African Voice



1. Please introduce yourself
My name is Jayant Maru and I am a second generation Indian born in Kenya and lived in Uganda. A Passionate Film maker by Profession.
2. You were at the bayelsa book fair, please tell us about your experience
Yes, Indeed it was a proud moment to have been invited at the Bayelsa Book and Craft fair to screen my latest film "THE ROUTE" But unfortunately due to Logistical hurdles I could not make it on time for the screening but all in all it was an Inspiring and Overwhelming experience to be in Bayelsa state to attend the Book fair and the African Movie Academy Awards.3. What’s film making in Uganda like?
The Ugandan film industry has really kept its pace every year it keeps on increasing with aspiring film directors improving on the production values on their works. And we also have to keep in mind that the film industry is run by 90% of youth who are energetic and always up for trying new stuff4.What’s the population of filmmakers in Uganda and please give us an estimate of how many films are produced indigenously.
Like I mentioned earlier 90% of the industry is run by the youth of Uganda and well I read an article that stated Uganda produces 30 Movies in a year compared to 70 movies a week in Nollywood, that was a long time back, but at present Uganda has produced quite many films in the recent years.5. How profiteering is the business of film in Uganda?
The film industry is quite Virgin and we have not yet developed a Cinema going culture to watch Films produced in Uganda. But with the initiatives being taken up by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) of showing 70% of local content on the TV stations across Uganda sounds very promising.4. Do you have a guild system in place?
Not quite.5. As a Ugandan filmmaker, what part of the filmmaking process would you say have made the most progress over the years?
All in all I can say that the Ugandan industry is moving steadily with improved quality in picture, sound and better stories.6. In what ways do you think your indigenous film industry could be helped?
Of course the industry need better distributors who do not manipulate the Filmmakers plus the Cinemas in Kampala need to step up to support the film industry.7.What’s the perception of nollywood in Uganda?
I think Nollywood has managed to make it with its unique forte not a copy of Hollywood or Bollywood and I think that identity is quite essential in the film industry.8. Tell us about your AMAA experience?
AMAA was a shear extraordinary extravaganza of Celebrating the Film industry across the African Continent! Truly it is the Oscars of Africa.9. How relevant is AMAA especially in your country?
Since the Ugandan film industry is coming up and indeed "The Ugandan" a film produced in Uganda was Nominated at the AMAA 2013 and won the Award for the Best Child Actor. Quite a few Ugandan Filmmakers are looking to be recognised at AMAA.10. What are the major challenges you face and how do you think they could be addressed?
Financial problems definitely as a director you would love to work with an adequate budget for the movies. But of course that doesn't stop me from completing the project I am very Optimistic plus Ambitious and above all I have a Passion for what I do so I always find a way around to finish my Project. But on a more positive note once people realise your shooting a movie ,They always want to help out with props and also finding extras ;)11.Discuss about the Uganda film festival and what is portends for Uganda filmmakers and filmmaking?
Yes, The Ugandan film fraternity is indeed in a jubilant mood, after receiving news of the government’s plans to launch an annual film festival. Its aim is to generate interest in the Ugandan film industry both locally and internationally, but also to bring all the industry players together in a more focused and promising environment.12.Tell us about your film and what inspired you to make it?
Whilst doing my Sociology research, I came across the topic of Human Trafficking across the globe. It is a 30billion Dollar Industry and almost 28million victims are trafficked world over and this kept me thinking that very little of this brutal world is known to the youth of Uganda and it is very easy for youth to fall into scams since everyone wants to make money as quick as possible but not knowing what the cruel world has in stock for them. And that was Inspiration enough for me to embark on filming a story in line with Human Trafficking "THE ROUTE"13. The premier is coming up soon, what should people expect?
Personally I do not believe in the whole glitz and glamour premier at this stage of my career. "THE ROUTE" premier will be an invited guest list of Cast, Crew plus we intend to invite each and every media personnel across Uganda to attend the premier and later on go on to spread the word of "THE ROUTE"14. Anything you want to say that I have not asked?
Please go and Watch, Like and Share "THE ROUTE" trailer with your friends and colleagues!! ;) And look forward to the movie release!! Last words?
If you go into it thinking it's going to be all wine and roses in the Film Industry, You will be infinitely disappointed!! We work long days, eat catered but temperamental food, and things can go frustratingly wrong all the time. There is a lot of pressure to make your day, and people are known to wrangle. You can take the strenuous nature two ways: you can let it sink you in, or you can laugh through it and look forward to the end of the picture, when all the hard work has paid off. I choose the latter..

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