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The European Union Funded Yat Madit Television drama series has excelled at the 2017 Uganda Film Festival. During the award ceremony that took place at Kampala Serena Hotel, on Friday 1st September, Yat Madit scooped all the awards in the Best TV Drama Category. These are: The award for Best TV Drama beating other dramas like Second Chance, Coffee Shop, and the Honourables. Also Michael Wawuyo JR (who acted as Opio) and Rehema Nanfuka (who acted as Suzanna) won the award for Best Actor and Best Actress in TV Drama, respectively.
The EU funded this project in partnership with ICCO cooperation and Doen Foundation. It was produced by Media Focus on Africa, Uganda. The Drama series aimed to promote reconciliation and social cohesion among post-conflict communities in North and North Eastern Uganda.
EU Head of Cooperation Cedric Meril stated: "Over the last 20 years, the European Union in Uganda has been involved in several ways to advance the recovery process in Northern Uganda mostly through infrastructure development. However we also recognize the importance of alternative approaches to promoting lasting peace in the region. Through an edu-tainment and cultural project like Yat Madit, the story of communities in Northern Uganda has not only been told to the world, but also used as a tool for inter-cultural dialogue and reconciliation among these communities. When communities agree to put their differences aside and work together, it helps to accelerate all other development efforts in the recovery and rehabilitation process. Congratulations to our partners and the young and energetic crew and actors who brought the Yat Madit story to life. We are proud to have contributed to the growth of Ugandan film industry through raising the bar for quality and new talent.”
The Yat Madit script is based on real life stories of war, conflict and recovery as told by different communities in Acholi, Lango, Teso and Karamoja. Therefore the story presented through edu-tainment is about a fictitious multi-cultural community in North or North Eastern Uganda recovering from the ravages of war, that has to work together above cultural or tribal lines in order to move forward from their troubled past. Some of the issues reflected in the story include gender based violence, youth empowerment and innovation, post-conflict trauma, land wrangles, child labour and school dropout among others. The series was broadcast on national television two episodes per week across a seven week peoriod, while 1400 people across Acholi, Lango, Teso and Karamoja watched the translated drama series in community screening, where the drama series was used as a tool for inter-cultural dialogues between communities from different ethnic backgrounds.
The EU is currently considering supporting the expansion of inter-cultural dialogues to other affected communities. The Uganda Film Festival is an annual national event organized by the Uganda Communications Commission to showcase the Ugandan film industry, bringing industry players together in a more focused and promising environment.