By Florence Kyohangirwe (Kakatshozi)
It’s always worth celebrating when we see stories we can relate to in the big screens…big platforms. This rings all the more true when they are written by and acted by East Africans.
Our latest attention grabber is Little America.
Described as the anthology of funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories about the lives of immigrants, the eight episode compendium Little America is inspired by true immigrant stories of people living in America today.
Episode 5 titled The Baker, based on the story of Elizabeth Kizito is written by Ugandan American writer Casallina Kisakye.
Kisakye has additional writing credits on other amazing shows like Showtime’s The Chi and How To Make Love to a Black Woman among other phenomenal works, follows the story of Beatrice, played by Kemiyondo Coutinho, a woman from Uganda who moves to Kentucky and starts a bakery.
A story too relatable to most immigrants, Beatrice’s family makes sacrifices for her to have a good education and life. Her father has high hopes and wants Beatrice to go abroad and make a better life for herself; she makes it to America and is now struggling to live up to the American dream.
Years later, she’s a divorced single mother working at a diner…even with her Science degree, and has a nagging mother questioning her life choices.
Kemiyondo, who most of us were first introduced to in her short film KYENVU, does her role justice and portrays acting prowess as Beatrice. “Little America is showing us that the stories we bring make this country’s story richer,” she commented about the series.
On a quest to get more Ugandan stories out there, Kemiyondo is working on a #FiveFor5 film fund that will support five Ugandan female filmmakers in making 5 short films.
Read about the iniatiative here: https://www.theeascene.com/kemiyondos-plan-to-get-ugandan-female-filmmakers-on-the-big-screen/
Ugandan musician turned actress Zani Lady C of the Ndoowa fame, real names Susan Basemera, plays Beatrice’s mother, Yuliana, while Nigeria’s Innocent Ekakitie plays Beatrice’s son Brian.
Little America is now on Apple TV and we highly recommend; especially to support Ugandan talent getting international recognition.