God Loves Uganda

Preview (:30)

About the Film

Rev. Jo Anna Watson  prays in Uganda American missionaries praying in front of world map Bishop Christopher Senyonjo watches local children dance

God Loves Uganda explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa,” where American missionaries have been credited with creating schools and hospitals, but also blamed for promoting dangerous religious bigotry. For many American evangelicals, Uganda is fertile territory to spread their interpretation of the Bible. But their proselytizing may have more nefarious results than they realize, as the missionaries’ teachings about homosexuality becomes part of a culture of intolerance and hatred towards Uganda’s LGBT community.

Produced and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams — whose father was a religious leader and sister is a pastor — the film records the tense atmosphere of fear created when a virulently anti-gay bill wins widespread support. Now signed into law, the Anti-Homosexuality Act mandates a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for engaging in homosexual activity as well as imprisonment for those who provide aid or counseling to members of the LGBT community.

Using vérité-style camerawork, interviews, and hidden camera footage, God Loves Uganda allows American religious leaders and their young missionaries that make up the “front lines in a battle for billions of souls” to explain their positions in their own words. This includes Lou Engle, creator of The Call, which brings tens of thousands of believers together in “solemn assemblies.” It also offers a rare view of the most powerful evangelical minister in Uganda, and of a Ugandan church where a preacher whips a congregation into mass hysteria with anti-gay rhetoric. It also features the story of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a minister excommunicated, ostracized, and literally spat on for being tolerant, who campaigns for peace and healing in Uganda, as well as an interview with gay activist David Kato shortly before he was murdered.

The Filmmaker

Roger Ross Williams, Director/Producer

Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams

Roger Ross Williams also directed and produced Music by Prudence, about 21-year-old Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena, which won the 2010 Academy Award for documentary short subject. He is the first African American to win an Oscar for directing and producing a film. He has produced and directed dozens of hours of non-fiction programming for major television networks and cable channels, including ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Food Network, Sundance Channel, TLC, VH1, and Michael Moore’s Emmy Award-winning series TV Nation, and has won numerous awards for his work. Williams has several projects in development, including a feature narrative film about the African American Baptist church titled Black Sheep.