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Welcome to Ugawood

March 14, 2009

Welcome to Ugawood, Uganda’s fledgling movie industry.

The country’s film-makers may only have limited production skills and equipment but they’re determined to grow the industry until it can compete with Nigeria’s Nollywood and other more established film industries in Africa.

“We’ve just started, I believe Nigerians are somewhere … but we will get there as time goes on,” film director Joseph Mabirizi told Reuters Africa Journal.

About 30 movies are released every year in Ugawood compared to 70 every week in Nigeria’s Nollywood. Government investment in Ugandan film is still lacking and most movies are shot on digital cameras with tight budgets.

Sought-after actors like Aisha Kyomuhanji make about $260 per movie. She works on various projects at a time, to make more money. 

“I’m not satisfied the way they pay me but I am someone that can wait until I get what I want because I know if I go on acting the demand will increase, people will come looking for me,” she says.

Until Ugandans started producing their own films many people here watched Nigerian movies. But local productions are popular because viewers can easily relate to them.

Ugawood has already made a name for itself here, but those in the film industry will have to work harder to improve quality and take full advantage of a market that’s getting more interested in local productions. They will have to work harder still to compete in the international market.

And they will have to work harder still to compete with Hollywood’s 2006 hit “The Last King of Scotland”, for which Forest Whitaker won an Oscar for his portrayal of the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.


I strongly believe that the Ugandan Film Industry will grow high and higher. We have big ambitions. In fact, like for my case, I dont look at reaching the Nollywood Heights, no. I aim at reaching the size and Quality of Hollywood and Bollywood. UgyWood shall get there.


I’m proud of the efforts ugandan’s are putting in the home film industry but there is alot alot of room for improvement. If we are going to make it big, then we have to be ready to compete, to sacrifice, to research , to learn etc .The stories have the content but i think the acting could use more help.I believe there is alot of pottential,just needs to be exploited. Funding? What’s up with all the rich guys in town, can’t they be persuaded to fund these projects, how about ugandans living abroad? This industry can go bigger than we can ever imagine, some one has to have the faith and still mantain the proffessionalism, the quality, better locations for the set and some type of structure to set the guidelines.
For God and our country. Uganda!You’ll make it big.

Posted by Christine | Report as abusive

I finally watched some “Ugawood”(are there other suggested names?, it just doesn’t sound the best). I couldn’t stop laughing at a lawyer cross examining a witness, ” did you see him with the buvera’s{plastic bags}” Do they actually use such vocabulary in a Uganda english court session? I thought that was funny.
How about someone asking the doctor what her patient’s “position”( for condition i guess) is. That is not funny, whoever was responsible should have corrected it.I’m not trying to be mean but these are the small details that make the difference in the product. I really hope to see this industry do better.

Posted by christine | Report as abusive

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