After Uganda’s first movie premiered on Netflix, director Ali has lessons for peers

By Musinguzi Blanshe

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Posted on January 5, 2022 10:29

Logo for Netflix (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

Uganda’s first movie, ‘The Girl in the Yellow Jumper’, premiered on Netflix on 26 December. The movie is about a man who escapes a hostage situation and returns home with a story to tell. Its director, Loukman Ali, who wasn’t known beyond the boundaries of the film industry in Uganda, explains to The Africa Report how he made it to Netflix and offers lessons for colleagues in the industry across the region.

When Ali was conceptualising the 80-minute movie in 2019, his dream was to produce the best film in the world. When the actual work started, however, he found it hard to turn his dream into reality because of financial constraints. The movie was completed in early 2020, but its premiere in Kampala – scheduled for April of that year – was disrupted by the pandemic.

With the pandemic raging, Loukman made a trailer for the movie, which he circulated widely on social media.

Luckily, someone at Netflix watched the trailer and contacted him with the delightful news that they were interested in it. Perhaps one of the many initiatives that the video streaming company is using to win subscribers on the continent.

Targeting the African audience

Since its arrival on the continent in 2016, Netflix has been on the hunt for subscribers from within Africa’s 1.2bn population.

  • In 2018, Netflix

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