What can you buy for $200 and a dream? How about international fame and support?
Wakaliwood is the name of a film studio growing out of a Ugandan slum, inspired by one man’s love of action movies. Isaac Nabwana, who grew up during the reign of Idi Amin, had never seen an actual movie. His older brother had kept his spirits up during tough times by describing American films of the 1970s, and when Nabwana was able to afford a working camera Nabwana knew he had to make a film.
Recruiting friends and family from the slum and using what props they had available, they created Who Killed Captain Alex?, a movie that looks like it cost far more than the operating budget.
When you’ve got an operating budget of $200, that’s not difficult. It helps, though, when many of your friends and neighbors have guns; when local ordinances generally consist of “if you’re making so much of a ruckus that the police tell you to stop, break for a few hours” and safety regulations are what happens because you’re trying to keep your friends and family from getting hurt, not because you’re trying to keep step with OSHA paperwork.
Wakaliwood, and the original Ramon Film Productions that spawned it, has developed respect from action movie fans and true “indie” production fans throughout the world. After seeing a clip of one of the early films, Alan Hofmanis, program director for the Lake Placid film festival, flew to Uganda to speak with Nabwana. (BBC)
What he saw impressed him enough that he used his contacts in the film industry to get showings of Wakaliwood movies in film festivals throughout the world. A kickstarter followed, and now a Patreon, as they solicit cash to make movies that cost less than a single ticket to many concerts and sporting events.
Years later, they’re still going strong.
For the OPEN THREAD question… what is your favorite movie that most people either haven’t seen or have never even heard of?