Placing LGBTI rights in Africa at the forefront of human rights
André Wallström is a producer specialised in marketing and distribution of documentary films. He runs an international production company and branded content agency together with award-winning director and brother Jonny Von Wallström. He also founded Story4Change, a non-profit organisation using documentaries in order to raise the awareness of human rights around the globe. He has long experience of internet marketing and PR, both within the film industry and the advertising business.
The two brothers uncovered rampant homophobia in Uganda while Jonny was making music videos for a famous Ugandan R&B act in Stockholm. When the Anti-Homosexuality Act was introduced in the country in 2009, they understood that behind the jokes of the hip hop scene, there was a very serious religious and social issue.
They started to research about the plight of LGBTI people in Uganda and eventually he met Cleopatra Kambugu, a then-26-year-old student and pre-op transsexual activist. Cleopatra became the subject of the documentary The Pearl of Africa, recently presented at Hot Docs Film Festival, in Toronto. You can read our review here.
The Pearl of Africa was originally a web series on The Huffington Post. Around December 2014 and early 2015, Wallström started getting requests from universities and colleges to use the series in class. With the support of professors, he and his brother adapted the original project into a one-hour film to be used in class.
Wallström actively supports LGBTI rights worldwide. Cleopatra Kambugu hopes to become the first transsexual person to be accepted as her true gender identity in Uganda. You can contact Wallström and support the Pearl of Africa campaign by clicking here.