Once upon a time in Uganda (2021) – Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy

Kasarmikatu 46-48, 00130 Helsinki
Savoy Theatre

The greatest cinematic surprises often come from the unlikeliest beginnings. In the case of Cathryne Czubek’s Once Upon a Time in Uganda, those beginnings are the slums of Wakaliga, Kampala, Uganda. The humble origin story of Wakaliwood and its ever expanding reach across the globe are her subject, and it’s both inspirational and aspirational for the audience and its subjects, namely Ramon Film Productions founder and Wakaliwood auteur Isaac Nabwana and his number one cheerleader and liaison to the outside world, Alan Hofmanis.

Josh Hurtado, ScreenAnarchy

Cathryne Czubek and Hugo Perez’s documentary restages an odd-couple brotherhood: Ugandan brickmaker and self-taught filmmaker Isaac Nabwana who has transformed the ghetto of Wakaliga into a cottage industry for no-budget comic action cinema; and New Yorker Alan Hofmanis, drawn into ‘Wakaliwood’ after seeing an online trailer for one of Isaac’s many home-made movies. Together they work to get Isaac’s extensive oeuvre some international attention, and maybe even some money, while inventing what Alan terms the ‘beating-up-the-white-guy genre’. In this love letter to ‘outsider’ DIY filmmaking, cannibals will kung-fu and heads will explode.

Anton Bitel, Little White Lies

Theme: African Express
Country: United States
Director: Cathryne Czubek, Hugo Perez
Screenplay: Cathryne Czubek, Amanda Hughes
Production: Gigi Dement, Cathryne Czubek, Philip A. Sanchez, Hugo Perez / Fork Films
Duration: 94 min
Age limit: K16

Language: English
Subtitles: English
Distribution: Blue Finch Film Releasing
Cinematography: Matt Porwoll
Editing: Cathryne Czubek, Amanda Hughes
Music: Andrew Hollander
Sound: Bill Chesley