#CreatePreneurAfrica Zziwa Aaron Alone, Uganda’s King of Guerilla Fimmaking!

Zziwa Aaron Alone, a multi-award-winning film director, all the way from Uganda in East Africa,is all about understanding African culture through the realm of moving pictures.

Guerrilla filmmaker Zziwa Aaron Alone is on a mission to redefine the art of great filmmaking with lights,camera and literally,no budget!

The filmmaking industry in Uganda is undoubtedly growing. My film,‘The Superstition’, was nominated alongside Jackie Chan’s, ‘Chinese Zodiac’ at the  2014 Abuja International Festival”

Zziwa Aaron Alone

  • Nominated Best Film director in 2014 and 2015 – Arusha African film festival, Tanzania.
  • Nominated in 2016 – Africa Movie Academy Award, Nigeria 
  • Nominated Best Director- 2017 Uganda film festival

Meet #CreatepreneurAfrica, Uganda’s Zziwa Aaron Alone

 

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

What drives me? ……  I love to bring stories to life. It drives me everytime I think of stories that can change the generation, the community, and the world.

Our narratives impact positively on human change. My passion in life is when I make stories go to screen. I feel great when stories which I gave birth to are embraced by audiences. It motivates me more and more to give them more…..

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

The way I found my passion is through frequent hangouts at a local cinema hall, aka Bibanda, with my elder brother when I was little. I think I was like five years old when he took me there and I enjoyed Chinese Kung-Fu films.

Later I found myself taking myself alone there. The passion grew and this always got me trouble at home! When I grew older I decided to make my hobby my reality.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

What appeals to me about my passion is when  I am appreciated, whether I direct, write or act in my films. 

When the cast and crew are appreciated with awards and recognition, it encourages them to take on new projects. I embrace appreciation and audience attendance at my screenings each time I have them.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

 I studied entrepreneurship at the university. I am a person that hates to be employed.  The richest people in this world are entrepreneurs. Being employed by others will not make me rich.  I drove my persona into a business module rather than slaving off for another.

 

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

It was in  2013 when I was working under someone else. First comes passion, we get by, even when pay is scarce.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

First of all is when I was nominated at the Abuja international film festival for my film ‘The Superstition’ alongside Jackie Chan’s film, ‘Chinese Zodiac’.

This was motivating. My films made it to  Arusha film festival in Tanzania as well as the Silicon Valley African film festival in the USA and the academy awards in Nigeria.

This shows me people appreciate my work out there.  I have a passion for storytelling and film. If there was no passion I would have given up ages ago.  Being an artist is challenging. It may be challenging all over the world, but I feel it in Uganda.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

Firstly, what motivates me today is the people I work with. They never give up no matter what circumstances or challenges appear.  We face it together.

Secondly my mother Jacqueline Guglielmino. She encourages me, she is the most hardworking woman I have ever seen on this planet.  I want to be like her.

Thirdly, my brothers. They have always had my back.

Fourthly, the awards that I win on projects with all those on my team.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

Time tells, today you can see someone as low today,  but tomorrow, he might be  the one to bail you out, so be polite and humble

Be human, respect people’s hustle and what they want, as long as it’s not a crime.

So what  I can tell them is, always give people a chance, empower them and believe in them. Believe in what they are trying to do, no matter how many years it may take.  Artists careers take a long time to kick off but eventually, it does.

 Even Albert Einstein went through challenges in his discoveries but is now celebrated.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

What can I advise all those that are aspiring in this creative sector?

No matter what challenges appear, always have hope and follow your dreams.  Never ever mistreat people who make you or who have made you who you are. Have respect and focus on your path. Set goals and a clear vision for your passion and success will prevail.

   

Action movies from Africa made on shoestring budgets

Filmmakers from Africa, steering away from conventional film school rules produce movies that grab the attention of audiences in their regions.
 
Teamwork with  an understanding of creating a great piece from passion makes it possible to produce low-cost movies and showcases promising filmmakers and actors

 

Nigerian movies took the lead in creating a pathway for marketing and distributing African culture internationally. Nollywood created a list of stars over the past 2 decades.  Other African countries followed suit and created their local versions.

In South Africa, Joziwood  takes the lead of shoestring budgets for movies and Zollywood in Zimbabwe

The success of Nollywood comes from telling African stories, the African way that western movies never could capture. Nollywood sparked off a cultural phenomenon all across the continent contributing $600 million annually to the Nigerian economy.

The common themes of movies from Africa revolve around love, power, money and corruption. Wakaliwood from Uganda as carved a niche into action films. It combines martial arts elements from China and action moves from the west into local Ugandan culture. combines martial arts elements from China and action moves from the west into local Ugandan culture.

In the midst of a fledgling movie business in Uganda,  filmmaker Isaac Nabwana is a name synonymous with the homegrown world of movies, Wakaliwood. He has completed over forty low-budget movies from the slums in Kampala in a makeshift studio has found a cult of ongoing followers online. One such follower, a film festival director Alan Hofmanis, a film festival director in the US was so captured and flew all to Uganda to witness films being made for a documentary

He has completed over forty low-budget movies from the slums in Kampala in a makeshift studio. has found a cult of ongoing followers online. One such follower, a film festival director Alan Hofmanis, a film festival director in the US was so captured and flew all to Uganda to witness films being made on meagre budgets and filmed the workings in the ramshackle studio  that makes jibs and props from DIY parts

Making movies for those that succeed with low budgets comes from passion and working with a team sharing ideals.  Who killed captain Alex  was made with US200. The most expensive movie Isaac Nabwana has made attracted foreign media including Al Jazeera and the BBC. . Reality scenes like riots in the streets provide perfect scenes for adding spice to action movies.

The action movie Who Killed Captain Alex registered a huge YouTube success . The trailer has exceeded 2.6 million views.

When he started in 2005 Nabwana never had the slightest idea that anyone out of the Wakaliga slum in Kampala would view his productions. Youtube brought Wakaliwood to grab an international following.

The action scenes in his movies are so unique that even the local Ugandan language dialogue does not matter. The movie has evolved into English voice-overs to appeal to audiences on a wider level. The spice of local dialect brings out the best performances by actors.

From a studio in the informal settlement of Wakaliga, Nabwana, eats, sleeps and dreams up action movie concepts and wakes up to make them into realities.

Welcome to the ultimate vision of our times.  #ExploreMotherlandAfrica