Roger Ross's moving documentary God Loves Uganda, about American evangelical influence in Africa and the spread of homophobia, is among the 15 films that have been shortlisted for Academy Award consideration. The openly gay filmmaker discussed how he was "outed" during the difficult and dangerous process of making the film.
"We didn’t talk about me being gay, but there was one hairy moment when the Ugandans found out," he explained. "I was outed, so to speak, in Uganda when I was invited to dinner at the home of an antigay pastor. I was terrified...Someone who wanted to expose me sent them an email that said I’m gay. They’d pulled an interview I’d done from the Internet. The Ugandans said, 'We love you and we want to pray for you and cure you.' "
Five nominees will be selected from the list and be announced Jan. 16 with the rest of the nominations. The 86th Academy Awards ceremony is March 2.
Here's the list of the other films:
- The Act of Killing
- 20 Feet From Stardom
- The Armstrong Lie
- Stories We Tell
- Tim's Vermeer
- The Square
- The Crash Reel
- Cutie and the Boxer
- Dirty Wars
- First Cousin Once Removed
- Life According to Sam
- Pussy Riot: A Punk's Prayer
- Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington
Some were disappointed that Bridegroom, which recently aired on Oprah's OWN, did not make the list. The sentimental story documents the story of Shane Bitney Crone (who Out interviewed after the film won numerous festival awards) and Tom Bridegroom's relationship and how he was kept from his partner by Bridegroom's family after his sudden death.