We caught up with US based film maker and television content producer Isaac Kigozi. Kigozi is on a mission to give the African woman a platform to tell her story internationally. He talked about the upcoming Imagine This Film Festival which he is part of as an organiser, whom aim is to showcase African women story tellers.
Mr Kigozi, tell us about you, and your interest in filming East African women champions
I am Isaac Kigozi, a Ugandan living in USA, an Executive producer at Asylum entertainment, and the CEO/ Founder of E World Media Group. As the saying goes, East or west, home is best. So East Africa is home and women being the backbone of our society, they deserve credit for everything they do. The film industry in East Africa is dominated by men for years, because there was a belief that women are meant for the household chores, a thing that has changed in the past three decades. Our women have proved to be more versatile than any race in the world hence the need to showcase such unique talent.
What is Imagine This Film Festival and at what level are you involved in it?
Imagine this Film Festival (ITWIFF) is a Brooklyn, NY-based film festival, devoted to showcasing the work of women storytellers from around the world. It brings together filmmakers and community for a rich experience. I have worked with Patrice for some time and I am happy to be associated with her on this cause. As a proud Ugandan Television and film producer, I find the talk about women in this industry not being paid the same as their male counterparts archaic and needs to change. Our women are so gifted and it is only that they don’t have the access to the right voices to showcase their beautiful ideas and gifts, which is why I took the mantle to bring on board Ugandan women story tellers to give them a platform where they can see and share with their counterparts from the other parts of the world. There are so many avenues out there through which the works of their hands can receive acknowledgement and also pay off really handsomely, and all our women need is exposure and opportunities like this.
What should an African woman film maker look out for in the festival and what does the program add on the women actors, directors, producers, among other things
There is a lot of opportunities for our women in this forum which include sharing their work with the public, promoting equal opportunities, encouraging professional development, and serving as a resource informative network. They will receive mentorship from seasoned story tellers and have access to potential distribution deals for their works, to the rest of the world.
You are said to be “very passionate about expanding on the image of African women and giving our mothers, daughters and sisters a chance to tell their story with the hopes to inspire others to do the same”. Can you expound on this?
Umm…. Having grown up in Luwero (a district is central Uganda) and watching how strong our mothers and sisters are, running the households but at the same time managing businesses with unquestionable acumen, I can only say the sky cannot even be a limit to the potential our women have. I have been surrounded by strong women all my life who have stood against all odds to ensure their families survive and the generations to come have an outstanding example to emulate, they are the ones that nurture the good in us and their voices have been gagged for a long time now, which i believe must stop. The African woman will smile even when her heart is bleeding, she gracefully faces the challenges the world throws at her and fiercely protects her kin, now that is a woman you can keep gagged. I am lucky to have come into this world through an African woman.
How can film makers submit their works to this festival?
All they need to do is get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will attend to them..
Who should take part in the festival?
Regardless of whether you are a filmmaker or not, the festival is open to everyone that appreciates film and wants to support women, so the interested parties should express their intentions through the Email provided above and we shall help them with the visa processing. The rest of the details will be availed thereafter.
Anything else you want add?
I call upon our ladies to step up fiercely and defend that which God has endowed them with, look deep within and realize that no one is greater than that which they acknowledge about themselves. The world is waiting with hands open for our women to showcase the many abilities they have in different sectors, be it politics, home making, economics, music, film, technology…name it. When we say Uganda is gifted by nature, it is our women that are the source of such pride, so let each woman educated or not,whether deep in Luwero where i come from, or here in Kampala step up with pride and exude their inner beauty that can not be found anywhere else