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Entertainment Biz - National Geographic Documentary Films Acquires Venice Sensation BOBI WINE: THE PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT as Film Team Arrives in Telluride

 

 

 

 

The Film from Directors Christopher Sharp & Moses Bwayo and Two-Time Oscar-Winning Producer John Battsek is Hailed as "Gripping," "Universally Relevant" with "Remarkable Access" and "Intimate and Harrowing Photography"

 

TELLURIDE, Colo.-- (USA -- (BUSINESS WIRE)

Sunday September 4, 2022

On the heels of Bobi Wine's highly anticipated arrival at the Telluride Film Festival, National Geographic Documentary Films announced it has acquired worldwide rights to BOBI WINE: THE PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT (which premiered at Venice under the working title Bobi Wine: Ghetto President) from directors Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp. The Venice Film Festival sensation from two-time Oscar-winning producer John Battsek was hailed by Screen Daily as an "intimate portrait of a hugely engaging figure that also serves as a sobering warning about the seeming impossibility of democratic change in a dictatorship."

Born in the slums of Kampala, Wine, Ugandan opposition leader, former member of parliament, activist and national superstar musician, risks his life to fight the ruthless regime led by Yoweri Museveni. Museveni has been in power for 35 years and changed Uganda's constitution to enable himself to run for yet another five-year term.

Running in the country's 2021 presidential elections, Wine (whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu) uses his music to denounce the dictatorial regime and support his life mission to defend the voiceless. In this fight, where he is joined by his wife Barbie, he must also take on the country's police and military, who are not afraid to use violence and torture in an attempt to intimidate and silence him and his supporters.

National Geographic Documentary Films will rollout BOBI WINE: THE PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT at global festivals throughout the rest of the year and release it in theaters in 2023.

The film screens Sunday morning, Sept. 4, at 9 AM MT at the Nugget Theater in Telluride, and festival goers will be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime performance by Wine on Sunday night in the center of town.

The film's working title comes from Wine himself, a term he has used to describe his unlikely rise to fame and the opportunity to make a difference for the people of Uganda, where he has now dedicated his life to be a champion for inclusive government and an advocate for all of Uganda's people.

"My people, the Ugandan people, are familiar with my journey through music, politics, imprisonment and torture, but this film is a microcosm of my country's larger struggles under an unrelenting dictatorship that has been operating with impunity for decades. I can't wait for global audiences to see the reality of the situation and question their leaders' support for this regime," Wine said.

"Bobi and his wife Barbie are once-in-a-lifetime heroes who take great personal risk to dislodge and liberate a nation from a ruler who has been in power for 35 years," said directors Bwayo and Sharp. "As documentary filmmakers, we are occasionally fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to relate events that can bring about transformation. We believe that this is one of those occasions."

"At a time when people's most basic human rights are being threatened around the world, including in the United States, Bobi Wine's activism on behalf of all Ugandans is hugely inspiring, gripping and necessary. We are honored to help bring this beautiful and important film to the world."

"There isn't a better home for our film. My experiences with National Geographic Documentary Films have always been the very best. They match the passion and care that the filmmakers bring to making films in the way in which they market and release films. We really couldn't be happier to have them as our partners on this film," added producer Battsek.

National Geographic Documentary Films previously released the Academy Award, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film Free Solo and the Academy Award-nominated film The Cave. Most recently, in 2021 it released Becoming Cousteau, Fauci, The First Wave, The Rescue and Torn. Other critically acclaimed films under the banner include Ron Howard's Rebuilding Paradise; Sundance Audience Award winners Science Fair and Sea of Shadows; Emmy winners LA 92 and Jane, both of which were included in the top 15 documentaries considered for an Academy Award in 2017; and Dupont Award winner Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS.

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