Tickling the youth into action

Saturday June 6 2015

Some of the cast pose for a photo during the

Some of the cast pose for a photo during the movie premier at the National Theatre last month. Photo by Michael Kakumirizi 

By Douglas D. Sebamala

Set in Masese, a fishing village in Jinja, Twisted Film’s 2015 production, Situka, tackles the twists and turns in our community’s political affairs, fused with a touch of romance and humour.
Starting off with an arieal view of Masese, the extensive base of waters transcend you into the story of how much untapped potential lies among our youth, who ultimately need to find their worth and position in society, to arise and fight for truth, rights and justice.

Amanyo (Hellen Lukoma), a university student, is in love with Sentamu (Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine), a barber who operates a shanty shop. Despite disapproval from her best friend, Amanyo sees a leader in her man, vibrantly from how he gathers his friends to form a financial savings pool to develop themselves.
A fatal accident has her admitted to a health centre without supplies, and she is left unattended to. The chief doctor, Peter (Simon Kalema) strikes a bargain for Sentamu to pay Shs300,000 for outsourced medication, despite the local chairman’s (Micheal Wawuyo) speech on television that assured residents of medical supplies being availed in all health centres across the village.
Moved by anger and frustration, Sentamu makes an outburst into the chairman’s office, who on confronting the doctor, gets Amanyo treated and convinces Sentamu, who cared so little about politics, to run for the village chair.

Dispersing from the usual love tales, witchcraft and cultural religious stories our films often tell, Situka tackles relevant issues and inspires young people to get more involved at whatever level, in the affairs of their community. Rather than sit back and expect government to change their situation, how about being more proactive?
Leverage this movie has is that the cast are an established range of actors, each popular in their own right. Lead actors Helen Lukoma and Bobi Wine already have a following. Micheal Wawuyo and Prince Okuyo are gems, Frobisha Lwanga, Hanington Bugingo and the rest of Fun Factory that star in Situka leave you humoured, despite the contentious issues handled in the story.
Shooting in Jinja gave the crew ample time to devote a full week to shooting in the isolation, peace and quiet that this city across the Nile gives.

Bugingo, the producer, says: “The project, meant to encourage youths to “stand up” (Situka) for their rights, think of the future... is story that covers the entire country, Africa and the globe.”
Director of photography Mustaque Abdallah has an eye for excellent picture as much as relevant distribution channels. The movie, which was done in partnership with Twaweza, an NGO, will be sent down to the movie shacks (bibanda) where youths with the most pressing challenges such as unemployment are.
Situka changes the way Ugandan film makers look at content and distribution, in every way making messages and access relevant to the target audience.