Amakula (Kampala Cultural Foundation) was founded in April 2004 to fill in a gap in the arts and cultural sector in Uganda. It aimed to enlarge peoples’ horizons and contribute to the development of critical voice in society as well as to raise the state of the local film industry by exposing (local) films to a broad audience and advancing the work of local film makers, inspiring new audiences and contributing to a dialogue between film makers and their audiences. For close to a decade – between 2004 and 2013 – Amakula invested in a unique cultural dialogue through the medium of film in Uganda. The primarily vehicle for this endeavour was its celebrated annual film festival, which was complemented by related programmes and activities such as training workshops and discussions and a mobile cinema. The film festival brought the world to Uganda, with unique films from around the world otherwise not distributed in the country, while bringing Uganda to the world by stimulating local film production and offering Ugandan filmmakers an international network.
Since its ninth and the last edition of the film festival in November 2012 Amakula has gone through a period of reflection and reorientation. An in-depth research was conducted and numerous discussions were held on how to strategically revive and reposition Amakula in an increasingly vibrant sector. Throughout this process of reflection and reorientation its vision, identity and values were clarified and strengthened, and new strategies identified to revive and reintroduce Amakula to the scene and screen. In its reinvigorated fashion it is expected that Amakula will continue to be able to play an important catalysing role in film industry development in Uganda. It therefore promises, once again, to be the “precious gift” it seeks to be.
Amakula International Film Festival is a curatorial driven international film festival determined to seek out world cinema from every corner of the world, including less prominent cultures, while maintaining a special focus on African cinema and making special efforts to seek out the best productions in the Eastern African region.
It seeks both to expand horizons for audiences as well as of filmmakers, both in terms of strong thematic content as well as cinematic techniques including a wide range of genres, from fiction to documentary, animation, experimental film, video art, short and long. The festival strives to be accessible to a wide group of people by presenting itself in various localities.
To stimulate film industry development, the festival seeks to set a clear artistic and independent standard, while trying to be inclusive, and supports upcoming local filmmakers to reach this standard. The festival furthermore seeks to encourage collaborations within the arts, encouraging multi-disciplinary projects and productions with a view to further stimulate creativity and innovation.
GOLDEN IMPALA AWARD
To recognize the improved standard of local film production within Africa the Golden Impala Award has been given since 2005 to outstanding works of film (in any genre/category).
Films submitted by African filmmaker automatically enter the Golden Impala Award competition (films by other filmmakers are submitted out of competition).