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Uganda will soon get an LGBTQ film festival

The Queer Kampala International Film Festival announced last week:

The first ever and only LGBTQ-themed film festival opens up in Uganda

Logo of the Queer Kampala International Film Festival.
Logo of the Queer Kampala International Film Festival. (Click the image to support the festival.)

It is a well-known fact that LGBT people in Uganda are not free. When they stand up for their rights, or merely stand out from other people, they often pay a heavy price, with some losing their jobs, their families or even their lives. This obvious plight of LGBT in Uganda has left hundreds fleeing their communities to seek a life in more open societies where they hope to be accepted for who they are.

Hassan Kamoga, founder of QKIFF and director of "Outed" (Photo courtesy of Hassan Kamoga via Facebook)
Hassan Kamoga, founder of QKIFF and director of “Outed” (Photo courtesy of Hassan Kamoga via Facebook)

It’s these glaring facts that have inspired the establishment of the Queer Kampala International Film Festival (QKIFF), the first queer-themed film festival to be held in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. The festival aims at celebrating the diversity of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people through quality cinema.

The annual festival’s inaugural edition is set for Dec. 9-11, 2016, and is expected to draw crowds from across the world. It will boast an eclectic programming including film premieres/screenings, workshops, panel discussions and parties that focus essentially on LGBTQ-themed films and videos from Uganda and around the world.

The primary goal of the festival is to increase awareness and tolerance of sexual identity through increased public exposure using films, and supporting courageous film makers who are passionate about voicing the plight of the LGBT communities in the world. We indeed feel it’s urgent to spread the correct information on sexual identity to the public and promote the dignity of LGBTs.

QKIFF is also tailored to encourage the professional development of East African queer film and video artists and support for their work.

Film submissions to the first QKIFF are open until October, with Ugandan nationals welcome to submit their queer-themed films free of charge while people from other parts of the world will pay an affordable submission fee.

For more information about this festival, including its fundraiser campaign and submissions please visit www.queerkiff.com. Also visit its donation page.

Poster for "Outed"
Poster for the 2015 film “Outed”

The Team

QKIFF is being established by a group of young human rights activists and film
professionals who decided to put their hearts and minds into building something creative so as to help minorities communities in Uganda through producing quality films.

They have produced a number of short documentaries for non-profit organizations in Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi and Swaziland. In 2014, the same team produced “Outed:’The Painful Reality,” the hard-hitting feature about the dangers of homophobic media reporting on LGBTI issues.

Released in 2015, the film had its world premiere at the Qflix Film Festival in
Philadelphia, USA, where it was awarded the Barbra Gittings International Human Rights Award. It has since screened at various film festivals around the world.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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