Usama (/ʊˈsɑːmə/) "Osam" Mukwaya Nyanzi (born 12 December 1989) is a Ugandan film director , screenwriter, producer, actor, and television host. He broke through his writing career with his short film Hello that won overall best film in the 2010 MNFPAC Students Awards.
His other film credits include Bala Bala Sese, his latest film as a writer and producer directed by Lukyamuzi Bashir. The film was nominated in the Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Film in an African Language.
Born in Mulago Hospital, Kampala-Uganda, Usama hails his ancestry from Ganda, Ankole and Rwanda. He is the son of Abdullah Muhammad Mukwaya and Aziidah Mariam. After the death of his mother when he was 8, Usama's aunt took him in; when she died too, Usama had to move in with his father and later on with his grandfather.
He attended Linnet Primary School in Wakiso District, for his primary school education, Shuhada'e Islamic Secondary School in Mbarara for his O level, Nyamitanga Secondary School for his A level and studied information technology at Makerere University under the Cisco Career Certifications. He has numerous siblings from both his father and mother.
Usama started his writing career as a child. In 2010 he joined Dan Kiggundu's Maryland Productions where he debuted as a script editor and supporting actor in the TV drama Pain of lies that premiered in 2011. Through Uganda film network, he later joined Mariam Ndagire Film and Performing Arts Center where he worked on his first short film, Hello which won the overall best film in the MNFPAC awards 2010. In July 2011, he then made it to the final selection of the 12 screenwriters from all over East Africa to participate in the 7th Maisha Film Lab ending up with a collaboration with Diana Karua in the making of the movie She Likes Prada.
Later in 2011, Usama won the African Young Achievers Award in the film and television category, the youngest among the winners to win the award in the newly introduced category alongside Rwandan president Paul Kagame, who won the Lifetime achievement award.
Amidst other four young directors in August 2012, he directed his first film, Smart Attempt written by Julian Nabunya and Abel Mwesigwa during the first season of the Movie Furnace programme. He went on to participate in the program's second season with his short film In Just Hours that had him emerge the season's winner for best short film director.
He has worked as a general secretary and treasurer Screenwriter’s guild of Uganda Film Network and as general secretary Pearl International Film Festival. He was quoted by The Observer Newspaper alongside Ashraf Ssemwogerere on an interview about naming the growing film industry in Uganda where he stated that Ugawood could have been the appropriate citing that Kinna-Uganda had to do with mediocrity. In July 2014, Usama started his own film production company O Studios, based in Uganda that immediately opened with the production of a short film Tiktok written and directed by himself.
Bala Bala Sese (2015)
Bala Bala Sese being Usama's first film as producer and writer was released on 3 July 2015 at theatre Labonita. The film became the very first Ugandan project to receive a professional marketing touch and the top Ugandan film of 2015 and the following year. It was nominated in the 12th Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Film in an African Language. It has also been featured in various international film festival including Luxor African Film Festival in Cairo, Egypt where it held its African premiere and competed in the long Narrative category among 13 other African films. It then followed up as an opening film at the 10th Amakula International Film Festival automatically qualifying for the Golden Impala Award in the best African film category which was won by De Noir.The film also debuted its European release at the Helsinki African Film Festival in Finland. The directory debut by music video director Lukyamuzi Bashir features former celebrity couple Natasha Sinayobye and Michael Kasaija as on-screen lovers, first time film actor and former Ebonies member Raymond Rushabiro with veteran stage actor Ashraf Ssemwogerere.
Love Faces (2017)
Usama will direct his debut film Love Faces teaming up again with Laura Kahunde (Hello) and Patriq Nkakalukanyi (Tiktok) alongside Moses Kiboneka Jr.
In July 2013, Usama debuted his television appearance as a host on the second season of the Movie Digest Show on Record TV Network Uganda with actress Monica Birwinyo replacing pioneer host and former Tusker Project Fame 3 contestant Jacob Nsaali.
Usama is credited to be the co-founder of Pearl International Film Festival alongside Magezi Moses. The first of its kind indigenous film festival aims to draw attention to raise the profile of local films and filmmakers with the aim of contributing towards the development of the cinema of Uganda.
Usama began his philanthropy work in January 2015 with the Empowerment of Disadvantaged Youth and Children (EDYAC) when he traveled to Tororo - northern Uganda to share their life experiences. Him with friend Bobby Tamale later made a documentary available on YouTube about the experience with the video featuring him in narration.
Usama currently lives in Kampala.
|2010||Iron Love||Actor||Official selection: Pearl International Film Festival|
|2010||Pain of Lies||Actor, Script Supervisor||Official selection: Pearl International Film Festival|
|2010||Hello||Writer, First Assistant Director||Nominated for – MNFPAC Awards for Best screenplay|
|2011||She Likes Prada||Production Manager||Official selection: Zanzibar International Film Festival|
|2012||Smart Attempt||Director||Movie Furnace 2012 finalist|
|2013||In Just Hours||Writer, director||Best Director – Short Film: Movie Furnace 2013 |
Official selection: 2nd Nile Diaspora International Film Festival
Nominee – Best Student Film: Pearl International Film Festival (MNFPAC)
Official selection: 4th Manya Human Rights International Film Festival
|2012-2013||Movie Digest Show||Host, Producer|
|2015||Tiktok||Writer, Director||Official selection: Mashariki African Film Festival|
|2015||Bala Bala Sese||Writer, producer||Official selection: Luxor African Film Festival|
|2017||Love Faces||Writer, Director|