Film Fests from Lavender Africa

This past week, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the University of Botswana hosted that country’s first LGBTI film festival, The Batho BaLorato Film Festival. The festival was organized by LEGABIBO, the organization in Botswana representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Interexed people, and a number of other volunteers. Queer relations remain illegal in Botswana, and the festival’s goals were to promote a conversation about openness and mutual appreciation among different people through a series of films, documentaries (many), and a roundtable discussion. The program was selected, according to LeGaBiBo, especially “to help straight people learn more about LGBTI issues.”

With this festival, Botswana joins two other countries with Lavender screenings.

South Africa hosts two LGBT film festivals.

OUT IN AFRICA (in Jozi & Cape Town) is South Africa’s “Gay and Lesbian” Film Festival, the biggest and oldest ongoing LGBT film fest on the Continent. They’ll be holding three festivals in 2013, their 20 year.

The DURBAN GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL, founded in 2011, will run throughout the month of June in 2013.

In November 2012, Kenya hosted the OUT Film Festival in Nairobi, their second LGBT film festival and the only one in East Africa. It was cosponsored by the Gay Kenya Trust, the Swiss embassy, and Kenya’s Goethe Institute. The Gay Kenya Trust say they plan to run a third program in 2013.

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