Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams is the latest activist to contribute to the growing body of work about Uganda in his documentary God Loves Uganda.
The film, part of the 2013 DOXA Documentary Film Festival lineup, chronicles the struggle for gay rights and the active role American evangelical Christians play in the persecution of homosexuals in the African country.
Williams, who is gay and the son of a religious minister, wanted to explore “homophobia in the church, sponsored by the church, in its extreme.”
Filming in Uganda was tricky because homosexuality is illegal, and Williams had to conceal his sexual orientation while on location. But someone outed him in an email sent to one of the evangelicals he was following – a “scary moment for me,” he says.
“I got confronted by all the anti-gay pastors in Uganda, the really scary pastors you see in the film, who throw huge anti-gay rallies and preach hate and call for the death penalty for homosexuals,” he tells Xtra.
In the end, Williams says, the pastors decided to pray for him.
Xtra recently sat down with Williams to discuss his film.
God Loves Uganda
Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St
Sat, May 11, noon