Filmmaker Jayant Maru, 2015.
The flag of Uganda

The emerging film industry in Uganda is known as Ugawood[1] or sometimes Kinauganda by the locals.[2] The 2005 production Feelings Struggle directed by Ashraf Ssemwogerere is credited with being the first Ugawood film.[3] Many have asserted that this steadily growing film industry is derived from Hollywood, in the same manner as Nollywood and Bollywood.[4][5] In a story that ran in a local newspaper in Uganda about the naming of the industry, filmmakers Kuddzu Isaac, Matt Bish and Usama Mukwaya were quoted as saying that Ugawood would be the most appropriate name for the industry.[6]

Audiences go to video halls where narrators called "video jokers" translate the dialogue and add their own commentary.[7] Patrons also rent DVDs and watch feature films on prime-time TV.[8]

Some films are funded by NGOs through cultural grants.[9] Other films are produced with DIY equipment and low production budgets. Despite low production budgets, Uganda's film industry is quite productive. Isaac Nabwana's Ramon Film Productions, based in Wakaliga near Kampala, has produced more than 40 low-budget action films over the last 10 years. The studio is best known for its 2010 film Who Killed Captain Alex?, which cost $85 to produce.[10]

The Industry also has a strong and acclaimed film player since 2013. Jayant Maru of MAHJ Productions who has given Uganda gems at the BOX Office like The Route,[11] K3NT & KAT3,[12] and Sipi, which have not only been nominated in several international festivals but have also brought back home a number of accolades, not forgetting having his films available on Amazon Prime plus in-flight entertainment platforms.[13]

The Uganda Communications Commission organizes the Uganda Film Festival to promote the film industry.[14] In 2013, the film State Research Bureau swept four awards.[15] In 2014, The Felistas Fable won four awards, including Best Director for Dilman Dila. The Pearl International Film Festival is held annually in Kampala.

See also



  1. ^ "Ugawood, the Way Forward for Film Makers". The Monitor. 3 May 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  2. ^ "Local Film Distributors Raise the Flag of Kinauganda". The Monitor. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  3. ^ "Ugawood in, Hollywood, Nollywood out". The Monitor. 7 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 October 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  4. ^ Ogwang, Daniel. "The Observer". Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Ugawood gossip : Ugandan Movies on Ugscreen". Archived from the original on 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  6. ^ Kamukama, Polly. "The Observer". Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  7. ^ Venema, Vibeke (2015-05-13). "Uganda's Tarantino and his $200 action movies". BBC News.
  8. ^ "Coming to you live". The Economist. 2 Nov 2012.
  9. ^ "Guno Mukwano? (Is This Love?)" – via
  10. ^ "ALAN HOFMANIS INTERVIEW – What Up, Son?! LIVE @ 9:30 PM CST". Double Toasted. July 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Uganda's filmmakers aim big - CCTV News - English, archived from the original on 2017-11-15, retrieved 2017-11-14
  12. ^ Stagebrief | EXCLUSIVE: Jayant Maru Talks K3NT & KAT3 in Interview, archived from the original on 2015-10-07, retrieved 2017-11-14
  13. ^ Spotlight on Ugandan Film 'THE ROUTE' Directed by Jayant Maru
  14. ^ "» Background and Objectives". Archived from the original on 2020-02-24. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  15. ^ "» 2013 Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2018-07-10. Retrieved 2015-05-17.