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Join the film studio behind the viral sensations Who Killed Captain Alex & Tebaatusasula and become a Ugandan Action Movie Star! Read more

Kampala, Uganda Action
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Join the film studio behind the viral sensations Who Killed Captain Alex & Tebaatusasula and become a Ugandan Action Movie Star!

Kampala, Uganda Action
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About this project

Thank You to all our Supa Fans!
We achieved our first goal of $160!

Tebaatusasula: EBOLA will be made and unleashed to the world!

- but reaching our Stretch Goal will allow us to grow in supa new ways. And you'll see it all on screen. We'll build a Huey helicopter from scrap metal and shoot the action film on HD (our first). We'll be able to film in locations outside the ghetto, including Kibale National Park, and buy our first-ever light kits, generators, and back-up hard drives. And we'll build a proper website to offer our films, posters, and T-shirts to fans around the world.

This stretch goal would not only upgrade Tebaatusasula: EBOLA, it will provide the foundation for a sustainable business here in Uganda. $15,000 would change lives and bring you even more of the Best of the Best Movies.

This Reward is now COMPLETELY FREE! That's right, if you and your friends wants to appear in Tebaatusasula: EBOLA - and die - no problem! And you can do it without even leaving your home.

As us how! wakaliwood@gmail.com

Wakaliwood cannibalz enjoying American food
Wakaliwood cannibalz enjoying American food
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Ugandan filmmaker Nabwana IGG
Ugandan filmmaker Nabwana IGG

Wakaliwood is the nickname of Wakaliga, a tiny village in Uganda that has garnered an international reputation for making action movies. It's the home of Ramon Film Productions and Nabwana IGG, a Ugandan filmmaker who has produced more than 40 feature films including the viral sensations Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie and Tebaatusasula.

Wakaliwood has as many as 130 actors, Kung Fu masters, stunt people, technicians, machinists, and artists who have travelled from all parts of Uganda to work with Nabwana IGG. The core members meet twice a week to shoot, rehearse, distribute films, build props and gear, develop stories, practice stunts, share ideas, and watch movies.

Wakaliwood's gas-powered replica of the minigun from Predator
Wakaliwood's gas-powered replica of the minigun from Predator

Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie was produced, written, directed, shot, and edited by Nabwana IGG from his home in Wakaliga, Uganda. Made in 30 days for under $200 using real blood and a modified car jack for a tripod, the film became a sensation throughout the slums of Uganda while the trailer went viral across Europe and the US.

The Director's Supa Cut of Who Killed Captain Alex is available RIGHT NOW for the first time ever, featuring the world's first English-language VJ (Video Joker), English Subtitles, and Director's Commentary. And it's completely free, via YouTubeBitTorrent BundleTorrent, and as a DRM-free download from wakalwood.com.

Why free? Simple. We wanted anyone in the world to be able to enjoy the film, no matter where they were or how much money they have.

Tebaatusasula was to be the action-packed follow-up to Who Killed Captain Alex (the title roughly translates as Those Who Were Screwed Over, and refers to an elite team of Ugandan Commandos who are forced into a life of crime to save their ailing families).  

Like Captain Alex before, this trailer went viral, but sadly the film itself is lost. The slum experienced a massive power surge that destroyed the film and Wakaliwood's only hard drive. All that remains is the trailer.

Until now.

Part sequel - part reboot, Tebaatusasula: EBOLA will feature all the original trailer promised, including cars that bleed. But this time Nabwana IGG wants to destroy more than Uganda. He wants to blow up the world.

Tebaatusasula: EBOLA will be Wakaliwood's first international action-packed co-production. We need fans from all over the world to join us, either by contributing behind the scenes or by filming yourselves dying. That's right - You Can Become a Ugandan Action Movie Star from the Comfort of Your Own Home. 

In December 2011, Alan Ssali Hofmanis, an American from New York, came to Uganda in search of the man behind Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie. And somehow became a Ugandan action movie star. 

Adopted by the Nkima (monkey) clan and given the name Ssali, he sold everything he had and moved into Wakaliwood. He is now a partner in Ramon Film Productions and helping to bring their films to the world. 

Bad Black is inspired by the true story of a young and charismatic Ugandan seductress who swindled £2.4million from a British businessman, only to become the Robin Hood of Uganda by throwing lavish parties and giving most of the money away.

Except in our film, the mzungu isn't a businessman but an American Commando (albeit one trained by a 7-year old Ugandan Kung Fu Master). And Bad Black doesn't steal his money - she steal's his dog tags. And instead of crying to the police, the Commando picks up Rambo's M60 and blows up the slum. Welcome to Wakaliwood.

The Waka Starz are Uganda's youngest action movie stars. Ranging in age from 4 to 9, they are the children of Wakaliwood's cast & crew and trained by Master Sifu Bukenya Charles aka Bruce U (Uganda's Bruce Lee), under the guiding principle that the martial arts improve self-respect, discipline, and physical fitness. 

Ani Mulalu (Crazy World) is the Waka Starz film debut. Already a hit in Uganda, the film centers on a Ugandan commando who feigns madness (or perhaps he IS mad) in order to track down his daughter's kidnappers.

Uganda's first horror movie, Bukunja Tekunja Mitti: The Cannibals, features the very first screen appearance of The Night Dancer - Uganda's boogey-man. 

According to legend, if you or your ancestors were born in the land of Bukunja in Eastern Uganda, and you return under a full moon, you'll feel an urge to rip off all your clothes and dance. Followed by an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

And there's zombies in Bukunja, too. In fact, the word zombie ('nzambi', meaning soul) originates from this part of Africa. The zombie folklore as it is known today first spread to the West Indies and then to the American South via the slave trade, evolving along the way.

Bukunja Tekunja Mitti (They Don't Eat Trees, i.e. vegetables) presents the Zombie folklore as interpreted by those born and raised in the native culture and who continue to believe it. At the time of filming (2012), Nabwana IGG had never heard of George Romero nor seen any of his films. This is one of the few, if only, contemporary zombie films not influenced by Romero's legacy and the worldwide zombie phenomenon. 

Uganda is an emerging film industry. Equipment is hard to come by, but in the villages it's all but impossible.

Wakaliwood's replica of Rambo's M60. Bullets are carved from wood!
Wakaliwood's replica of Rambo's M60. Bullets are carved from wood!

Bisaso Dauda is Wakaliwood's prop master (and one of our leading actors). A mechanic, Dauda uses scrap metal to build our heavy weapons and camera gear including dollies, cranes, and even our 16' jib.

See the counter-balance? It's a transmission gear from a tractor trailer.
See the counter-balance? It's a transmission gear from a tractor trailer.

Nabwana IGG normally builds and repairs the computers himself with used and scrap parts. A computer will last two or three months at best, eventually falling victim to heat, dust, and power surges.

Isaac edits with a variety of software including Adobe Premiere and After Effects. His special effects have earned him the reputation in Uganda of being a powerful witch doctor – even by the local Police, who still do not understand how he can make a bullet come from a wooden gun.

Chinese action films are as popular in Uganda as they are anywhere. As children, Isaac and his friends would watch Bruce Lee films and pretend they were Ugandan Ninjas. Isaac went on to pursue filmmaking, but many in the village followed their passion for Kung Fu. 

Today, Isaac’s childhood friends are not only Uganda's first action movie stars, but the founders of Uganda’s Official Kung Fu team.

Some have even been invited to study at Shaolin Temple in China, the birthplace of Kung Fu. The team is developing a distinctive form of Kung Fu based on the behavior of animals native to East Africa and the fighting styles of Uganda's 56 tribes. This new African martial art will be showcased in the upcoming film, Ugandan Ninja, a cross between Spider-Man and Bloodsport.

Wakaliwood at Shaolin Monastery in Henan Province, China
Wakaliwood at Shaolin Monastery in Henan Province, China

There are no film distributors in Uganda. Wakaliwood must sell and market their films themselves, selling door-to-door in around the slums of Kampala, with the occasional road trip when money is available.

DVDs are burned, labeled, and packaged at home when electricity is available. Copies are sold for 2500 UGX (about 90 cents US). Half goes to the actors who do the selling, the other goes back to Wakaliwood. 

Expenses are as follows:

  • Blank DVD  500 UGX
  • Electricity    100 UGX
  • Label           100 UGX
  • Artwork         80 UGX
  • Packaging     40 UGX

This leaves approximately 400 UGX (14 cents US) for Nabwana IGG, his family, and Wakaliwood. The number is even lower when costs for transport and spoilage are factored in (DVDs that won't play, or are damaged due to power fluctuations when burning).

Publicity stunt for the film Crazy World (Ani Mulalu)
Publicity stunt for the film Crazy World (Ani Mulalu)

The actors face many challenges when selling the films. First, most Ugandans do not know Uganda even makes movies. The first hurdle is to convince a potential buyer to take a chance on something they don't think is possible. 

The second hurdle is the cost. A pirated copy of a Western action film - The Expendables, for example - can cost as little as 500 UGX. So why pay 2500 UGX for a Ugandan action film?

Labeling DVDs by candlelight
Labeling DVDs by candlelight

Wakaliwood's actresses often receive abuse from both men and women when selling DVDs. Despite this, the sales figures for women is equal to or even greater than those of Wakaliwood's male sellers.

Because of this piracy, Wakaliwood has roughly 6 days to make money on each new release, as by that time the film has been copied and selling in Kampala for much less than Wakaliwood can afford.

Nabwana IGG receives phone calls every week from fans of Captain Alex from all over the world. He has no idea how they were able to see the film.

A Video Joker is a live narrator that can best be described as a cross between a cheerleader, stand-up comic, and slum tour guide. Uniquely Ugandan, the first VJs appeared in Kampala in the early 80s.

Ugandan cinemas, or video halls, typically have two television screens: one for a football game (with the sound turned off) and the other for the feature presentation. In lieu of subtitles, the VJ provides the necessary exposition so the audience can better understand the movie. The joke was that VJ's didn't know the story either and just made it up - and a comedy act was born. 

Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie is first film to be presented with an English-language VJ.

Like many filmmakers, Nabwana IGG is forced to support himself and his family by shooting wedding videos, birthday parties, graduations, and music videos.

Who Killed Captain Alex is dedicated to Nabwana IGG's grandmother, who raised him as a child and saw him safely through Uganda's civil war. There are many songs dedicated to mothers, but IGG could not find a single one dedicated to grandparents. So he wrote one himself.

It is both. The district of Nateete on the outskirts of Kampala is regarded as a slum by Ugandans, while Wakaliga is the name of a particular Ghetto.

But life in a slum may be different than you expect. There can be wealthy people with beautiful cars living next to a family squatting in a shack. 

Wakaliwood and Nabwana IGG's family fall right in the middle. They have no plumbing and there's raw sewage flowing past their home, but there is no worry for food and they live in a brick structure.

Our dream is to create a truly independent, international action movie studio where anyone, no matter where in the world they are, can be part of the films and share in the joy of making them. 

Child cannibals in Wakaliwood's upcoming horror film, Eaten Alive in Uganda
Child cannibals in Wakaliwood's upcoming horror film, Eaten Alive in Uganda

Wakaliwood's first international co-production will be Tebaatusasula: EBOLA. But be prepared for many, many more.

We gladly accept donations of any kind, from software, sounds effects, and 3D models to old computer parts and hard drives. Used gear such as mics, tripods, lights, and stands would be greatly appreciated and put to good use here in Uganda.

Also, if you have any talents or advice you would like to offer, especially in the fields of web design, stunt work, practical effects, publicity, 3D animation, and sound design, we'd love to hear from you.

If you feel you can contribute in these or any other way, please contact us at: wakaliwood@gmail.com

"In Kampala lives a genius - Isaac Nabwana, the Tarantino of the Slums" - NEON Magazine, Dec 2014
"In Kampala lives a genius - Isaac Nabwana, the Tarantino of the Slums" - NEON Magazine, Dec 2014

WAKALIWOOD PHOTOSET on IMGUR

Album of more than 150 photos taken over the past 3 years

REDDIT AMAs

I'm from NYC & Spent 8 Months Living in a Slum That Makes Action Movies (front page)

SELECTED VIDEOS

NEON MAGAZINE Meet the Tarantino of the Slums by Alard von Kittlitz (German)

RAY WILLIAM JOHNSON'S =3 Action!!!!!! (6.1 million views)

CCTV AFRICA Ugandan Film Production Hampered by Scarcity of Equipment

CCTV AFRICA Uganda's Kung Fu Children TV Stars

UGANDA BROADCASTING COMPANY (UBC) Imagine a Slum Glittering

SELECTED WEBSITES

SLATE Everyone in Uganda is Kung Fu Fighting

IPS NEWS AGENCY Filming Uganda's Own Stories

SHADOW AND ACT Makers of Captain Alex are Back with Return of Uncle Benon

TWITCH From Makers of CAPTAIN ALEX Comes Uganda's Action Madness RETURN OF UNCLE BENON

Risks and challenges

Where to begin? Uganda is an extremely challenging place to live and work. We have ongoing struggles with electricity, the internet, and illness, in addition to political demonstrations, such as the Kabaka riots that took place during the filming of Who Killed Captain Alex.

Strange as it may sound, another factor that could delay the project is success. If given the opportunity, Nabwana IGG would like to travel to meet other passionate filmmakers and film lovers around the world and share his films to audiences worldwide.

That said, Nabwana IGG and Wakaliwood have produced over 40 feature films in less than 10 years. We can accomplish anything we put our hearts and minds to, and with your support the sky's the limit.

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