KAMPALA, Uganda – An internationally acclaimed film, Le Grand Jour (The Big Day), has been for the first time viewed by the Uganda public at Century Cinemax, Acacia Mall in Kampala. The movie was launched Friday 04 March by Uganda’s Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhukana Rugunda.
Speaking to the audience that included the Ugandan actors, Rugunda said film production has a major role in promoting Uganda as a top tourism destination.
“I believe this is not the last movie coming to Uganda because this is a great place for movie makers,” said Rugunda. “Tourism is now the largest foreign exchange earner for Uganda and films like Le Grand Jour showcase the beauty of our country.”
Le Grand Jour is directed by Pascal Plisson, a renowned French screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. The film is produced by Ms. Maria Tauzia and features a Ugandan actor, Mr. Tom Ssekabira. Pascal Plisson said he had not initially planned to have the movie in Uganda but a call and convincing talk from Uganda’s ambassador Nimisha J Madhvani changed his mind.
“I had only gone for a visa from the Uganda embassy, but later I got a call from the ambassador,” Plisson said, adding he had no regrets after all the support he got in shooting the film. The film was made in the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mweya Safari Lodge.
“As Ugandans, it is important to support this film to be shown everywhere in Uganda and the Globe. It is also a great tourism promotional material that should be used by all our missions abroad to brand and promote Uganda as the best tourist and investment destination in East Africa,” said Ms. Madhvani, who doubles also as Uganda’s Ambassador to Spain, Portugal, UNESCO, and OECD & BIE.
Produced in French, but shown with English subtitles, Le Grand Jour is an inspiring and heart-warming story that was shot in Uganda, Cuba, India and Nepal. It shows how youth can be a formidable force in developing their countries through conservation, sports and education.
Le Grand Jour was initially launched in September 2015 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to an audience of over two thousand (2,000) viewers. The film has so far been shown in Japan, Spain, Cuba, USA and Italy.
The film has already won an award and is being used as another tool to promote Uganda as a major tourist destination. In the film Ugandan actor Tom Ssekabira, 19, and other Ugandan youths are prominently featured have a passion to preserve the flora and fauna.
The UTB Chief Executive Director, Stephen Asiimwe, underscored the growing popularity of Uganda as a filming destination for international producers. Last year, Disney was in Uganda shooting the Queen of Katwe directed by Ms. Mire Nair.
“These movies are shot in our cities, national parks, in our neighborhoods, which eventually turns the cinema into a window on Uganda. It gives people around the world a glimpse of the Pearl of Africa,” Asiimwe said.
He added that such initiatives bring in income from the hire of equipment, accommodation, and use of other facilities. Like it is for the youth in the movie fighting for their dreams, destination filming initiatives empower locals through skills transfer something that stays with Ugandans opening up new employment and life opportunities.
The movie was done in partnership with Pathe Films and UNESCO.