Mirror Headlines: News Briefs

Symphony Adds Arsht to Masterworks Season

Miami audiences will have the opportunity this season to enjoy the music of the South Florida Symphony, announced symphony president and CEO Jacqueline Lorber.

Until this season, the symphony performed its classics series in Key West, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton. According to Lorber, the symphony’s critically-acclaimed performance last season of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Master Choral of South Florida generated interest from the Miami-Dade arts community.

“There’s a lot more knowledge of the symphony since that performance and with

knowledge comes interest,” she said.

Lorber is not daunted by the challenge of filling such a large venue: “Wherever we are (performing), we’re doing well.”

As the symphony prepares for its 20th anniversary season in 2017, Lorber is working hard to build support.

“We have 45 concerts and events planned this year. Everything is happening at a much higher level,” she said.

For a concert schedule and ticket information, go to SouthFloridaSymphony.org.

 

Kamoga Hassan

Gay Filmmaker Risks Imprisonment, Death to Stage Festival in Uganda

We may have won the right to marry in the U.S. and receive some limited legal protections, but it’s easy to forget that LGBT people in other many countries—particularly Africa, the Caribbean and parts ofAsia—often face persecution, imprisonment and even execution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Mirror was recently contacted by Kamoga Hassan, a young filmmaker from the central African nation of

Uganda. Hassan hopes to start an LGBT film festival in the nation’s capital, Kampala, and has been seeking financial support via social media and crowdfunding sites.

Hassan spoke with Mirror about his hopes and dreams and the dangers he and others face as they pursue

the project:

What inspired you to pursue the festival in such an LGBT-hostile country?

Being a Ugandan and a filmmaker, I was raised to always aim higher in life, so after my film “OUTED” received several international recognitions and screenings, I started to think of ways how, as a filmmaker, I could support other film makers who are passionate about voicing the plight of the LGBT communities in the world. The sole purpose of filming “Outed” was to shed a light on the way LGBT’s are treated in Uganda, but through it something even bigger has been born. The Queer Kampala International Film festival starting December 9 - 16, 2016 will bring together various filmmakers, each with a unique story worthy to be screened and heard.

Aren’t you risking physical harm or even imprisonment for promoting homosexuality in your country?

Thinking of risks only fills the mind with fear and, honestly, I am not afraid to take risks as they make life worth living. I think about the gay rights activists who have been killed and tortured and those who have gone into hiding. I agree it’s not safe, but my passion and cause surpasses all fears. As along as I am alive, I will continue to do what I can in the best way I know how to create dialogue, freedom and wellbeing for the LGBT community in Uganda and around the world.

What do you want LGBT people in the U.S. to know about your efforts on the festival?

I want them to know that the main goal of the festival is to increase awareness and tolerance of sexual identity issues through increased public exposure using films. We would like to spread correct information on sexual identity to the public and promote equality. People in the U.S.A. who care about LGBTQ rights around the world can help make this happen. Homosexuality is a capital crime in Uganda, that’s why starting the country’s first LGBT-themed film festival is a big deal. I hope they will stand against oppression and violence by helping the festival financially with any contribution.

To learn more about the Queer Kampala International Film Festival and support the efforts of Kamoga Hassan, go to QueerKIFF.com.


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