National Geographic’s “Bobi Wine: The People’s President” was named Best Feature Documentary at the 39th IDA Documentary Awards, winning over nine other Oscar-contending documentaries, including Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project, In the Rearview, The Mother of All Lies, and Apolonia, Apolonia. The film is available to stream now on Disney+ and Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ in many countries including Canada and Australia.
The award-winning feature documentary is from directors Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp and produced by Christopher Sharp, alongside two-time Academy Award winner John Battsek’s Ventureland.
BOBI WINE: THE PEOPLE’S PRESIDENT follows Bobi Wine, who was born in the slums of Kampala and became one of Uganda’s most popular musical talents the country has ever seen. In the midst of the violence, corruption and injustice of the ruthless regime led by Yoweri Museveni, Bobi decides to become the Ugandan opposition leader in the much-disputed 2021 presidential election.
Using his music to denounce the dictatorial regime and support his life’s mission to defend the oppressed and the voiceless people of Uganda, Bobi risks his life and the lives of his wife, Barbie, and their children to take on the country’s corrupt police and military, who are not afraid to use violence and torture in a vain attempt to intimidate and silence Bobi and his supporters.
BOBI WINE: THE PEOPLE’S PRESIDENT premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, where critics raved, calling it “a portrait of unfathomable political courage” (The Playlist) and “an intimate portrait of a hugely engaging figure” (Screen International), with Variety noting that the film “startles with its immediacy.”
The film went on to screen at the 2022 Telluride Film Festival, BFI London International Film Festival, IDFA and The Hamptons International Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. It has continued to shine on the festival circuit in 2023 with sold-out showings at True/False, CPH: DOX, Millennium International Documentary Film Festival, taking home two of the festival’s coveted statues — the Audience Award in International Competition as well as the Human Rights Award. Additional awards the film has picked up this year include the Audience Award for Documentary Feature at the Boston International Film Festival as well as the Special Jury Award at the 2023 Blue Water Awards.
“The awareness this film has brought to world audiences has arguably kept Bobi Wine alive and out of prison for now,” Bwayo commented in his acceptance speech. “This film is a testament to the courage and determination of Bobi Wine, his wife, Barbie, and the people of Uganda, and all those brave opposition leaders of the world. This recognition is immensely gratifying.”
Sharp commented, “Since the film came out, the dictatorship in Uganda has been increasingly restrained. If there was ever a case of a documentary making a difference, this is it. The film might play a part in liberating a nation from 38 years of tyranny. Your support means more than you can possibly imagine.”
You can watch a trailer for the film below: