U.K. festival will feature LGBTIQ Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania

Logo for GFEST
Logo for GFest

The annual GayWise Festival (GFest) this year will focus on African LGBTIQ Cinema, with showings on Nov. 13 at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, London.

Films about African LGBTIQ communities will be screened, with participation and support from local community groups including the Out & Proud Diamond Group.

Bernie Grant Arts Centre is at Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham Green, London N15 4RX – Book: 020 8365 5450.

Doors will open at 4 p.m., with screenings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. plus question and discussion periods.

“Pain” is the theme for the screenings at 5:30 p.m. :

(Feature film; directors: Hassan Kamoga and Isaac Matovu; Uganda 2015)

Poster for "Outed"
Poster for “Outed”

Based on a true story, the film looks into the life of John Alex Kigozi aka Vida who is outed by a Ugandan tabloid as one of the “top homosexuals” in the country. Following the outing, Vida’s life turns from bad to worse, losing his job, his house and so much more.

(Short documentary; directors: Pepe Julian Onziema and Tim McCarthy; Uganda 2016)

On 4 August 2016, Ugandan police raided an LGBTIQ beauty pageant which was one of the 2016 Pride Uganda events. This documentary reconstructs the impact of the raid by talking to those who were present on the night.

“Resilience and hope” are the themes for the screenings at 8:00 p.m.:

(Documentary; directors: Richard Lusimbo and Nancy Nicol; Uganda 2015)

Richard Lusimbo (Photo courtesy of Hivos.org)
Richard Lusimbo (Photo courtesy of Hivos.org)

A story of courage and resilience, the film follows human rights activist Richard Lusimbo as he documents the impact of the Ugandan 2014 Anti-Homosexual Act (AHA) and the resistance by civil society, led by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law.

(Short documentary; director: Mwiza Nyirenda; Malawi 2013)

A first-person documentary on homosexuality in Malawi that investigates the complexities of tolerance, acceptance and culture in relationship to LGBTIQ rights.

(Short documentary; director: Anna Wistreich; United Kingdom/Tanzania 2015)

The film centres around Mwamba, a female-to-male trans-person living openly in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and follows Mwamba and his fellow activist-friends in their fight to create safe spaces and dialogue around a concept that is unknown to almost everyone in Tanzania.

Image from "Same Love" (Click the photo to play the video)
Image from “Same Love” (Click the photo to play the video)

(Music video; Art Attack; Kenya 2015)

This video was banned by the Kenya Film Classification Board in February 2016.

For more information, see the Gaywise Festival website or the Bernie Grant Centre website.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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