A Tororo-based charity that looks after 800 orphans and disabled children is set to receive a Shs 20m cash donation following the successful premiere of new Ugandan film The Only Son.
Producers of the film have confirmed that all proceeds from its glitzy debut held at Serena Hotel in Kampala last Friday will go to Adyac Foundation, a voluntary organisation with whom they have had an understanding for the last three years.
“We have been donating Shs 5m to them annually since 2013, but we hoped to up our grant to at least Shs10m through the premiere this year,” said Bobby Tamale, the film’s lead actor, producer and CEO of Tamz Production.
Tamale told this blog in an exclusive interview yesterday that his team has so far counted Shs 10m from ticket sales and are expecting at least another Shs 10m from audience pledges made during the premiere.
The 29-year-old businessman-turned-filmmaker got emotional on Friday as he thanked guests for turning up in big numbers to support a film that’s been touted as one of the best local productions this year.
There had been earlier fears the event would flop due to heavy pricing of tickets, limited publicity and the exclusivity of Serena.
But in a clear show of the increasing popularity of Ugandan cinema, hundreds of moviegoers packed the splendid Victoria Hall to catch the latest offering from the budding local industry.
By 5pm, swarms of stylishly-dressed guests had already started arriving at the venue where they were welcomed by a sprawling red carpet and media scrum.
The wide-ranging crowd comprised of some of Kampala’s glitterati including musicians, filmmakers, business moguls and fashionistas – all united by their impressive sense of style.
The absence of famous Ghanaian film star Majid Michel, who had initially been expected to headline the event, gave chance to the local film’s cast and crew to shine as they posed for pictures with fans on the red carpet.
Written and directed by Richard Mulindwa, The Only Son charts the story of Davis, an heir apparent and only child of a cancer-stricken millionaire (played by Michael Wawuyo Sr). The only thing Davis knows best is how to blow money, not how to make it.
His lavish lifestyle however takes a drastic turn as his father gets his entire fortune seized by Interpol following an apparent embezzlement scandal.
Now penniless and lonely, Davis struggles to adapt to his new situation, a journey that beats him into a better man by teaching him priceless life virtues he hitherto never knew about.
The twist to the story is that the embezzlement case and assets seizure was all but a sham and desperate plan by Davis’ dying father to groom his son into a responsible heir.
Tamale, a relatively new actor with plenty to learn, appeared to be the audience’s favourite as he went through a range of emotions and experiences in his titular character.
Much of the critical acclaim however went to Nisha Kalema with the 23-year-old actress proving why she’s a force to reckon with in her endearing turnout as Diana, a kind-hearted waitress who nurses Davis’ wounds and heartache.
“She just changed the entire film’s trajectory for the better the first time she came on screen,” film critic Andrew Kaggwa noted of Kalema’s performance.
The 2015 UFF Best Actress award winner also rocked the red carpet with an androgynous look, complete with a white suit, bowtie and a half-shaven head.
Veteran stage actor Raymond Rushabiro also continued his impress screen run in the film since making the transition last year as so did Doreen Nabbanja.
The Only Son will next show at Club Ambiance in Masaka on August 3rd ahead of an extensive theatrical run in Kampala. The film is also participating at this year’s Uganda Film Festival (UFF) this August where it’s tipped for an awards haul.
By Polly Kamukama