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The virtual BFI Film Festival was held from the 7th to 18th October. This year, the Festival Awards were placed in the hands of the audience with all contemporary films presented virtually being eligible. Below is my audio interview with Peter Murimi.

Film: I Am Samuel

'Samuel grew up in the Kenyan countryside, where tradition is valued above all else. He is close to his mother but his father, a local pastor, doesn’t understand why he isn’t married yet. After moving to Kenya's capital in search of work and a new life, Samuel falls in love with Alex and finds community and belonging. Their love thrives despite the fact that Kenyan laws criminalize anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+. Despite threats of violence and rejection, Samuel and Alex move between their co-existing worlds, hoping to win acceptance in both.' Listen here to interview with Director, Peter Murimi. I Am Samuel is one of those powerful documentaries that will hopefully get audiences reflecting and contemplating on their own perceptions and prejudices of how we view others, who are often seen as 'different' from us or from societal norm and what this then brings up within us and how our fundamental core beliefs are often uncomfortably challenged i.e our prejudices and limitations.

The film also offers us the chance to step back and look at our own perception of love and commitment and what that truly entails outside of what is deemed to be the norm i.e man, woman and point two children. Isn't love that which is shared between two people who are committed to each other, who enjoy each other's company, who are prepared to work at things together and who want to be together? Rather-than than to be identified by Gender alone? The film also raises questions about how we can all be unconsciously challenged by a situation, without realising how deep rooted our prejudices run and how at our very core we are often forced to deconstruct every belief we have ever known culturally, traditionally and what society deems to be 'acceptable' and 'the norm'? Many times it is this deep conditioning, that keeps us trapped in boxes of limitations about how we should be when we are so much more than what we show up to be or allow ourselves to expand into. We go along with the status quo, rather-than find the courage to go along with how we really feel and what we really want. Listen to interview by Esther Austin with Director Peter Murimi here: Website: Twitter: @IamSamuelFilm Director/Producer – Peter Murimi Producer – Toni Kamau Writer/ Editor – Ricardo Acosta Composer – Eric Wainaina Executive Producer – Judy Kibinge Executive Producer – Peter Mudamba Executive Producer – Roger Ross Williams

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