iREP’s Femi Odugbemi Back From Uganda With Good Tidings

Odugbemi (second left) in Uganda

Odugbemi (second left) in Uganda

THREE-TIME Head Judge of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and respected award-winning filmmaker Femi Odugbemi has just returned from another successful international assignment serving as Chairman of Jury of recently concluded 2015 Uganda Film Festival held in Kampala, from 25th-29th August 2015. Odugbemi was appointed jury chair of Uganda Film Festival as well as last year when he headlined the festival’s international guests alongside with Nollywood’s star Patience Ozokwo.

At the time the organisers of the festival, the Uganda Communication Commission, through its Executive Director Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi wrote a glowing tribute, stating that Odugbemi’s “professionalism and commitment displayed during the task, together with the quality of decisions made, contributed highly to the resounding success of the UFF 2014.”

It was no surprise therefore that Odugbemi was invited once again to Chair the 2015 Jury along with distinguished international jury members, including a professor of Literature at Makerere University, Kampala, Dr. Sister Dominic Dipio, international film curator from Germany Ms. Barbel Mauch, President of the East Africa Film Network Mr. Leonce Ngabo of Burundi and Pioneer Ugandan TV producer Faustin Misanvu.

The Uganda Film Festival, which is in its third outing, showcases films made by Uganda filmmakers, as well as films from East African countries, including Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda. The festival also includes other activities such as exhibitions, film market, training workshops and Master classes. The final ay of the festival was capped with an elaborate gala evening of glamorous red carpet and awards in various categories.

While speaking at the gala awards, Odugbemi stated that the jury began work over three months ago with over 130 entries into the 2015 UFF. The pre-selection process for the competitive categories was electronically conducted over the course of 60 days and five nominees per category were identified and announced by the organisers in the first week of August. The jury then reconvened in Kampala from the 24 – 27th August to select the winners.

While congratulating the winners, Odugbemi expressed delight at the remarkable progress in the talent and technical quality of the nominated works, especially in the areas of storytelling, casting, performance, visual aesthetics, cinematic values, sound and music. He specially noted the improved quality of sound, one of the repeated weaknesses observed in the previous year’s jury statement. He encouraged more effort in that area, especially in the areas of additional dialogue recording (ADR), Sound Design, Music score and Final mix.

The big winner of the festival was the feature film House Arrest by Joseph Ken, which carted prizes for Best Feature Film, Best Sound, Best Screenplay and Best Actress. Other winners of UFF 2015 include Boda Boda Thieves, which won for Best Cinematography and Best Editing, Walk With Me by Peter Muhumuza and Johan Oetitinger, which won Best Short Film, Chimp-Boda by Matovu Francis which won for Best Animation and Half A Dollar by Oris Ssebowa which won the Best Documentary prize.

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