Devoted self-made filmmaker Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey (IGG), who shoots ultra-violent action movies in a slum at the cost of about $200 apiece, and has been lovingly nicknamed ‘Uganda’s Tarantino’ by his fans, says his version of ‘The Expendables’ is coming soon.
Nabwana produces, directs, shoots, writes, and edits his films. Wakaliga, a slum in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, is his action set – and it has already been dubbed’Wakaliwood’.
Shot at an average price of $200 US dollars, Nabwana’s films are super-low budget and involve the whole crew in various stages of the process. Some actors play several characters in the same production and wear face masks to look different. Nabwana’s wife has become a pro at special effects: they use condoms filled with water mixed with food coloring to mimic blood. The actors come on set wearing their own clothes and hardly get any pay.
“I like acting because I need to be more famous. Yeah. That’s my dream. So that’s why, you see, I act all the time. The director told me to do anything – I can do,” actor Kizza Mansuri said on the set of one of Nabwana’s movies.
An incredibly productive director, Nabwana shoots a new film roughly every month, then edits everything himself on a computer that he had assembled on his own. He uses software from the internet to create graphics imitating gunfire, blood spills and more complex settings involving helicopters and world landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben.
Nabwana’s Ramon Film Productions, which got its name from Rachel and Monica, the grandmothers who raised him, rose to fame with the 2011 blockbuster “Who killed captain Alex?” Its trailer even made it online, subsequently becoming an internet sensation. The plot is hard to follow with all the fighting, but it revolves around the police, drug trafficking and, yes, more fighting. At some stage a decision was made to ditch plastic guns for something more serious, as Nabwana felt the actors needed to feel the weight of “real” ammo. So they started producing their own mock guns from any available spare parts, such ones from a motorcycle. They even created a life-size helicopter prop.