Out in Africa, in conjunction with Gay Umbrella, will be presenting the first gay and lesbian film festival ever to be held in the North West Province.

The program kicks off on Friday 14 March when four short locally produced films will be shown. The venue is the Mmabana Mafikeng Theatre in Mafikeng.

“The purpose of this festival is not only to screen queer movies, but also to bring people together and create a sense of community,” said Hendrik Baird, Secretary of local group Gay Umbrella.

“In order to achieve this, transport will be paid for people coming from the North West Province. Entrance to the screenings is free,” he added.

Possessed by Demons is a personal account of a congregation’s medieval and masculine response to a lesbian in their midst. Their brutal quest to cast out her male demons hardens her resolve to live as God’s creation.

Anyone and Everyone follows on the same night. Coming out to parents has to be one of the most terrifying and defining moments of any gay or lesbian’s life. This simple yet powerful documentary looks at parents from various religious and cultural backgrounds who discuss the impact it had on their lives.

Inkanyezi Yobusuku – Night Star examines traditional Zulu women who were barred from performing household chores during menstruation. The maidens were isolated in the girl’s hut- a time of rest and contemplation called Ukuya Enyangeni, going to the moon. Lindiwe’s dreams are disturbed by her desire for the Amaqhikiza, her guide during this time.

Ndim Ndim (It’s Me, It’s Me) is a fascinating portrait of brave, quietly persistent Funeka Soldaat who is an out lesbian and anti-abuse activist. Living in the controlled homophobia of her Xhosa-dominated community in Khyalitsha, Funeka’s single-handed education of those around her progresses slowly but surely.

On Saturday 15 March the festival continues at 17h00 with a movie called Society. Following the success of the four part SABC1 miniseries early in 2007, the producers have put together a condensed version. This is the journey of one upwardly mobile black Lesbian couple living in Joburg. This movie is followed by a discussion with members of the cast.

“Everyone who attends the 17h00 screening will be invited to attend a free community braai at 19h00 at the Mmabana Park” says Baird.

The festival ends off with a screening of the complete first season of the American series Noah’s Arc. It follows four men in Los Angeles-Noah, Alex, Ricky and Chance, as they navigate complex romantic and professional relationships.

For more information or to make transport arrangements, call Mildred Maropefela on cell 073-157-7791. The following websites also have more information: www.oia.co.za or gaymaf.blogspot.com.

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