George Gachara, the executive producer of Stories of Our Lives, has reportedly been arrested in Kenya for allegedly violating that country’s Films and Stage Plays Act. The news of the arrest was posted Oct 15 on the Facebook site of the Nest Collective, the Kenyan arts group that made the film.
Stories of Our Lives uses a series of black and white vignettes to portray the lives of LGBT people in Kenya. It was recently banned in the East African country, with the government prohibiting any private or public screenings.
Gachara was in Toronto recently for the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. He and others involved in its making and promotion, who until then had been anonymous, made the daring decision to reveal their names at TIFF, in a show of solidarity with the Kenyan LGBT community.
In the above video interview, from September, Gachara discusses the implications and possible consequences of making a gay-themed film in Kenya.
According to Nest’s Facebook site, Gachara has been released on bail pending a hearing on Oct 17.
UPDATE: On Oct 16, the Nest Collective published on its website an account of the arrest and more details about on the legal issues facing the filmmaker.
UPDATE: On Oct 17, the Next Collective published on its Facebook page an update that George Gachara has been released on bail. His next hearing is in March 2015.