On iTunes: 'Wakaliwood: The Documentary' (Doc On The Man Behind Uganda's 1st Action Film)
Photo Credit: S & A

On iTunes: 'Wakaliwood: The Documentary' (Doc On The Man Behind Uganda's 1st Action Film)


This is great news!

A couple of years ago, we featured the trailer for a film that was dubbed Uganda’s first action film, titled Who Killed Captain Alex. Long time readers might remember the absolutely insanely fun, and hilarious trailer, that was loaded with nutty action sequences, and entry-level special effects.

We were amused, but also intrigued. You can watch it below if you haven’t seen it.

The trailer was played several million times on video sharing sites across the web, becoming an instant viral hit. I never did get to see the full film, however.

2 years later, a feature length documentary film on the man behind Who Killed Captain Alex, is now available on the home video market, courtesy of SnagFilms, parent company of Indiewire, as I noted, is excellent news!

The short story goes… Isaac Nabwana founded Uganda-based Ramon Film Productions, a team of nearly 100 actors, filmmakers, and technicians – all volunteers – dedicated to building an independent film industry in that country. Filmmaking is difficult in any environment, but the squalid Ugandan locales where Nabwana and company operate, presents several added challenges like the struggle for basic utilities that many around the world, take for granted.

The team must invent all their equipment while relying on ingenuity and available materials. For example, their tripod is a modified car jack, and props are typically welded from scrap metal and used car parts. Isaac personally built the computer he uses for editing, sound mixing, and special effects, although, due to Uganda’s climate, it overheats regularly. And the fact that Isaac’s video camera has a busted viewfinder, and his only battery is held together with string, hasn’t slowed him down one bit.

The only remuneration the cast and crew receive is a share of the profits from DVDs they sell at street corners and local markets. But distribution is a race against time as the films are quickly pirated, and evenue plummets after only a couple weeks.

Film festival programmer Alan Hofmanis felt compelled to travel to Uganda and meet Isaac Nabwana after watching the trailer for the aforementioned Who Killed Captain Alex, and, inspired by Ramon Film Productions and a renewed love for cinema, Alan returned to the United States where he recruited independent film producer/distributor/filmmaker Ben Barenholtz, and cinematographer Andreas von Scheele, who, weeks later, returned to Uganda to document Ramon Film Productions – especially the life, struggles, and creative process of filmmaker Isaac Nabwana.

Sold? I am. 

The film, titled Wakaliwood: The Documentary, had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival last October, and the filmmakers raised an additional $35,000 soon after to complete post-production of it. It’s now officially complete and ready to be viewed.

SnagFilms has made the film available on iTunes, both as a rental (for $4.99, in HD), and for purchase ($12.99, also in HD).

I definitely plan to rent it, likely some time in the next week; and after watching it, I’ll certainly share my thoughts here.

Below you’ll find 12-minutes worth of excerpts from the film:

And here’s the trailer for Who Killed Captain Alex.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2023 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.