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Professor Kader Asmal to open 15th Out in Africa Film Festival

Resource type: News

Filmmaker South Africa |

Original Source The Out in Africa SA Gay & Lesbian Film Festival which is turning 15 this year is honoured to have Professor Kader Asmal, former Minister, MP and currently professor extraordinary at UWC, as key note speaker at the Festival’s opening night in Cape Town, 11 September 2008. Asmal, who has been suffering from bone marrow cancer since 2001, recently revealed that he had begun cancer treatment and would have to reduce his public engagements for a while. However, he has expressed his pleasure in the invitation and has agreed to open the 15th Out in Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the longest running human rights film festival on the continent. Given that homosexuality is illegal, violently repressed or reviled in the majority of countries on the rest of our continent, South Africa is a beacon of hope for LGBTI Africans. South Africa’s groundbreaking Constitution, which Asmal was part of formulating, makes explicit the right to equality of sexual minorities, popular public opinion is however deeply homophobic. Asmal, an outspoken, veteran member of the ANC, made headlines recently for his critique of the use of “extremist and violent” language by some Alliance leaders and his drive to mobilise citizens to protect constitutional values. The Festival reflects the significant changes that Queer cinema is undergoing by truly reflecting reality and ousting stereotypes, offering a broad choice of films ranging from comedy to documentary, feature films and shorts, local and international titles. The Festival is funded by: The Atlantic Philanthropies, the National Film and Video Foundation, the Italian Institute of Culture, the Goethe Institut, the British Council, the Cape Film Commission, Nu Metro, Exclusive Books and Killarney Mall.