Ugandan film screens at US festival

If you want to know some of the challenges that come with being gay in Uganda, then you have to watch filmmaker Hassan Kamoga’s Outed: The Painful Reality.

The film is inspired by real life events that followed a publication by Rolling Stone, a Ugandan tabloid that took upon the role of naming and shaming suspected gay Ugandans.

Outed has been in production for nearly four years, though Kamoga confirms he was both reluctant and afraid to pursue the topic then, especially after a gay friend of his was murdered under unclear circumstances.

Last Saturday, the film, which premiered in March in Uganda but to a smaller audience, premiered globally at the Flix Philadelphia Film festival in the US. Kamoga says he is happy that the film finally screened because it may be a chance to reopen the debate about the rights of gay Ugandan people.

The film is based on a fictional character Vida, a young secretly- gay man enjoying a successful career in advertising. After his personal details are splashed in the media, Vida loses everything – the job, friends, family and ends up in jail.

“We hope this will generate fresh intellectual debate about the matter and the role of media in promoting human rights for all,” Kamoga says.

Actor Jeffrey Agaba plays the leads the cast though the film also features different Ugandan LGBT activists.

But it wasn’t just the screening that happened, on Sunday night, Kamoga was honored with the Barbara Gittings International Human Rights Award, the very first time it was being given out to someone from East Africa.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd