God Loves Uganda

God Loves Uganda

  • BY Roger Ross Williams | IN Faith
    Premiered May 19, 2014

About the Film

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. MORE

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 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.


Film Credits

Produced and Directed by
Roger Ross Williams

Julie Goldman

Richard Hankin Benjamin Gray

Line Producer
Carolyn Hepburn

Associate Producers
Paige Ruane Casper de Boer Betsy Ford

Director of Photography
Derek Wiesehahn

Original Music
Mark degli Antoni

Field Producer – Uganda
Crispin Buxton

Production Manager
Jennifer Brunetti

Additional Cinematography
Jake Clennell

Additional Camera
Isaac Alongi
Ali Bakka
Andrew Dryer
Zac Eubank
David Hausen
Shane Hofeldt
Ceasar Kayumba
Stephen McCarthy
Nathan Ochole
Paige Ruane

Sound Recordists
Charles Cann
Bryan Kisembo Delon
Stuart Deutsch
Michael Haack
Hosea Jemba
Stephen Kane
Timothy Munger
Jerry Stein

Roger Ross Williams
Richard Hankin
Benjamin Gray

Assistant Editors
Christopher Radcliff
Casper de Boer

Second Assistant Editors
Steven Bozga
Cailley Frank-Lehrer
Cheriyan Philip John
Sean Lyness

Fixers – Uganda
Ali Bakka
Michael Wawuyo
Mbabazi Kwagala Eriya

Production Assistant
Lynne Melcher

Translations / Transcripts
Moses Bert Mabonga

Title Design
Allison Moore

Off-line Services
Orchard Films

Post Production Finishing Services
Goldcrest Post

HD Colorist
John J. Dowdell III

HD Finishing Artists
Michelle Ambruz
Boon Shin Ng

HD Supervisor
Tim Spitzer

HD Producer
Jean Lane

Re-Recording Mixer
Peter Waggoner

Sound Edit and Design
Ira Spiegel
Marlena Grzaslewicz
Matt Rigby

Sound Mix Facility
Gigantic Post

Additional Audio Services
Nick Sjostrom

Archival Supervisor
Sofia Santana

Photos Courtesy of
Rev. Kapya Kaoma
Geoffrey Sseruyange
Getty Images

Archival Footage Courtesy of
ABC NEWS VideoSource
Patricia Ackerman
Chain Camera Pictures
CNN ImageSource
Christie Herring
Insight News Television
ITN Source
JumpStart Productions LLC
Rev. Kapya Kaoma
Dominique Mesmin
Joe Oliverio
WPA Film Library

Special Thanks
All Out
Carey Allen Johnson
Laura Anderson
Jackie Asiimwe-Mwesige
Wayne Besen
Mike Bickle
Marion Boenders
Mark Bromley
Shashi Buluswar
Maria Burnett
Jim Burroway
Center for Constitutional Rights
Chris Clements
Ellie Collinson
Ron and Shirley DeVore
Abigail Downs
Julie Dorf
Cambridge Episcopal Divinity School
The Episcopal Parish of Christ Church / Iglesia de san Juan
Freedom and Roam Uganda
Donald Gatlin
Angela M. Gavioli
Innokentv Grekov
Sharon Groves
Icebreakers Uganda
International House of Prayer
Julius Kaggwa
Shasha Kalule Kirumira
Robyn Lieberman
Pastor Don Lyon
Dan and Loring Morris
Arnold Mugabo
Frank Mugisha
Nicholas C. Muleme
Andrew Mwenda
Rev. Albert Ogle
LeRoy Potts
Public Research Associates
Josh Pushkin
The Raben Group
Laura Raymond
Holly Richardson
Aaron Sampson
Sexual Minorities Uganda
Jeff Sharlet
Southern Poverty Law Center
St. Paul’s Reconciliation and Equality Centre
Tad Stahnke
Rachel Tabachnick
Theresa Taylor
Joseph Tolton
Urvashi Vaid
Wendy Via
Dennis Wamala
Charles Watt Smith
Alicin Williamson
Bruce Wilson

Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer

Funding Provided by
Ford Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Sundance Documentary Fund
Bertha Foundation
Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund
Tribeca All Access
Danish Broadcasting Company
Alan Ginsberg

God Loves Uganda is a co-production of Full Credit Productions, Inc., Motto Pictures, Inc., and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

This program was produced by Full Credit Productions, Inc. who is solely responsible for its content

© 2013 Full Credit Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Missionary work has been central to the spread of Christianity around the world, but is also associated with the spread of ideology and colonialism. Does this film make you think differently about the intersection between faith and politics in the developing world?


  • Sheffield International Documentary Festival
    Youth Jury Award
  • Philadelphia Film Festival
    Best Documentary Feature
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Missionary work has been central to the spread of Christianity around the world, but is also associated with the spread of ideology and colonialism. Does this film make you think differently about the intersection between faith and politics in the developing world?