New film addresses rebellious teenagers

12:43 by Kaggwa Andrew
For a long time many education activists have attacked the current school carriculums for being too serious. In a rather distasteful tone, they remind us of days when schools like Old Kampala fed the national football team with fresh talent and as well as others like Namasagali, Buddo Kings College and St. Balikudembe Mitala Maria providing the entertainment scene with reknown names like Seanice Kacungira, Ngoni duo and Afri-Talent’s Bwanika Charles.
Such days are long gone since schools these days only care about academics and later appearing in newspapers when results are released.
However some people like joseph Kenneth Ssebagala, a Ugandan film maker with Zenkens Films is thinking different.
After experiencing vibrant arts at Buddo Secondary School in the early 2000s, he thought it a better idea to revisit the school that made him when he was making his debut short film, Nico the Donkey for Raising Voices.
Unfortunately, the secondary section didn’t have the character he needed thus the school directors pushed him to work with their sister primary section. As a result, the film was screened at many festivals and even going on as far as becoming one of the first local films screened at the state of art New century Cinema at Acacia mall.
Because of this success, Ssebagala gathered more confidence to ask the school management to let him do a full length film, this time with the secondary section and that was the genesis of his Reform.
The story follows a high school celebrity struggling to regain his fame after serving a couple of handy work punishments and being forced into the readers’ (losers) club.
The storyline is fresh and quite breath taking, Ssebagala tries his hands on a rather delicate matter that few artistes have tackled with grace – teenage relationships.
This is the only Ugandan film you will watch without such relationships being demonized. judging by the two and half minute trailer, the films lashes out at unruly characters students tend to look at as ‘cool’ in school but in turn, calls for health teenage relationships mostly built on progress, trust and religious values.
Most of the actors in the movie are Buddo SS students who were obviously getting their first acting gig – were they impressive? That’s a question we shall probably answer on Tuesday 13th when the film premieres at the National Theatre.
To boost their confidence nevertheless, the director brought on board some famous faces like Deception’s Charles Kabogoza, who portrays the no nonsense boys warden aptly known as Mr. Adams.
The film can be credited for a very good picture and shoots, according to Ssebagala, this is just one of the first projects he’s doing with Buddo SS but more are yet to come, who knows probably after taking the music, sports and academic scene by storm, the school may now be targeting film.


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