Private Project

Somebody Clap For Me

Screener - h264 - Stereo sound
( screeners available also with French or Portuguese Subtitles)
In Uganda, youth are re-inventing their ancestral tradition of storytelling into slam poetry nights to fight the silence imposed by an oppressive regime. Ugly Emcee, one of these freedom of speech activists, happens to be a grandson of former dictator Idi Amin Dada.

  • Luciana Ceccatto Farah
  • Luciana Ceccatto Farah
  • Reem Al-Wohaibi
  • Luciana Ceccatto Farah
  • Sylvia Stevens
  • Ugly Emcee, Jungle de Maneater
    Key Cast
  • Faction Films Uk
    co- Prodution
    Gary Numan- Android in LA, Love Honour & Disobey, Divorce Sharia Style,
  • Jajja Productions Uganda
    co- Prodution
    NGO - Nothing Going On, Imbalu,
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Human Rights, Youth Empowerment, Africa
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 14 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 15, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    200,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD DV
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival
    Tanzania, United Republic of
    July 21, 2017
    World Premiere
  • XIII Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival
    Lafayette, LA
    United States
    January 21, 2018
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • DocFeed
    February 22, 2018
    European Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Amakula International Film Festival
    March 15, 2018
    Uganda Premiere
  • Ethnografilm
    April 4, 2018
    French Premiere
  • Afrykamera
    Official Selection
  • Afrika Film Festival
    April 21, 2018
    In Competition - Flemish Comission for Unesco
  • Festival du Film pan Africain de Cannes
    April 19, 2018
    Best Documentary Feature
  • Cameroon International Film Festival
    West African Premiere
    Best Documentary Feature
Director Biography - Luciana Ceccatto Farah

A fourth-generation Brazilian of many ethnicities, Luciana Ceccatto Farah studied Journalism in Belgium and Fine Arts in Brazil. She has curated exhibitions, collections and managed arts projects in the Arabian Gulf since 2005, as well as attending film and acting workshops at the Doha Film Institute. In 2010, she was responsible for the Arts & Culture Program in the successful Qatar 2022 World Cup bid. She wrote, produced and directed ’Somebody Clap for Me’, which was shot over 40 months in Uganda, with an all- East African crew of Maisha Film Lab alumni. This is her first feature-length film. .

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Director Statement

Uganda and this Uganda poetry scene felt very familiar to me. I grew up in Brazil in the 70’s, during military dictatorship. My mother and aunts were active participants of the student movement for democracy, and at the time my mother was writing about Brazilian artists and poets who were pretty much doing what young Ugandans are now doing: voicing political dissent through poetry. Uganda in 2011-2014 had a vibe that was very similar to Brazil in the late 70’s early 80’s. It's vibrant, colorful tropical paradise; on the surface a very happy place, but there's a general discontent and great tension building below the shiny surface - and this energy build up comes out in 2 ways: either as violence, or as poetry.
Well it turns out Ugandan tribes such as the Baganda, the Bakiga, the Acholi, the Banyankole, just to mention a few- and i believe other African cultures- have been doing slam poetry and spoken word for centuries, in their own vernacular. Traditionally, poetry has been a way to not only impart knowledge, but also to express one’s grievances in a “more elegant way” , as one of my Ugandan friends told me.
During the almost 4 years it took to shoot this film, I was going to Kampala for sometimes 3 months, sometimes 10 days. I really had no preconceived idea about the country - I was just taking things as they were presented to me. My own understanding of Uganda and its history was built entirely on the poetry and the interaction with the people. It was only after i wrote the animation sequence, that i actually looked for history books and papers in order to find the images to build it.
I hope the people who see the film get to experience this window into Uganda the same way i have; for me it was like observing young birds teaching each other how to fly; i got to see their poetry go from personal poems about unrequited love and identity to openly criticising colonialism, society and the government. As i worked with an almost entirely Ugandan crew - we had two Kenyans and one Tanzanian, too - all Maisha alumni, so it was very simple to get access to the real Ugandan experience. And I took Uganda as it was presented to me by members of cast and crew. I think the fact that 76% of Ugandans are under 25 years old plays a huge part in this change. If these youths would wait for the elders to manifest themselves, they might never speak, as everyone around them is of a similar age group. Like one of the characters said “ It use to be the bonfire where the elders taught the youth, but now it is the bonfire of the young people to the young people, a more inspired moment” .