Anne Ackermann is a documentary photographer based in Germany working worldwide. She is a grantee of VG Bildkunst Germany (2017 & 2012) and Photoreporter Festival France, a finalist at the International Women Photographers Award (IWPA)...
Director Isaac Nabwana (right) is pausing to think about a scene he was going to film, while actors are warming up with some kung fu moves. The motorcycle driver in the center is not related to the filming but is a neighbor who happened to jump on the motorcycle taxi that he uses to make a living.
An actor has painted his face with a mix of flour and eggs to appear like a "mzungu" ( white person). He is impersonating Michael Jackson wearing a "colonialist's" suit that looks like safari dress, performing dance moves by the tunes of "Billy Jean".
An actor has painted his face with a mix of flour and eggs to appear like a "mzungu" ( white person). He is impersonating Michael Jackson wearing an "explorer's" suit that looks like safari dress, lateron performing dance moves by the tunes of "Billy Jean".
Isaac is filming a movie scene in Wakaliga. The popular Wakaliwood character "Uncle Benon" ( white clothes) is fighting a bandit in this action scene. Kids and people from the neighborhood come to watch.
Peter, one of the Wakaliwood actors, has spent some time with the Shaolin monks studying Kung Fu in China. In the photo he warms up with jumps on Isaac Nabwana's compound, just in front of the little outside toilet.
A salesman that offers hats and other things on the road has stopped going about his daily business upon witnessing Wakaliwood movie filming happening in Wakaliga. He seems to be soaked up in disbelief.
A mother passes the main road of Wakaliwga with her daughter. The road that is just in front of Isaac Nabwana's house has turned into a movie set and the crew keeps filming in the middle of the daily life and passersby that are not bothered. Isaac also does not mind people entering his frames but embraces life happening in front of his lens.
Fausta, who is part of the Wakastarz, the kung fu fighting kid gang of the Wakaliwood movies, performs a split also called an 180 degree while in the background on the main road of Wakaliga slum a car has broken down and needs some pushing.
Wakaliwood actors are posing for a photo in the rehearsal room of Ramon film productions in Wakaliga slum, Kampala. The guns like most other requisites for the movies are self made from scraps or found objects.
The movie character of "Uncle Benon" is warming up for a kung fu scene in the compound of Wakaliwod founder Isaac Nabwana. In the slum of Wakaliga in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, Isaac and his team have embarqued on making the first action movies made in Africa with barely anything.
An actor, dressed as a cannibal, is looking out of the dressing room, which is a small house on Isaacs private compound in Wakaliga slum. Almost all his movies are made a stonethrow away from where he stays with his family.
An actor leaves the film set. Surprisingly these are his real life clothes. The actors don't earn anything with the movies, but they give their everything to be part of Wakaliwood, the first action movies produced in Uganda.
“So someone has a dream. The path towards its realization winds through reality. Along that path the dream grows pale and gets lost. That’s how it goes, usually; not in this story, though.” ( A. von Kittlitz)
It’s not Hollywood, not Bollywood, not Nollywood, it’s Wakaliwood! Located in the Kampala slum of Wakaliga the movie obsessed creatives around Isaac Nabwana and his kung fu fighting moviestars have left no doubt that they are the next big thing when it comes to action movies made in Africa. Against all odds of growing up as one of 20 siblings with his grandmother in a slum, Isaac has so far produced more than 40 action movies with each not costing more than 150$. Yet millions of people have watched them online all over the world. Isaac makes movies of the images that went through his head when his older brothers retold him movies they had seen in public moviehalls in his childhood. Isaac’s story is powerful because it proves dreams can come true - even in Wakaliga.
In places where poverty and its effects on people’s lives are a dominant reality, it is important to dare to tell the other story, the unexpected one, the odd one. It is in these small victories of people who dare to dream and dare to be happy despite their surroundings that we have the power to change both the perceptions and consequently the realities of their lives.
Shot on assignment for "NEON", 2014, also published in "ZEIT Leo", "Spring Breeze Magazine China",
Shortlist Hansel Mieth Prize 2015, Participant Triennial of Photoraphy Hamburg