Despite the fact that “Bala Bala Ssese” Movie has been highly anticipated in 2015, it’s older than how you could predict, its journey began about 3 (three) years ago in late 2012 when its Principal Photography began. It’s Production (Filming) phase being in late 2012 clearly and obviously tells its journey of preproduction began in early or mid2012. This film was directed and produced by Lukyamuzi Bashir alongside Usama
Lukyamuzi Bashir, the C.E.O of the known Badi Musik or Badi World (former Badi Films) a production company best known for producing music videos embarked on a journey of chasing his dream of being a filmmaker. After making and winning several music video awards, he realized he had a dream that wasn’t achieved and that was making a film. “Ever since I was a child, I loved watching TV and always wondered how people are put inside that box, but I said to myself that one day I will put people in there myself” He stated. Mr. Lukyamuzi Bashir adds by saying that, in his life, he has always had stories to tell but lacked the talent of writing, basically writing stories (which many of us know as script or screenplay writing), and had fear of how he could really produce a film with the little he knew about film production, but in this case he had to look for a good trusted script writer in order to start his dream of making a film, and this luck dawned upon Mr. Usama Mukwaya, a Ugandan filmmaker well known for producing short films. This is where the journey of making the Bala Bala Sese movie began.
“I based this story on someone I know, it’s actually my late sister who was staying in the village, she got infected by AIDs , and passed on in great pain, so when I looked at all the stories I had to tell in my mind, I realized it was better for that time, because I wanted world to know about that story and probably pick a leaf from it” Lukyamuzi Bashir said to the press. He pitched the whole story to Usama Mukwaya who liked it and agreed to work on it, the story and script development section began where they did endless corrections, misunderstandings came up but later solved until they had the script to their best effort as a team.
“I realized I had to write a script about AIDs, but people have seen and heard several movies about the same issue, so with writing Bala Bala Sese, I had to find a better silent angel on how to tackle the message in a different perspective, to make it more engaging for the audience, I realized that blending it with a natural African love story would do better” Usama Mukwaya explained.
With having this awesome story being worked on, other sections had to be handled, and that was getting the cast and crew people to get this story move to another step which was the production (filming) phase.
“Bala Bala Sese is based on an incredible story of John’s (boyfriend) battle for love through perseverance. John is madly in love with Maggie and both are willing to take their love forward. Facing abuses and harassments by malicious Maggie’s father. John being helped by his young brother Alex is determined to take in all but to retain the love of his life especially when he finds out that he has a contender village tycoon who is also lining up for Maggie”
The story and the local feel of Bala Bala Sese, obviously required a unique but natural village setting kind of life, and probably this led the team to opt for locations found in an area called “Ssese Islands” from where it makes its title and It being an authentic Ugandan Story called for the use of “Luganda Language” the mainly used language in the central region of Uganda. Bala Bala Sese could probably mean “The Road to Sese” in English.
This film features the locally considered as one of the hottest couples on the Uganda Showbiz Scene, that’s none other than Micheal Kasaija and Natasha Sinayobye who are lovers in real life. These are the original founders of the locally known Obsessions dance group. The two play the troubled lovers John and Maggie roles in the Bala Bala Sese movie.
“During the casting, at first, we wanted Hellen Lukoma to do the role of Maggie together with Micheal Kasaija but she couldn’t, so, I looked around and realized that Natasha Sinayobye could still suit the role, so we decided to give it to her instead” Lukyamuzi Bashir explained.
“Well it was quite thrilling, but interesting, because in this movie Me and Micheal got to do things we never did before, like that kidd-ish village kind of love, it was actually a great experience though challenging, I wasn’t so good with Luganda, and that girl Maggie, was totally different from the kind of person I am, but the director did his best to help me pull it off to its best” Natasha Sinayobye said to the press.
By late 2012, the cast and crew team were ready to head to the production phase of this movie, and the cast was filled with awesome actors and actresses like Raymond Rushabiro, Fiona Birungi, Ismael Ssesanga, Jabal Dungu, Allen Musumba, Ashraf Ssemwogerere and many more plus their what I called Amazing D.O.P Alex Ireeta together with the known makeup artist Shakirah Kibirige among others. The cast and crew camped on Ssese Islands for several days, shooting the scenes day and night where applicable.
Lukyamuzi Bashir says that he (I usually like using “they” though) invested about 45 Ugandan Million Shillings in producing this movie. Bala Bala Sese was shot in bits, where during the first bit, 15 Million Ugandan Shillings was invested, then more parts were shot in 2013, and the wrap was in 2014, yeah it was that serious!
I have been seeing various articles online, let me say across the media talking about the official soundtrack of this movie, yeah am talking about the amazing “Wuuyo” song by A Pass, but this is what Mr. Lukyamuzi Bashir had to say about the song…
“I have worked with A Pass ever since he started music, am not his manager but we have worked together for a long time, and with this movie being in the studio whilst its post-production phase, I realized he could probably be of help because I didn’t want to just use any music in the movie, so I asked him to make a love song based on the movie, I showed him a couple of scenes from the movie, from which he got the inspiration, and later he made the “Wuuyo” song, made its video and used some of the clips from the movie to be part of the music video which came out successfully”
The Sound track album for Bala Bala Sses was composed by Nessim Mukuza with the official theme song Wuuyo recorded by A Pass and Nessim again of Badi Musik. The song became the singer’s most successful single to date. The official video of the song premiered on march 20, 2015 at Club Guvnor and features clips of the movie.
In other words, Bala Bala Sese is a film Directed by Lukyamuzi Bashir and Written by Usama Mukwaya whose story is based on an incredible story being narrated by Ashraf Ssemwogerere about a boyfriend’s battle for love through perseverance. In the outskirts of Sese Island, John (Micheal Kasaija) is madly in love with Maggie (Natasha Sinayobye) and both are willing to take their love forward. Facing abuses and harassments by malicious Maggie’s father Kasirivu (Raymond Rushabiro), John, helped by his young brother Alex (Ssesanga Ismael) is determined to take in all but to retain the love of his life especially when he finds out that he has a contender village tycoon (Jabal Dungu) who is also lining up for Maggie.
I believe I have shown you the simple brief story about the Journey of making Bala Bala Sese movie, aha so now I think we should go to its premiere, because I think we need to review it here as well.
So from 2012 to 2015, Badi World alongside all its cast and crew people felt as more contented about what they had, in this case, they decided to have the long awaited movie presented to the audience, this called for organizing for its Premiere, the usual online and offline buzz for this movie began, having several articles written about it across various platforms. With the release of its trailer, which I happened to watch first time at the National Theatre of Uganda during the Film Club Uganda Screening sessions, I was practically blown away by the local natural setting in the film, it being a village kind of life movie that I didn’t expect made me not wish to miss its premiere, luckily enough I abruptly received an invitation card to attend the premiere, which made me feel good, yeah of course it feels good to know that you are recognized you know, well before I forget, a week before the premiere, a press screening was organized, where I was invited as well to be part of the press personnel among other few fellow filmmakers to watch this movie for the first time before its general premiere, and whatever I saw from it is what am going to give in the review, more so the interviews from the few cast and crew people which I have been narrating to you from the beginning, aha so yeah the buzz kept going on until the premiere day which was on Friday 3rd July 2015 at the locally known Theatre Labonita. A new revolution of Ugandan films here.Lets keep the watch
Complied By Samuel Savior