Kalundi Serumaga: Film, stories, and me.

In my long association with art and film-making, I have come to learn that this is, in the end, and internal conversation, first and foremost. Your first audience is the community from which you come. All else -important as it is- is secondary. If you cannot talk effectively to people like yourself, you will never be able to talk to others. And once you can speak effectively to yourself, then everyone will instinctively understand you, no matter the specific language you use.

Film-making come with the challenge of being both highly technical, and highly non- technical at the same time. It combines

My earliest awareness of film production was as a child acting in a television advert directed by my father with his friend Lincoln Ndaula operating the camera. I have been able to see and later participate in the evolution of the production of the moving images since then, and professionally over the last twenty years, in Uganda and abroad.

The expansion of accessible filming technology has created many new opportunities, but also created certain challenges. It enables greater access, especially for previously less privileged people, but at the same time can offer too many simple choices that ironically lead to a failure to diversify an innovate. The key thing is teaching and guidance, and a grounding in the wider history of film-making.

I believe an institute like Kampala Film School can play an important role here, by having a Director with the determination and capacity to focus on the following:

  • The greater development in exploring aesthetics in the African context, regarding the visual, aural and linguistic.

  • Deepening film production connections between the academic and formal, and the homegrown and informal sectors in Uganda and the region.

  • Bringing increased revenue streams into the various branches of the sector through building greater awareness of the business and commercial aspects of film production in the curriculum.

  • Further developing the intellectual capacity of Uganda film-making, to take on difficult subjects within the African canon and lived experience.

  • Bringing up a focus on the more “back-room” technical aspects of the craft.

    Kampala Film School, with its essentially non-state sector character, brings the possibility of a flexibility not found elsewhere, to meeting these challenges. Furthermore, it stands to benefit significantly from it by first building up an institutional reputation for quality relevance and innovation, and through that, a larger student body, and increased sustained revenue streams.