Monday, June 22, 2015

Painting the Spectrum 11 Closes with Films from Uganda, Mexico and Guyana

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) will bring the curtains down on its eleventh lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film festival, “Painting the Spectrum 11,” next week with three poignant films exploring homophobia, sexuality diversity and resistance  in the developing world.

The final week begins with a documentary based in Uganda which explores the dangers of imported homophobia.  On Tuesday, June 23, the international award-winning documentary “Call Me Kuchu,” which was donated by the High Commission of Canada to Guyana,  will be screened. In Uganda, the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. The late David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combating vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world.

On the final night, Thursday, June 25, “Painting the

Spectrum 11” will feature two films. The first, “Muxes: Authentic, Intrepid Danger-Seekers,” provided by the Embassy of Mexico in Guyana, is a documentary examining sexuality diversity set in Mexico. The documentary is the living and surprising portrait of a gay men’s group who defend their sexual diversity while preserving their indigenous Zapoteca identity in the “gay paradise” of Juchitan, Mexico. Muxes examines the pressures on the borders within the indigenous culture which has historically embraced this “third gender.”  Muxes from Juchitan feel proud of their identity, enjoy their lives, laugh on themselves and on heterosexual society, and freely accept their own weaknesses. They call themselves “authentic, intrepid danger-seekers” and they have united to advance beyond convention.

Following Muxes, there will be the premiere of “Painting the Spectrum: A Commemorative Documentary” about the only annual LGBT Film Festival in the English-speaking Caribbean. Festival organisers from SASOD and attendees share what the LGBT film festival ‘Painting the Spectrum’ means to them, LGBT people, and the Guyanese population as a whole.

As customary, the final night of screen ends with the traditional ‘painting the spectrum’ where attendees are invited to paint a huge, cloth banner with their personal messages and signs of love, acceptance, support and solidarity for LGBT Guyanese.

Showtime is 6 pm in the evenings at SASOD’s office located at 169 Charlotte Street in Lacytown, Georgetown. There is no charge for admission to attend the film festival. Drinks and snacks will be on sale. All proceeds go to SASOD’s LGBT Community Centre Fund. All firms are intended for mature audiences. Person must be 18 years and over to attend. Free, onsite HIV counseling and testing, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – Advancing Partnerships and Communities (APC) Project, is also be available to all attendees.

SASOD’s LGBT Pride Month celebrations conclude on Saturday, June 27, with Spectrum Cabaret Night at the Dutch Bottle Café, 10 North Road, Bourda (between Light and Cummings Streets) in Georgetown commencing at 7 pm. Tickets cost $1,000 in advance and are available at SASOD, That Look Boutique and Oasis café. Admission at the door is $1,500.

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