THE UGANDA FILM FESTIVAL 2021 -“Rebuilding a Resilient Creative Industry through the Pandemic”


The Uganda Communications Commission will hold the 8th edition of Uganda Film Festival from 29th March 2021 to 2nd April 2021. The festival will entail various activities, including film screenings, workshops and forums, organized within the festival week.

The Uganda Film Festival was established in 2013 to promote the local film industry both locally and internationally, and to bring all the industry stakeholders together in a more focused and structured environment. This is aimed at creating a lucrative industry economically, and to preserve our national values through film just like many countries, including Nigeria and USA.


  1. To stimulate, popularise and give a spotlight to the young Uganda film and video industry
  2. To build capacity in the film and video industry through training
  3. To give an opportunity to Ugandan film and video makers to showcase their work to local and international audiences
  4. To promote business linkages and development of the film industry through the festival
  5. To create a forum to encourage linkages between local and international film producers, distributors and exhibitors through creating a Uganda film and video market within the festival 
  6. To promote, in general, Uganda’s creative industry by giving an opportunity to local creators of the film and video works, as well as music, to perform during the festival.


The festival is an annual event that runs for five (5) days. This year’s theme is, “Rebuilding a Resilient Creative Industry through the Pandemic”.


The film festival will feature the following activities:

Screening of Film, movies and TV series/Dramas, etc.; The Commission, through its partners, i.e. Cinema halls, and TV stations, will show/screen films made in Uganda. The idea is to have prominent visibility of Ugandan films/movies during the festival period.

Training /Workshops and Forums; Experts with broad knowledge and experience on the film industry will be invited to carry out training and deliver keynote addresses on identified topics.

This will be for registered members on first come first serve basis. The registration forms are to be found on the UFF website.

Uganda Film Festival Awards; The festival will climax with an Awards Gala night where prizes shall be given out to winners of the different award categories.

Regional outreaches; The festival is a national initiative and all regions of Uganda should be involved in the different activities organised during the festival, including screenings, trainings and workshops.


All films will be classified into the following genres:

Feature Films; Film works with a length of 60 minutes and above based on imagination and not necessarily fact.

Short Films; Film works with a running time of 59 minutes or less, including the credits, and based on imagination and not necessarily fact.

Documentary; Film works that are based on factual events or facts about a person(s) or place(s).

Animation; This genre will house all film works consisting of a series of drawing, puppets; both computer and non-computer generated, to give the illusion of movement when projected in rapid sequence.

Television Drama/Series; A television drama/series is a show presented in a dramatic way and explores a range of genres, from comedy, soap opera, science-fiction to costume drama, and usually engages with issues of the day in an accessible fashion that an audience can connect with.


There will be two main categories that films can be submitted under:

Competition; This category will be for films that will be competing for the various awards.

Non–Competition; This category will house all films that are submitted for purposes of screening and not competition.

All submitted films will undergo a selection process that will determine which films can be screened during the film festival.


The following are the awards to be competed for this year:

Best Cinematography; This includes techniques as the general composition of a scene; the lighting of the set or location; the choice of cameras, lenses, filters, and film stock; the camera angle and movements; and the integration of any special effects.

Best Costume Design; This includes creating an organized flair and appearance for characters in the productions that contributes to the fullness of the artistic, visual world, which is unique to a particular film or cinematic production.

 Best Production Design; This includes the visual style of the story; that is the design of sets, location choices, costumes, makeup, graphics, props, lighting, camera angles and special effects.

Best Sound Design; This includes the manipulation of previously composed or recorded audio such as sound effects and dialogue. It may also involve the composition or manipulation of audio or sound to create a desired effect or mood.

Best Screenplay; This includes original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing, including the movement, actions, expression and dialogues of the characters.

Best Student Film; This includes works in the categories of short, feature, documentaries, animation, and TV series done by undergraduate students as part of their coursework or projects.

Best Animation; This includes the technique of photographing successive drawings, paintings, or illustrations photographed frame by frame (stop-frame cinematography) or in positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the film is shown as a sequence.

Best Short Film; This includes fiction or non-fiction motion pictures not long enough to be considered a full-length feature film. Short films should have a running time of up to 59min or less.

Best Feature Film; This includes fiction or non-fiction motion pictures with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole film to fill a program. The film should have running time of 60 minutes or more.

People’s Choice Award; This award will be that which the audience participates in selecting. The film with the highest points overall, selected through a focus group of about 10 people or more, representative of the public, will be identified to watch 3 to 5 films recommended by the expert jury for consideration in this category. Popular appeal is an important criterion in selecting the winning film in this category.

Best Actor; This award will be given to the outstanding male (s) actor (s) in the Feature Film category.

Best Actress; This award will be given to the outstanding female (s) actor (s) in the Feature Film category.

Best Documentary; This includes a non-fictional (factual) treatment or analytical film (motion pictures) to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education or maintaining a historical record.

Best East African Feature Film; This award category focuses strictly on Feature films produced in East Africa, including Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi and Tanzania.

Best Post-production/Editing; This category includes the complete film editing, color correction and the addition of music and sound to the film.

Best TV Drama/Series; This category includes a group of program episodes intended for television broadcast or transmission with a common series title, with or without a predetermined number of episodes, and shall include a mini-series and a pilot episode produced for an intended television series.

Best Actor in a TV Drama; This award will be given to the outstanding male (s) character (s) in the TV Drama category.

Best Actress in a TV Drama; This award will be given to the outstanding female (s) character (s) in the TV Drama category.

Special Award/Life Achievement Award; This award will be given to an outstanding person or group in the promotion of the film industry in Uganda and the Diaspora.

Best Director; This award will be given to an individual who controls the film’s artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay/script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision.

Best Supporting Actress; This award will be given to an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role below that of the leading actor(s).

Best Supporting Actor; This award will be given to an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role below that of the leading actor(s).

Best Local Indigenous Language; This award will be given to feature films that deliver a dialog of up to 60% of the total film in indigenous languages with subtitles to strengthen the heritage and cultural identity of our communities.

Best International Feature Film; This award will be given to the outstanding international Feature Film produced from other countries, excluding Uganda and East Africa.


All films submitted should comply with the following:


The festival organizers must have received the completed and signed entry form by submission deadline, which will be end of business 22nd February 2021.  

OR A dully filled film submission form can be sent to the Uganda Film Festival website ( or Through our online link

Submission Requirements

  • The film(s) for submission should have been produced after May 2019 and must not have featured in any of the previous Uganda film festivals.
  • Films from any country other than East Africa will be accepted at the festival at a fee of 15 US Dollars.
  • A duly filled and signed film submission form.

Eligibility of Films

To be eligible for consideration, all films must meet the following requirements:

  • Animation (2 min+.)
  • Short films (up to 59 mins or less)
  • Feature-length films (60+ mins)
  • Documentary films (5+ min-40mins)
  • TV Drama/Series: Producer submits (2 episodes only between 5mins – 40 mins)  
  • Student films:Post –graduate film works are excluded from submission in the student category for competition.

Other Regulations

  • Participation in the 2020/2021 festival implies acceptance of the rules and regulations by filmmakers and producers.
  • All selected films may be screened or broadcasted in the selected media outlets at the discretion of the Festival organising committee.
  • Films that were previously submitted to other festivals other than the Uganda Film Festival are acceptable for submission to the Uganda Film Festival 2020/2021.
  • There are NO SUBMISSION fees for film(s) from Uganda in the UFF 2020/2021 edition. Films from other countries other than East Africa will have to pay a fee of 15 US Dollars.
  • Film(s) that are submitted for the festival in any other format shall not be considered. The film(s) submitted in an INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE should have ENGLISH subtitles.



Entries are accepted in the following formats:

Internet Link (URL); You can submit your film by sending a downloadable link via Vimeo, YouTube, DropBox or WeTransfer or via

If at any time you change the URL and/or password, it is your responsibility to inform us immediately.

With this option, you do not need to send in a physical copy of your film(s).


Video Format Requirements: Accepted File formats (endings): .mp(e)g/.avi/.vob/.mov/.mp4/.m4v/DCP; Recommended codecs: MJPEG, Apple ProsRes, H264; Resolution: PAL from 720 x 400px up to HD material 1920x1080px

Audio Format Requirements: 48 kHz sound PCM (only uncompressed); MP3; AAC

File Specifications: We only accept multiplexed files (i.e. with audio, video, and subtitles in a single file). Your film file should not exceed 4GB.

You can upload a film with a resolution of up to 1920 x 1080 pixels (HD), as long as it does not exceed 4GB.

  • When you send in your film, it’s a must to provide a digital copy for archiving, screening and adjudication purposes.
  • You are required to thoroughly test your film before submission.

The following shall not be accepted at the Festival:

  • Trailers as a substitute for your film for selection purposes
  • Work-in-progress.

Return of Materials; Any material submitted will not be returned but will instead be stored in the Uganda Film Festival archives by UCC.

Selection of Films; The films selected for screening and those nominated for the competing categories will be publicized by 19th March 2021.

If you have not heard from the festival organizers by then, it means your film has not been selected.

Requirements if your film is selected for UFF 2020/2021:

Publicity Materials; You will be required to and must submit publicity materials, including but not limited to, filmmaker biography, trailers, images, posters, clips and an electronic press kit. All publicity materials are to be sent at the sender’s expense by the deadlines provided at the time of selection.

Scheduling; The scheduling and the timetabling of both public screenings and press screenings of films is at the sole discretion of the festival and the decision is final and irrevocable. The date(s), time(s) and location(s) of exhibitions of the films shall be at the discretion of the Festival organisers.

Film Submission Dates

Submission of films starts on 22nd December 2020 and ends on 22nd February 2021.


North-Western Regional Office: Plot 8 Ntuha Road, Masindi Northern Regional Office:  Plot 31 Main Street, Andrea Olal Road, Gulu
Western Regional Office: Plot 7 Galt Road, Mbarara Eastern Regional Office: Plot 39/41 Republic Street, Mbale

For more information, visit our Offices:

Uganda Communications Commission                   

Plot 42-44, Spring Road, Bugolobi                      

P.O Box 7376 Kampala, Uganda                          

Tel: 041-4339000                                     

Toll-Free line: 0800133911                                


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s