Uganda Hollywood

There are a lot of pseudo-Hollywoods making films: Bollywood, Dhallywood, Mollywood, and Wellywood. My favourites are the hyper-violent action films of Uganda’s Wakaliwood.

SuSanA Secretariat [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Wakaliga is a slum in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. Isaac Nabwana, a resident of Wakaliga, made three films in 2010 that had extremely low budgets but extremely high ambitions. Explosions, firefights, and helicopters obliterating whole buildings. He has been called “Uganda’s Tarantino,” and the film industry he helped to inspire is called Wakaliwood.

How do you have a helicopter when your entire film’s budget is 750,000 Ugandan shillings? (Sorry, that still sounds like a lot. It’s the equivalent of 200 US dollars.) Answer: plywood, some tricky video editing, and a lot of creativity. In fact, the helicopter has become a hallmark of the Wakaliwood films.

You can watch one of those three films – Who Killed Captain Alex? – below. You cannot watch another of the films, Tebaatusasula, because it existed only on a hard drive that was erased by a power surge. Nabwana put up a Kickstarter in 2015 to fund a remake, and made 8200% of his target. As far as I can tell, that remake – titled Tebaatusasula: Ebola – hasn’t been released yet.

[Thanks to Alistair S. for suggesting this topic.]

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