The 9th edition of the Uganda Film Festival was nothing if not eventful. The film actors and actresses on Friday came together to celebrate their achievements by crowning the best performers of 2022. 

The Uganda Film Festival is organized by Uganda Communications Commission in partnership with numerous players in the media and telecom industry including MTN Uganda.  Dashing in African wear which was the dress code of the evening, MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Wim Vanhelleputte appreciated the milestones achieved by the film actors and actresses in the growth of Uganda’s film industry.

“I was there in 1998 when we had few Television and radio stations and we used to listen to Congolese music so today I feel very proud that Uganda’s entertainment industry has grown. I want to congratulate all of you for this amazing achievement. We should be all be proud of you,” Vanhelleputte said to the film industry players in Uganda.

Vanhelleputte made the remarks while handing over the viewer’s choice award to the actors and production team of the Wave Film who were voted the best in that category by the public.

This year, the festival was held under the theme: “Creative Industry as a Solution to Unemployment.”

According to Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the executive director UCC, this year’s theme was selected to create awareness about the opportunities that the creative industry generates. 

“We do acknowledge that the creative industry encompasses a number of areas such as the arts, media ie film,TV, radio, music, advertising, architectural design, software development and digital media design. These can foster income generation, job creation and export earnings while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development,” she noted.

For a while, MTN has supported the Uganda Film Festival organized by UCC with the vision of empowering and providing opportunities for the youth and harnessing the potential of creatives in spurring Uganda’s development.

In 2020, MTN launched Kibanda Xpress, in partnership with YOTV to provide a platform for Ugandan movies with the aim of commercializing and preserving the quality of local content.

Through Kibanda Xpress, MTN also sought to cultivate the spirit of nationalism, love and consumption of local content by the public.

Since its inception, multiple players in the film industry have earned revenue from the various movies marketed on the platform.

MTN Uganda has thrown its weight behind the local movie industry with the launch of a Video on Demand (VOD) channel offering a premium mix of local Ugandan movies.

The New Channel named “Kibanda Xpress” is a partnership between the Telecom Company and PearlWood, an association of local film producers. Kibanda Xpress is available on YoTV channels, a mobile app that allows one to stream local and international Radio and TV channels in real time via a smartphone.

Kibanda Xpress features over 150 Ugandan movies and will live stream premiers of new movies as well other local entertainment content providing customers with entertainment conveniently and affordably anywhere and everywhere you go with just the click of a button on your phone.

In 2020, globally there was un precedented growth in online video usage with revenues estimated at $34 billion of which premium video on demand accounted for atleast $630 million. Africa is gradually making its mark on the global entertainment industry with its vast talent and unique flavour of storytelling. We recognise the potential of the movie industry to create employment, to reposition the African narrative and positively contribute to the national GDP. Through Kibanda Xpress, we hope to boost the Uganda film industry to realize that potential, said MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer Sen Somdev.

The service launches with a promotion subscription offer of Ugx1,000 per movie valid for a period of 24 hours. A customer will be charged via their MTN MoMo account.

“Our dream as local Film content creators is to build a sustainable industry in which content creators not only earn consistently from their content, but one in which they also thrive and gain the global visibility deserved. Without doubt, going digital is the right move for the industry; it will reduce on the copy rights infringement, increase footprint of the Uganda movies, expose our artists globally among others; we are therefore very excited and appreciate both our partners MTN and Albayan media for making this possible,” said Mzee Bwanika, Speaker – Pearlwood Board of Directors.

To watch a movie on Kibanda Express, follow these steps:

YOTVChannels is platform for our local content. We are here to tap different storytelling techniques from around Uganda and share them with global audiences. There is a unique tradition of storytelling in every country and, if it can be captured on film, then through YOTVChannels we can share it with the world. Pearlwood is a great example that our local movie industry can be global, and that Uganda is a great entertainment market for the rest of the world. Said Aggrey Mugisha, the YOTVChannels Chief Executive Officer.


About MTN Uganda

Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading communications operator in Uganda, offering Mobile and Fixed telecommunications, Mobile Money Services, and Internet Service Provisioning.

As at 31st December 2018, MTN Uganda recorded 11.2 million subscribers across Uganda. Visit us at  or follow us on  and  or  for assistance.


About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our 240 million customers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code “MTN”. We are pursuing our BRIGHT strategy with a major focus on growth in data, fintech and digital businesses.


About Pearlwood

Pearlwood is the registered trademark for Uganda’s Film Industry that was established and is managed by a partnership of Film producers, Video Jockeys, Publishers, Distributors, Exhibitors and Actors Guilds. The Producers Guild (Association of Core Film Producers Uganda Limited) is at the helm of managing the trademark since by definition and roles; Film producers are at the focal point of film production and business.

The guilds are independent member-based organizations working together for socio-economic development.