so I spend most of my time at campus. But in my little free time I mimic characters, watch movies, listen to music and dance a little bit. [Laughs] My life is actually boring because I don’t have many friends.
What’s your advice to those people that want to venture into script-writing?
Just do it. If you feel like you want to do something and you feel it, just do it. Just find a platform that can help you, or a group of people that are already doing it and ask how to go about it, then do it. Do it with love.