GiR in Kampala — The first East African reaction

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Gord Rand took GiR to the Kendu Hearth theatre conference in Kampala, Uganda. Here’s the story:

I wake up in the mornings to a rooster in the yard and also the weird sound of roosters crowing all over the city – a dull roar of roosters.

Buzz, our venue for the conference, is awesome. Beautiful, made from reclaimed eucalyptus that Caval, the owner, got from old scaffolding. Good food, good drinks: go there if you ever visit Kampala. It is also located next to a bordello. Nothing like talking character archetypes at Ross Manson’s master class (part of the conference) while a working lady washes her underwear at an outside pump a few yards away.

The night of the screening arrives. I’ve brought a Bluray player and all the cables – indie filmmaker DIY screening styles – and after a few last minute adjustments with audio, we are ready to screen to the small audience that has settled into Buzz.

After the screening, the discussion starts. Lots of talk, lots of tears, lots of argument. “Appropriation of voice” and “white supremacy” are some of the terms being thrown around. Lots of positives, though, too. One beautiful African lady – whose name shall not be released – says that it is the first film she’s seen on genocide that makes her feel hope. Another says that these stories – Goodness (the play) and Goodness in Rwanda (the documentary) – have the ability to “unbottle her feelings about the things that she had seen”. A great discussion, with lots of questions.  One of our documentary subjects, the indomitable Kiki Gakire Katese, saw it for the first time tonight. Even though it brought up difficult memories for her, she still was able to look back and feel good about the decisions that she made.

Congrats, Team GiR. It was an amazing experience. There will be more, as this film makes it way through the festival circuit, from Canadian to international audiences.

We are wending our way towards distribution and release, but we will always let you know where we are in the journey, and when you can see the film you’ve supported.


—Gord Rand

Ross Manson, Artistic Director of Volcano theatre & one of the subjects in the documentary, also blogged about the event. For another perspective on the screening, check out Ross Manson’s blog here.

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