Filmmakers Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright joined Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha for a panel discussion at the premiere
Backed by a partnership between the David Kato Vision & Voice Award, AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), and the City of West Hollywood, the critically acclaimed film, "Call Me Kuchu" premiered in Holly wood on Oct.29.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion and reception with filmmakers Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright, as well as Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha, they recipient of the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, who is also featured in the documentary.
Named as a potential Oscar contender by both The Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire, "Call Me Kuchu" follows Uganda's first openly gay man, David Kato, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo as they work against the clock to defeat an "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," inspired in part by American evangelical missionaries. As they work to combat the Bill, which proposes death penalty for HIV-positive gay men who infect a minor and prison for anyone who fails to turn in a known homosexual, they must also fight vicious persecution in their daily lives.
But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes the movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world. "Call Me Kuchu" is a stirring portrait of human courage in the face of insurmountable odds.
Since premiering at the Berlin Film Festival, "Call Me Kuchu" has received more than 20 awards, including the prestigious Teddy Award in Berlin, and was selected as a New York Times Critics' Pick following its theatrical release in the US earlier this year. Both the Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire Magazine have named the film as a potential Oscar contender for the documentary category.
The film and the activists it follows have also received praise from human rights advocates worldwide, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "The hardest work is done by local activists like those you will see in this film," Mr. Ban said in a public statement. "To them I want to say: You are an inspiration to me."
This screening was free and open to the public. Voluntary donations were collected to support the David Kato Vision & Voice Award (DKVVA), which is awarded annually to an individual who demonstrates courage and outstanding leadership in advocacy for the sexual rights of LGBT people in hostile environments.
Founded in commemoration of David Kato's life and work, the DKVVA provides recipients with $10,000 to further their efforts to advance LGBT rights in their own communities. Past recipients of the award include Jamaican activist Maurice Tomlinson and Ali Erol, founder of the Turkish advocacy organization Kaos GL.
African cinema 2014 edition on
This year, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the Locarno Film Festival's Open Doors co-production mart will focus on Sub-Saharan African countries that weren't included in last year's event.
This initiative focuses on a different region every year and operates in two modes: First, the Open Doors Co-production Lab brings professionals from the chosen regions together with potential partners, mostly from Europe, to foster support for projects that would otherwise be difficult to complete. Every year, following a call for submissions, the Festival selects a dozen new projects from the chosen region and at the end of the workshop, the winning projects receive either development or production support.
Second, in order to introduce the Festival audience to the cinematographic and cultural landscape of the chosen region, a number of films are chosen each year to be part of the Open Doors Screenings, a non-competitive section of the Festival.
Since its inception, Open Doors has showcased projects from Cuba and Argentina, countries in the Mekong, the Maghreb, South-East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand), the Near and Middle East (Mashrek), Latin America, Greater China, central Asia, India, Sub-Saharan francophone Africa and the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia).
In 2014, Open Doors will welcome again film projects from Sub-Saharan Africa: this time the Lab will focus on all countries, which were not included in the 2012 edition. Uganda is among the eligible countries as well as Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania. Deadline for submission is Mar.03, 2014.
To submit a film project,
please visit: http://opendoorsefo.pardo.ch