Uganda’s Bobi Wine, has not relented in is polical pursue of power, most recently with his latest documentary dubbed: ‘Bobi Wine: The People’s President’ which has been nominated for the Best Feature Documentary of the Year at the 39th at the International Documentary Association (IDA) Documentary Awards.
Bobi Wine alias Robert Kyagulany, leader of Uganda’s opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) party, highlights atrocities allegedly committed by state agencies, Kyagulanyi as a presidential candidate, and his supporters.
This documentary features the pivotal role he played against the scrapping of presidential age limit in 2017, which was later passed by parliament, giving 73-year-old President Yoweri Museveni an opportunity to stand for his sixth political term.
The IDA Documentary Awards recognise outstanding achievements in the documentary genre every year and also recognise both emerging and established documentary characters worldwide.
According to Kyagulanyi, the documentary is being used as a tool of activism through exposing the regime’s ‘criminal’ acts against Ugandans, especially those on the opposition side.
Another scene follows Wine through the Kamwookya slum where he grew up, as he sings of freedom and calls on people to rise.
A year later, the documentarians are with as Wine as he recovers from torture and a failed assassination attempt, briefly travelling to the United States for treatment.
“Museveni used to be my favourite revolutionary. I would really love to have a frank and honest conversation with him,” he tells filmmakers in a car rolling through downtown Washington, DC.
A desire for change propelled Wine to challenge Museveni for the presidency in what he hoped would be Uganda’s first democratic election, excitedly announcing his candidacy shortly after returning home in July 2019.
But the result was a bloody and contested vote as the ruling party clamped down on the opposition.
Ugandan journalist and one of the film’s directors, Moses Bwayo, also highlighted how he was shot in the face with a rubber bullet.
“All these threats and everything that was happening really emboldened me to tell this story, and carry the task forward,” he said.
Deciding he was no longer safe in Uganda, Bwayo escaped Uganda with his wife.
“We fled like we were going on a small trip. We landed in the United States, and we applied for political asylum,” he added.
Bwayo and Christopher Sharp, the film’s other director, trimmed 4,000 hours of footage to just a few hours of runtime.
The documentary debuted at the 79th Venice Film Festival in 2022. It was then acquired by National Geographic, which supported a theatrical release last year. The Oscar nomination followed this year.