Inaugural film festival set to eliminate preconceptions

Francois van Mazijk

THE inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay Out In Africa South African Gay & Lesbian Film Festival starts at The Barn at the Opera House today (30/11/2012).

Several award-winning films will be screened over the next two days, including the Swedish Kiss Me (Kyss Mig) and Belgium’s North Sea Texas (Noordzee Texas).

Eastern Cape Gay and Lesbian Association (ECGLA) chairman David Hessey said the festival aimed to showcase filmmaking talent and educate the public about the association’s work.

“Our doors are open to anyone who wishes to attend. We not only strive to educate people about being gay, lesbian or transsexual, we also have outreach programmes,” he said.

“Most surprisingly, a very positive reaction I have had was at St Albans prison. It came as a shock to me, as the reaction caught me completely off guard.”

Compared to other communities, where discussing HIV/Aids was frowned upon, staff and prisoners had been very keen to learn, Hessay said. “We aim to educate people about HIV and corrective rape.

“One of our aims is the counselling of men who have testicular cancer, which is still very prevalent in rural communities,” he said.

The festival runs from 6.45pm till 10.20pm today, and from 5.15pm until 10.25pm tomorrow. Entry is free.

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