Story by Ogova Ondego
Meanwhile, an organisation to produce and promote film in Uganda has been formed.
Founded in December 2004, Uganda International Film Foundation is headed by Esther Jacum, a Nigerian woman based in Kampala. The foundation trains actors and equips them with skills to make films.
“Our members,” says managing director Jacum, “can now handle film equipment through skills gained from workshops and seminars we have conducted since December 14, 2004 when Uganda Film Foundation was formed. Our monthly forum, the cine club, meets at Alliance Francaise in Kampala, to watch low budget, quality films and then follow up with discussions.”
The Cine Club, Jacum says, has 300 members and forms a pool from which to draw film crew and cast.
A voluntary organisation, Jacum says her inspiration comes out of “my love for the arts, not money.”
Saying her organisation is making soap operas for television at the moment, Jacum say they will start making feature films towards the end of 2006.
“I first want to see what we can do now before starting to seriously look for funding from grant-givers,” she says, adding that her production company is known as Ringrose pictures.
Jacum was born in Umuahia, Abia State, before moving to Gombe, northern Nigeria.
“I completed school in Bauchi and then joined the Bauchi University for a year before going to Austria where I started dancing.”
Like her sojourn at Bauchi, her stay in Austria was short-lived as she was there for only a couple of months before she returned to Africa “to continue with my hair dressing business.”
She stayed in Kigali, Rwanda, for seven months while she pursued “a bit of hotel management course before I came to Kampala in 2001.”
She says she did some Public Relations course in Kampala before meeting Petna Ndaliko Katondolo and embarked on the Uganda International Film Foundation project.
Asked where she intends to move next, the philosophical Jacum simply says, “I am here to stay now that I am running this Foundation.”