Ugandan actor Michael Wawuyo Sr won Best Male award for interpretation in the Rwandan film A Taste of Our Land at the Festival du Cinéma Africain de Khouribga in Morocco early this month.
The 84-minute film, directed by Yuhi Amuri, in English, is set in an unidentified African country and shows the modern Chinese influence on Africa.
The story follows the daily struggles of Yohani — played by Wawuyo — struggling to provide for his pregnant wife. When he finds gold in a mine belonging to a cruel Chinese businessman, he runs away to sell it for $100. But on realising its real value, he becomes as obsessed with it as the Chinese mine owner will also stop at nothing to get it back.
Wawuyo, 73, who is also a special effects artist, has appeared in the movies Sometimes in April, The Last King of Scotland, Kony: Order from Above, The Only Son, The Mercy of the Jungle, and on small screen in Power of Legacy, which aired on NTV, Uganda.
Festival du Cinéma Africain de Khouribga’s was started in 1977, to recognise, celebrate and award African films and filmmakers. This year, there were 13 films from 12 countries — Cameroon, Chad, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Tunisia, Rwanda, Namibia, Senegal, Zambia, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, and Niger.
A Taste of Our Land is Amuri’s first feature film, which premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, where it won the Best First Feature Narrative Award. The film also won Best First Film by a director at the African Movie Academy Awards.
His other works are short films Ishaba (2015), which won Best Short Film at the Rwanda Film Festival; Akarwa (2017), which was screened in Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt, and Canada.
Amuri is an alumnus of the 2021 Berlinale Talents and the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival Filmmaker Lab.