A queer film festival is headed to one of the most anti-queer country in the world, Uganda.
Back in 2009, Uganda came under the worlds radar fro passing a law stating the death penalty for anyone who indulged in homosexuality. Needless to say, there was a huge uproar all over the world and protests became a daily occurrence. As of 2014, the laws have been changed. But they’re no better now. Being gay or lesbian can put you in prison for a minimum of two years or a maximum of life. Yes, that’s right.
The amount of discrimination in Uganda from the citizens, police and media against queers is not a joke. In 2010, local newspapers released the names of 100 people who were believed to be homosexual with the caption “Hang them”.
But the winds are changing. Finally.
A group of young activists and film professionals are organizing the first ever Queer Kampala International Film Festival(QKIFF). Taking place over three days, the event is going to host film premieres, artists talks, panel discussions and topics that focus primarily on queer-themed films from Uganda and around the world.
“Our primary goal is to increase awareness and tolerance of sexual identity issues through increased public exposure using films. We would like to spread correct information on sexual identity to the public and promote the dignity of LGBTs.” reads their website.
The group organizing the festival is well-known for their previous documentary Outed: The Painful Reality which was about the dangers of homophobic behavior by media. The film also won an award at the Qflix Film Festival in Philadelphia. The festivals director Kamoga Hassan said “Our primary goal is to increase awareness and tolerance of sexual identity through increased public exposure using films. Our second goal is to support courageous filmmakers who are passionate about sharing queer stories in an environment where LGBT people are criminalized.”
The festival is going to take place this year in December from 9-11 in Kampala. It’s time change make its way to the smallest parts of the world. One issue at a time.