Roger Ross Williams Talks Inspiration, Motivation, Lessons In His Doc 'God Loves Uganda'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 4, 2013 10:06 AM
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Described as a journey into the heart of East Africa, where Ugandan pastors and their American counterparts spread God’s word and evangelical values to millions desperate for a better life, Roger Ross Williams' God Loves Uganda, will make its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival next month.

Inspired by his own roots in the African American Baptist church, director Williams says that he seeks to explore a place where religion and African culture intersect.

"I am interested in the exploration of religion in Africa, with the goals of understanding and healing. I am the son of a pastor, the brother of a pastor and I spent my life growing up singing in the gospel choir of my family church. I want to get to know, and comprehend African cultural views. I want to explore the Western media’s portrayal of Africa. I want to know what it is about the lives of the Ugandan people which inspires such deep faith. I want to make a film possessing complexity and depth."

I'm definitely intrigued by this project, as I've stated in previous posts.

Williams' last film, the Zimbabwe-set Music by Prudence, won the 2010 Oscar for Best Documentary Short - the highest filmmaker honor (in ths country anyway). The award made Williams the first African American to win an Oscar for directing and producing a film, short or feature (trivia).

We've been following God Loves Uganda's progress since last summer, when it was announced that it was 1 of 8 international projects selected to receive a piece of the $150,000 in documentary finishing funds from the 2012 Gucci Tribeca Documentary FundThe project was also 1 of 24 documentary film fellows representing nine film projects to participate in the 2012 Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Labs.

In the new clip below, director Williams talks about God Loves Uganda, his inspiration and motivation for making it, as well as what he hopes audiences take from it (and underneath, you'll find the film's trailer):

The film's meditative first trailer has surfaced and it's embedded below:

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