Kyenvu‘, which is a film about the war on miniskirts in Uganda, won an award for the Best Short Narrative Film at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) 2018 and it has been selected to make a European premiere.

The Pan African Film Festival is a non-profit corporation in Los Angeles, Carlifornia that aims at promoting cultural understanding among peoples of African descent through exhibiting art and film. It hosts a film and arts festival each year.

‘KYENVU’, the Luganda translation for YELLOW, is a short film that tells the story of NAMARA, a Ugandan woman who bumps into a man, who challenges her feminist and independent ideals in the most unlikely of places. He wins her over through a series of hilarious events – only for their burgeoning love to be tested by a gruesome tragedy. When NAMARA wears her yellow miniskirt, she is sexually abused by a group of taxi men who decide to take the law into their own hands. NAMARA must fight and find a way to make her skirt and world yellow again.

The idea of the film was spearheaded by Kemiyondo Coutinho who is a Ugandan playwright, actress and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She started the music platform titled ‘A Ka Dope‘ aimed at giving new Ugandan artists an audience. She was featured on CNN’s African Voices for her influential work in the arts. She originated the Kyenvu idea and it attracted many other activists who came on board and influenced the making and eventual success of this short film. Kemiyondo boasts a big team behind her including Nicole Amani Magabo (Co-Director), Isaac Oboth, Heddwyn Kyambadde (Producer), among others.

Kemiyondo Coutinho at the PAFF.

Winning at the PAFF means many great things for Kemiyondo because PAFF is an Oscar Qualifying Festival. A film/act that wins at the PAFF can be submitted for consideration to the Oscar Academy. Kyenvu has also been selected by the PAFF among the few movies to premiere in Europe which means more exposure and opportunities for Kemiyondo.

Kemiyondo acting.

Could we be seeing yet another Ugandan at the Oscars in the near future? Well, fingers crossed! For now, congratulations to you Kemiyondo, and the entire Kyenvu team.

Josh Ruby is an Editor with high interest and knowledge in the Ugandan entertainment space, an industry he has been actively part of since 2010. Leads to breaking stories are welcome!

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