Ssali's Bullion finally arrives

05:48 by Kaggwa Andrew

It gets very interesting catching over fifty journalists in one place, not to cover a story, but be the story themselves.
It was the same feeling at the Common Wealth Resort Munyonyo where scribe and film maker Henry Ssali was unveiling his second movie Bullion.
The event attracted many journalists that descended on the free cocktails, fish fingers, chicken….in simple words, they cleared the plates.
In 2007, Ssali made headlines when he released Kiwani: The movie. The picture didn’t only cause ripples in the industry but it took many by surprise considering its celebrated casting of Radio and Music divas Flavia Tumusiime and Juliana Kanyomozi.
In fact many thought he was going to retire his copy-editing skills in favour of the movie director’s seat.
To prove that he wasn’t a one hit wonder, in 2009, Ssali announced that he went on to audition and start the production of Bullion, which in his words would bring East Africa’s first Oscar…..ouuch, no longer possible!
The movie is set in 1997 and rotates around Collins (Allan Tumusiime) a bullion driver that’s trying to make ends meet as well as secure his daughter’s heart surgery.
The other sub-plot involves around a sleek talking accountant (Makutano Junction, Noose of gold and Demi gods actor Ainea Ojambo) having financial hardships because of a loan gone bad and his trusted partner in crime (Muwawu Gwayambadde). The two hatch a plan to rob the bank they work for, to complete their puzzle, they need help from Collins; The driver of the bullion van, and the security detail.
After the execution, things take a drastic twist when Collin is double-crossed and thrown into jail to serve a lengthy term.
The film has undergone a series of edits and re-edits to make it more appealing and Ssali says, very few Ugandan producers care to add glitz to their productions like he does and probably that’s the reason for the delayed release.
Despite receiving a ‘generous’ sponsorship package from tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, Ssali and team were left battling debts due to the film’s huge production budget accruing from usage of cutting-edge technology and an all-star cast.
The film was written by Billy Ashaba, (State Research Bureau) and directed by celebrated actor Phillip Luswata.
The film also stars Gerald Rutaro, Veronica Tindi, Dickson Zizinga and his daughter Nankumba Daniela..
According to Ojambo, it was great working with a Ugandan production and hopes to do it again; “Ugandans have deep stories that we don’t have in Kenya.”
The lead actor Tumusiime wasn’t around for the premiere but his presence was felt especially with a video message where he sent his love out with an accent.
Bullion boosts of very good shots, timely transitions and superb acting from the then theatre factory, Michael Wawuyo and his son Wawuyo Jr, indeed worth the time.


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