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14th DMZ Docs(2022)

I AM DOCU



Once Upon a Time in Uganda

Cathryne CZUBEK

  • US, Uganda
  • 2021
  • 94min
  • 12 +
  • DCP
  • color

AP

Synopsis

Set in Uganda, this documentary follows two men from opposite sides of the world who come together over a shared love for Chuck Norris. Isaac, a former brick maker, decides to pick up a camera and start shooting his own ’80s inspired action epics, and Alan, a film nerd from New York gives up his life in America to join forces with Isaac after seeing a trailer for one of his films online. Against all odds, the two unlikely friends have catapulted Wakaliwood to worldwide stardom with their own gonzo action movies bringing joy to millions of people across the internet.

Review

The Wakaliga ghetto in Uganda's capital is home to Ramon Film Productions, also known as Wakaliwood. The street is an action school where actors are trained, a production studio, and a studio where sets are made. Director Isaac, who created this place, bought a camcorder while working as a brick-making worker. Whenever he needs something for filmmaking, he makes it. Wakaliwood mainly produces action movies that guarantee fun. So even their horror films have comedy in them. After seeing them on YouTube, American film student Allen goes to Wakaliwood as their spectacle has the essence of a film that transcends trendy charm. In Uganda, white people are called “muzungu”, and Allen gets beaten up as a muzungu villain actor. Of course, he's also Isaac's best partner as a producer for international distribution. There is a twist in Wakaliwood films, he says. This is what many film lovers will shout together. “Wakaliga is our home. We call this place Wakaliwood. This is our Hollywood, only better!”

Director

  • Cathryne CZUBEK

    NY based director and producer. Screw You Cancer(2013) her award-winning doc series for Condé Nast. She directed the feature documentary A Girl and a Gun(2013) that premiered at the 2012 DOC NYC film festival.

Credit