Blue Imp Productions received a very warm welcome from the communities of Ndali, the area in which we shot most of Imperial Blue. Without their active assistance, this film and its education programme would not have been possible. Rehema Nsan, social worker and founder of the GirlBe project (Kampala), is our Production Co-ordinator. She communicated with people at all levels of the community, enabling us to understand how we could best assist them and return the kindness that Ndali had shown us.
Sunday Justus, a community spokesman and aspiring leader for the region, was very active in his role as locations manager for Ndali. He identified various needs in the community and helped us to implement solutions to them. With his help, we repaired the road leading to Ndali, identified struggling schools and hired local unemployed youth to work on the film set in construction and logistics.
At the same time, Rehema looked at various ways to engage with women and children – vulnerable sectors of society in rural Uganda – and impart her experiences as a social worker. She worked with Mbuga Primary School, Aunt Suzan Orphanage and the Breakthrough AIDS Foundation (Fort Portal). At the school, Rehema looked at what was lacking and, accordingly, facilitated the provision of scholastic materials, books, pens, pencils and shoes.
She engaged the children in creative activities - drumming and street performance - that gave them the opportunity to expressive themselves and celebrate their sense of community. She held sexual reproductive health workshops for all ages and gave out re-usable sanitary pads, panties and bras. This is a serious matter, as women in rural areas run a much higher risk of contracting diseases due to a lack of sanitation or through sexual transmission. Education is key to overcoming these problems.
In Rehema’s words: “We really hope that the activities expand people's enthusiasm about their communities and that they can be more sensitive to their problems in a way that inspires practical community action.”
We are very sad to report that our locations manager and friend, Sunday Justus, was tragically killed in a car accident the day after we finished the film shoot. Ndali has lost one of its most talented and ambitious leaders, who indeed aspired to political office, to improve the lives of his community. This film is dedicated to him.