Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has asked Ugandans to support local film industry to promote the country to the world.
He made the remarks while officiating at the 10th Uganda Film Festival (UFF) Gala Night last week.
He pledged to support Uganda’s film sector describing the industry as an important platform that helps in the promotion and preservation of culture and heritage.
Tayebwa said the government is counting on the film industry to showcase to the world the importance of culture.
“We need locally made films like never before to shape a new narrative of a progressive and highly gifted country that can rely on creatives for transformation,” Tayebwa told film makers.
He said Parliament will help to advocate for the creation of a conducive environment for the growth of the creative industry, so it can make a unique contribution to the cultural expression.
“Parliament’s oversight role in Ugandan Film can help in alleviating the challenges facing this industry by advocating for the creation of a conducive environment for filming and investing in our industry,” he said.
“Right now, there is a virus called piracy which we must fight by all means so that our local content creators can reap their rewards fully from the content they are making,” the Deputy Speaker pledged.
The Uganda Film Festival is an annual celebration of Uganda’s best talent in the film Industry where leading actors, actresses, film directors, scriptwriters and other creatives are recognized for their outstanding role in the development of the film entertainment industry.
On funding shortfalls crippling the sector, Tayebwa urged film makers to organise themselves so that the government could support them.
He commended the Uganda Communication Commission for promoting the film industry for the last 10 years.
During the Uganda Film Festival, organised by UCC, various activities are carried out to showcase the Ugandan talent in the Film Exhibition Market, Film Training, Film Forums & workshops, Film screenings, and an Awards Gala night.
The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi in a speech read by Permanent Secretary Dr. Amina Zawedde said the industry if well supported can help to employ a huge chunk of the young people.
“You the young people, you have the creative minds, you have the innovative minds, use them to the best of your ability in various spheres. The film industry is one of those that will take us this far in this journey,” he said, noting that.
He said the Uganda film industry has made tremendous strides in addressing many of the challenges it initially set out to tackle including successfully promoting Ugandan films in regional and international markets.
Dr. Baryomunsi called upon all Ugandans to support the local film industry.
“We cannot solely rely on broadcasters to showcase more local content if the general public neglects it. That is if no televisions are showing these things and we are not watching them then it wouldn’t make any economic sense. But if we value them and watch them and promote them, and share them, they will take industry to greater heights,”he said.
He said the collective effort will ultimately contribute to the overall economic development of the film industry and in turn boost the nation’s economy as a whole.
UCC acting Executive Director Eng. Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo said the local film industry is a sector which has a great opportunity to create employment.
“For our Uganda that is so young, we need the jobs and government can’t absorb all of them. So where do we find the job? This is an industry that provides that opportunity,” she said.
She urged Ugandans to embrace local content.
“For as long as the government allows us, we do not intend to abandon this sector. We pledge to work with all of you, the actors, and all the stakeholders. We hear you let’s build this together. Let us build the Uganda we want, so that we see the success that we all desire.”