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The East African : Nov 24th 2014
IV books Ugandan-Indian c≥ime th≥ille≥ now showing A scene from the film ‘Luzira.’ Below: Producer Rajesh Nair Pictures: Courtesy – a notorious drug dealer, diamond smuggler and club owner. Don Dada is furious because he has not received the diamonds or the money. Among the other cast members are: Michael Wawuyo (as Inspector Michael Morais), Wilberforce Mutete (as a jailor) and Joju George as Gautham. Wawuyo says the most challenging part of playing the role of Inspector Morais was that the script had been written in Malayalam. “And it was only when I got on set that the assistant director would translate my pages for me and I would be given less than 10 minutes to learn my lines and go for the shoot. Then, of course, there was the language barrier. Most of the crew were Indian nationals who were in Uganda for the first time, so communication was quite hard. But the acting was not hard to pull off.” “I have received very many phone calls accusing me of portraying Uganda in a negative way. I have lived in Uganda for 14 years and the script is based on my experiences in this country,” Rajesh Nair said. The 120-minute film was entirely shot in Uganda by River Nile Motion Pictures in six different locations in Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe. The movie, which by Ugandan standards The sto≥y ≥evolves a≥ound attempts by Shikha Samuel to escape f≥om the infamous Luzi≥a Maximum Secu≥ity P≥ison afte≥ being cha≥ged with two mu≥de≥s, w≥ites BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI vember 7, at the Kampala Serena. The 2013 action thriller, written and T directed by Rajesh Nair, tells the story of a middle class Indian family that gets trapped in the illegal diamond trade in Uganda. The story revolves around attempts by Shikha Samuel (played by award-winner Indian actor Rima Kallingal, to escape from the infamous Luzira Maximum Security Prison after being charged with two murders. The movie cost $1 million to produce and it features Indian and Ugandan actors. The film which premiered in India in November 2013, is shot in English, Luganda and Malayalam. Malayalam is predominately spoken in the Indian state of Kerala. The story unfolds when Shikha and her husband Jaya Krishnan (played by Vijaay Babu) decide to seek refuge in Uganda after her family in Kerala objected to their marriage. Shikha gives birth to a baby girl and ful- fils her dream by opening a boutique at the Garden City Mall in Kampala. Krishnan is employed as a manager in a coffee shop. Shikha soon finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when she is arrested for the double murder of her close friend Angel Mathews (played by Indian film star Tashu Kaushik) and the mayor’s daughter, Audrey (played by the 2013 Miss Uganda first runner-up Anita Kyalimpa). The mayor (played by Sam Bagenda) vows futu≥e p≥ojects River Nile Motion Pictures is focused on developing the sub-Saharan African film industry by producing and distributing world-class cinema and television content for the Indian and Ugandan market he first Ugandan-Indian fictional film Luzira: Escape from Uganda, about the country’s criminal underworld, premiered in Kampala on No- to use his influence to keep her in the notorious Luzira jail for the rest of her life. Shikha’s escape from Luzira is or- chestrated by Carlos Kennedy (played by award-winning Indian film star Radhakrishnan Parthiban) in collaboration with her husband. But all that Carlos, a diamonds dealer, wants are his stones worth $9 million, which Shikha is said to have replaced with bogus ones. It was he who had Angel and Audrey killed over this deal gone wrong. Kyalimpa is making her acting debut in the film and so is Uganda music star Jose Chameleone who acts as Don Dada is a big budget production, is showing at the Century Cinemax at Acacia Kisementi, the Hub at Oasis Mall, Cinemagic at Metroplex Plaza and Naalya and Cinemax at Ham Plaza Makerere, all in Kampala. It will also show in over 2,300 movie theatres in India and the rest of the continent with Swahili and English sub-titles distributed across sub-Sahara Africa. Luzira has high quality sound and cin- ematography raising the bar for the country’s film industry. It also borrows heavily from Bollywood’s song and dance style. Commenting on Luzira’s technical aspects in comparison with Ugandan productions, Ugandan filmmaker Matt Bish said, “Luzira is a brilliantly shot movie with everything you can possibly think of in regards to its technical aspects. You can see the professionalism of the crew members and its director. “Ugandan films lack in so many depart- ments and this has hindered the final output of the production. But this is about to change now that most producers are aware of the needs of their audiences,” Bish added. The film was co-produced by Girisch Nair, Gautam Nair and Sera Nair. Girisch Nair describes Luzira as a film full of love and romance, entwined in an emotional roller coaster of grief and deception and desperation. Nair, who is also a co-director at Tech- nology Associates, notes that cinema has bonded cultures and people globally. “Ugandan and Indian cultures are hugely similar as is seen in our nuclear family structures; extended family support and our emotional connect with music and dance and... even politics,” Girisch observes, adding: “We even share similar demographics with a bulging, demanding youthful population, thirsty for upliftment in lifestyles and entertainment.” “I hope this first, major Indo-Ugandan venture will catalyse the growth of the Ugandan film industry to such a crescendo that we export great entertainment to Africa and raise income and opportunities to creative Ugandan artists,” Girisch said. The EastAfrican MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 22-28,2014 IN SHORT Japanese musician Makayo at the Karibu Festival. Picture: Caroline Uliwa Bagamoyo music festival is welcome So when I heard of the Karibu Music Festival to be held in Bagamoyo from November 7-9, I knew I had to attend. Not even the mad Da≥ es Salaam W t≥a∞c could keep me away. The festival was o≥ganised by Ama≥ido Cha≥les Kilinda, who is also the chai≥man of the festival. The festival was held at the Mwanakalenge g≥ounds f≥om 3: 30pm to half past midnight on all th≥ee days. I attended on the second day. Ent≥ance was cha≥ged at Tsh5,000 fo≥ one day and Tsh12,000 fo≥ the th≥ee days. Late at night, the Abeneko Band took to the stage. Headed by Isack Abeneko whose claim to fame was as a dance≥, he su≥p≥ised all with his guita≥-playing skills. He was followed by Man Kifimbo, a ≥esident of Bagamoyo who kept the c≥owd on its feet with his ≥eggaecum-t≥aditional music. The att≥action of the night was the mellow Makayo f≥om Japan. She wo≥e a kimono made of kitenge fab≥ic and had he≥ hai≥ in b≥aids. She pe≥fo≥med with a jazz t≥io, pe≥cussionist Kauzeni and lead guita≥ist Emmanuel both Tanzanian musicians.. The othe≥ att≥action was Bagamoyo native Msafi≥i Zawose, the son of the late, iconic musician Hukwe Zawose, who was discove≥ed by Nye≥e≥e. His pe≥fo≥mance was good but was let down by the sound system. SAfte≥ a ≥ain inte≥≥uption, the show went on with a pe≥fo≥mance by Hoko≥o≥o. The final act was by the legenda≥y Wahapahapa Band with Fantuzzi (all the way f≥om US whe≥e he has lived fo≥ 60 yea≥s). The festival was unique in that it mixed mainst≥eam music Bongo Flava with othe≥ gen≥es mostly ≥equi≥ing live pe≥fo≥mance. So the≥e was also pleanty of ≥eggae, af≥o fusion, jazz fusion and contempo≥a≥y taa≥ab. This ensu≥ed a dive≥se c≥owd. Ka≥ibu Music Festival made a good debut, I just hope the o≥gnaise≥s, Ka≥ibu Cultu≥al P≥omotions and Legenda≥y Music Ente≥tainment lea≥nt f≥om this yea≥’s sho≥tcoming fo≥ the next festival. Ca≥oline Uliwa hen I am asked what is my drug of choice, I say music.
Nov 17th 2014
Dec 1st 2014