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East End Film Festival launches its boldest gay program

Award winning film on LGBT struggles in Uganda premieres in London
Call Me Kuchu explores the struggles of LGBT activists in Uganda

London's East End film festival has teamed up with Amnesty International UK this summer to support the festival’s biggest program of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered films.

The Hackney Picturehouse will be screening the award winning film Call Me Kuchu on 5 July. It explores the struggles faced by the LGBT community in Uganda – one focus of the film is on the murder of LGBT activist, David Kato in 2011.

Following the screening, there will be a question and answer session hosted by the directors of the film, Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall. Also attending is the Jamaican LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson, who was the inaugural recipient of the David Kato Vision and Voice Award this year.

The annual award is awarded to anyone who demonstrates courage and outstanding leadership in advocating the rights of LGBT people. Tomlinson is an activist and lawyer who fled his home in Jamaica because of death threats and now resides in Canada.

On 6 July, American lesbian activist, comic and jazz singer, Lea DeLaria, will be hosting a panel discussion at Amnesty International centre in Shoreditch entitled: Prides in Hostile Environments. Before the discussion, Amnesty International will be screening the documentary Homo@LV which looks at the complex history in organising Pride in Riga, Latvia.

On the panel will be Maurice Thompson, a founder of Riga Pride; Kristine Garina; Sam Dick, the head of policy at Stonewall and Emily Gray, Amnesty International’s researcher on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Amnesty International LGBT rights campaigner, Kim Manning Cooper said: 'We’re delighted this year to be teaming up with the East End Film Festival on their screening of LGBT films from around the world, and to work with them on a series of events which will highlight the importance of human rights for those in the LGBT community.'

The festival offers six days of features, documentaries and shorts, plus film focused discussions, live music and industry events in venues throughout London’s East End. For more information visit the festival website.

Call Me Kuchu won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the Berlin International Film Festival. See the trailer here:

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