Who is representing Uganda at this year's Silicon Valley African Film Festival?
A Ugandan company will produce the accolades to be presented at this year's Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF). Rac Studios, the company responsible for crafting the accolades, received the design specifications from the festival organizers and meticulously brought them to life. These splendid accolades will subsequently be shipped to the United States for the prestigious award ceremony. This marks a significant departure from the norm, as awards from Uganda typically involve importing accolades from abroad.
SVAFF, an annual event hosted in the United States, serves as a vibrant celebration of movies from around the world created by Black filmmakers. This year, the festival will showcase an impressive selection of over 94 feature-length and short films, encompassing narratives, documentaries, and animations from 38 different countries.
Under the theme of "Africa through African Lenses," SVAFF 2023 is dedicated to presenting authentic stories from both seasoned and emerging African filmmakers. This thematic focus promises to provide audiences with a nuanced and profound perspective on Africa and its diaspora. The festival spans a wide geographical spectrum, with films hailing from locations as diverse as Morocco to Mozambique, Ghana to Uganda, Nigeria to Namibia, Senegal to South Africa, and even reaching as far as the United States, Brazil, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Impressively, more than 50% of the films scheduled for screening will be premiering for the first time in either the world or North America.
In recent years, Uganda has consistently made a noteworthy presence at the festival. For instance, in 2019, "Veronica's Wish" by Nisha Kalema claimed the Best Feature Film award, while the previous year saw the screening of "Your Turn" by Kizito Samuel Saviour. Other Ugandan films that have earned recognition include "Superstition" by Aaron Zziwa, "Men in Suits" by Kevin Johns Nabukenya (selected in 2021), "Esteem," and "Catch Out" by Kizito Samuel Saviour (chosen in 2020 and 2021 respectively), as well as "Crystal" by Amanya Leonard, among many others.
This year, Uganda will be represented by a short documentary titled "Ghetto Fist." The documentary sheds light on the life of Hellen Baleke, a renowned female boxer from the Katanga ghetto, as she endeavors to carve her path in an industry dominated by men, all while grappling with governmental neglect. "Ghetto Fist" which is directed by Saphina Lubeera will screen on October 15th at 6 pm in Studio 2 of the Historic Hoover Theater in San Jose.
By Martin Kabagambe