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Filmmaker offers free online viewing of film after Ugandan film fest raid

"Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible" streams for free on Vimeo until Jan. 6, 2018.
Photo credit:
Peterson Toscano -- Vimeo

Peterson Toscano isn’t letting the homophobic attitudes of Ugandan officials take away the message from the film in which he appears called Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible, in fact, he is doing something unheard of in the indie filmmaking market; he’s offering it up for free.

On December 9, 2017, Peterson’s film was just about to play to audiences at an undisclosed Kampala, Uganda location at the International LGBTQ Film Festival. Police got word of the event including where it was taking place and quickly raided the venue, shutting the entire thing down.

This meant the documentary in which Toscano explores biblical lore and making connections with gender conformity in both Hebrew and Christian scriptures was never shown. 

Kamoga Hassan, Director of the Queer Kampala International Film Festival said of the police invasion, “We were very shocked. In Uganda, there’s this narrative that there are no gay people, that it’s a Western import. This is why we need this kind of festival."

Peterson tells us that when he heard an armed team of law enforcement officials disrupted the festival he was very frustrated but thoroughly provoked. 

“I was personally disappointed no one there saw my film, but more so I felt angry that authorities used force to silence LGBTQ voices," Peterson told SDGLN. "If people in power think they can shut us out of the public discourse, then we will have to use more tools and work harder to speak out.”

Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible has been screened at academic conferences, seminaries, universities, places of worship, and drag bars. But he is most excited that Ugandans will still be able to watch this film online to perhaps shed positive light on the community, something American Christian conservatives failed to do on their visits to the country in the past. 

“I was thrilled that the good news and positive stories about gender and sexual minorities in this movie was going to be seen where American Christians brought hateful and violent messages to harm LGBTQ Ugandans," Peterson says. "The legacy of that hateful message continues and so much our resistance. As a result, many more Ugandans are now watching the film online than would have attended the festival.” 

But you can watch it for free until January 6, 2018, by clicking HERE. 

The film is directed by a straight ally, Samuel Neff, and has already been screened at the San Antonio International LGBTQ Festival.

You can watch the trailer below.