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Ugandan Donald Mugisha's 'Bicycle Thieves'-Inspired 'Boda Boda Thieves' Gets Another Boost

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 30, 2012 at 4:56PM

Congrats to Ugandan Donald Mugisha whose feature film project, The Boda Boda Thieves, continues to attract the right kind of international attention.
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Congrats to Ugandan Donald Mugisha whose feature film project, The Boda Boda Thieves, continues to attract the right kind of international attention.

The project already won the 10,000 Euro VFF Highlight Pitch Award at the the 10th edition of the Berlinale Talent Campus earlier this year; the participants of the Talent Project Market had the opportunity to present their film projects in a professional setting, to potential international co-producers and distributors, and the project apparenatly wowed enough to beat out dozens of others to win the prize.

And prior to that, last fall, it was one of just 5 projects selected by the World Cinema Fund to receive production funding from its allotted $283,000 grant.

Donald's project, which he will direct, received the largest chunk of the fund - $81,000, as South Africa based Switch Films signed on to produce.

And, before that, Donald's project also received funding from other financiers, including at the third Africa Produce Co-Production Forum of the 8th Tarifa African Film Festival (FCAT) in Spain, where the project secured a co-production deal with the Kenyan company Hot Sun Films.

The film also received special mention in the the International Relations ARTE Prize for excellence in script writing.

So it looks like the project is coming together nicely, and it's something we'll be talking about likely in 2013.

Fast-forward to earlier this month, when it was selected as one of 43 projects for the 2012 IFP No Borders International Co-Production Market, which takes place September 16-20, 2012.

The event is focused on nurturing and providing opportunities for both emerging and established artists to connect with the financiers, executives, influencers and decision-makers in film, television, new media and cross-platform storytelling that can help them complete their latest works and connect with audiences.

The synopsis for The Boda Boda Thieves reads:

When Goodman gets a job for his son Abel as driver of a motorbike taxi or “Boda-Boda”, he feels like things are possibly finally going his way, that is, until a gang of thieves robs Abel of his treasured motorbike. We follow Goodman and his son Abel on their quest through the city to find their “Boda Boda” and in the process gain an insider’s view of urban Africa, its underworld and the generation gap between urban migrants and their first generation children.

Sounds like a Ugandan take on the Italian neo-realist classic Bicycle Thieves, by Vittorio De Sica.

I'm in!

We continue to track Donald Mugisha and The Boda Boda Thieves, as both progress.


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