On October 14, streaming platform Afridocs welcomed Kenyan documentary I Am Samuel to their roster, making the film available to watch for free across Africa. I Am Samuel tells the story of Samuel, a gay Kenyan man navigating day-to-day life in Nairobi with his partner Alex and his relationship with his parents. Award-winning director Pete Murimi and producer Toni Kamau filmed I Am Samuel over five years, offering a powerful, intimate look into the experiences of LGBTQ+ communities in a country that continues to uphold colonial-era laws that criminalize homosexuality and ban same-sex marriage.
Despite the Kenyan Film Classification board’s banning of the documentary due to its positive portrayal of LGBTQ+ people and same-sex marriage, I Am Samuel has been featured at over 25 film festivals since premiering in 2020. I Am Samuel’s North American film festival run was supported by GLAAD and organizations like the Sundance Institute and Docubox East Africa. GLAAD was a proud Presenting Partner for the documentary’s virtual screening and Q&A at the 2020 Human Rights Watch Film Festival.
I Am Samuel is slated to be featured at several European film festivals in October and November 2021, including the Human Rights Film Festival in Switzerland and the Mix Copenhagen Film Festival. For US and UK audiences, the film is available to watch on iTunes.