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Poster for Once Upon a Time in Uganda (2023)
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Once Upon a Time in Uganda (2023)

Opens on July 14

Director: Cathryne Czubek Run Time: 94 min. Release Year: 2021

Starring: Alan Hofmanis, Nabwana IGG

Country: United States, Uganda
Language: English, Luganda with English subtitles

About the film:

World Premiere, 2020 SXSW Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize winner, 2021 DOC NYC

In the slums of Kampala, two men from opposite sides of the world come together over a shared love for America’s greatest hero: Rambo. Against all odds, the two make their own action movies with no money — and bring joy to millions of people on the internet.

Welcome to “Wakaliwood.” Through comedy and kung-fu, Once Upon a Time in Uganda (2023) chronicles the unlikely friendship between Isaac Nabwana, a director hailed as “Africa’s Tarantino,” and Alan Hofmanis, a film programmer from New York. While Isaac tirelessly makes feature after feature, Alan brings his films to international audiences. But tensions flare as Isaac’s star rises — threatening their partnership and all of Wakaliwood.

About the filmmaker:

Cathryne Czubek is a New York based director and producer who specializes in documentary and commercial/branded content. She got her start making pictures with her father in a homemade darkroom at home in Michigan, earned her BA in International Relations at NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences, and earned an MFA in photography and video at the School of Visual Arts. In 2010, she started the production company Salted Media. Her award-winning series for Condé Nast Entertainment, Screw You Cancer (2013), was the first digital series to receive a Television Academy Honor. Her feature documentary A Girl and a Gun (2013) premiered at the 2012 DOC NYC film festival.

Her feature documentary Once Upon a Time in Uganda (2023) is co-directed by filmmaker and writer Hugo Perez.

See our upcoming films
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
National Endowment for the Arts
CD 92.9 FM
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media


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