Once Upon A Time In Uganda- Review

Have you heard of Wakaliwood? The answer is probably, if you’re familiar with such internet YouTube classics as Who Killed Captain Alex?. However, if you are like me and didn’t know too much about the story behind the films coming out of Uganda’s slums, there’s a documentary for that!

Once Upon A Time In Uganda follows friends Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey Nabwana (founder of Wakaliwood) and Alan Hofmanis over the course of several years, chronicling their meeting and rise to stardom as Wakaliwood grew and expanded out into the West.

The film opens with Alan explaining his reasoning for traveling to Uganda after seeing a trailer for Who Killed Captain Alex? after leaving America for a new life. We see Isaac and Alan working together on several projects over the course of the film, with plenty of comedy sprinkled in-between talking head moments and behind the scenes of Wakaliwood’s next blockbuster hit.

What’s really great to see in this documentary is Isaac’s passion and love for film and filmmaking. Seeing him create a vision and bringing that vision to life is one of the most beautiful moments I’ve had the pure pleasure of seeing unfold. Its a joy to watch this revolutionist filmmaker bringing forward some of the most unique films of the last decade and seeing how he works his magic on an old computer and cheap cameras.

This was one of the most fun and enjoyable documentaries I’ve seen in so long. It’s been a highlight of Glasgow Film Festival, with the screening I attended followed by a Q&A with director Cathryne Czubek where she further discussed her journey of filming this documentary.

Heartwarming and delightfully funny, Once Upon A Time In Uganda is certainly worth your time.


Once Upon A Time In Uganda was screened at Glasgow Film Festival 2022

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