The powerful documentary about Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato, Call Me Kuchu, will premiere in theaters in New York this Friday, June 14 and expand to Los Angeles a week later on June 21 with more markets to follow. The first week of screenings in New York will feature Q&As with directors and activists from the documentary. The film tells the stories of LGBT men and women in Uganda, including Kato who was among the leaders of the LGBT equality movement in the country until his murder in January 2011. Call Me Kuchu has won nearly two dozen awards at festivals over the last year, including both the Teddy Award for Best Documentary and the Cinema Fairbindet Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. Watch the trailer below.
First time directors Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright began filming Kato in January 2010 soon after Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, better known as the "Kill the Gays" bill, was originally introduced to Parliament. The bill was reintroduced in the Ugandan Parliament last February which adjourned for the year in early December without taking up the bill. Kato worked tirelessly to combat the bill and secure legal protections for LGBT or "Kuchu" individuals in Uganda.
Zouhali-Worrall and Fairfax Wright followed Kato as he spoke against the bill on television, at the United Nations and in the courts. While the two filmmakers had returned home and were working on editing the documentary, they learned of Kato's murder and felt a newfound sense of urgency to complete the project and honor his life and work. Zouhali-Worrall said, “We had essentially documented the entire last year of his life, and since his life was cut short, we had been filming during a time when he was at the pinnacle of his activism, when his philosophies and oration were most concrete and well-formulated…Therefore, both of us felt the responsibility to honor his life by making the best film we could…”
Find details for Call Me Kuchu screenings in New York and Los Angeles here and keep an eye out for screenings opening in new markets soon.