Publication Date

Fall 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


David Kahn


African Film, Cinema, Film, Kinna-Uganda, Ugandan Cinema, Ugandan Film

Subject Areas

Film Studies; African Studies; African History


Kinna-Uganda (K-U) is a form of cinema that has emerged in Uganda following decades of the totalitarian political regime of Idi Amin, which in turn followed almost a century of colonial rule. The concept of national cinema is evaluated in this thesis as a tool for analysis of K-U. The national cinema concept is compared with four other models -- regional, continental, Pan-African, and transnational -- that can also be used to analyze and deconstruct films and the academic space within which they reside. This study examines Uganda's pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial times and their impact on the production of K-U and on Uganda's film industry. This research also presents the dissemination of Africa's cinema in the context of the African Diaspora and provides a guide to K-U and the Ugandan film industry from its inception until early 2010.

In analyzing these findings of this study, it has been determined that the concept of national cinema is useful when dissecting K-U. The strength and utility of national cinema as a concept lies in four different factors: it aids in identifying K-U; it helps to explain the origins and characteristics of the local Ugandan film industry; it identifies the common constraints to expansion of the Ugandan film industry and, lastly, it helps in offering a prediction for the future of the Ugandan film industry. However, adhering to a strict definition of national cinema is shown to be less useful than previously in evaluating K-U, as it has propagated through Africa and increasingly involves co-productions between Ugandan and non-Ugandan entities.