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Filmmaker Exposes Homophobia in the Bahamas

Children of God, a new movie from gay filmmaker Kareem Mortimer, shines a spotlight on homophobia in the Bahamas.

Mortimer, a native Bahamian, told The Hollywood Reporter that his film was inspired by the murders of five gay men in the country over a period of several months in 2007 and 2008. "Two of them I knew personally," Mortimer said. "One was the subject of a documentary I produced -- he had AIDS and was killed very violently near where I live. He was almost decapitated. Another guy, a fashion designer, was stabbed multiple times in his house."

In Children of God, Mortimer focuses on the lives of a gay couple hiding their relationship from one partner's family and the wife of an antigay -- yet closeted -- pastor.

Bahamas International Film Festival executive director Leslie Vanderpool said Mortimer's film received a positive response earlier this month at the sixth annual event. "There was no negative reaction at all, and that's because people were ready for it," she said. "I really want Bahamians to be exposed to these types of stories -- and then move on."

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