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// Films // Born this Way

Born this Way

Shaun Kadlec & Deb Tullmann / Cameroon - United States / 2013 / 82 ' / French - Bengali / S.T. English


Josh Peterson
Deb Tullmann & Shaun Kadlec
Joan Jeanrenaud
Shaun Kadlec, Deb Tullmann & Jamie Wolfe
Re-recording Mixer: James LeBrecht
Re-recording Mixer: Dan Olmsted

Awards & Festivals

​Berlinale International Film Festival
Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
Torino LGBT Film Festival
Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Boston LGBT Film Festival

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

In Production

The battle for sexual equality in Cameroon proves to be perilous and harrowing for members of the underground LGBTQ community.


There are more arrests for homosexuality in Cameroon than any other country in the world. With intimate access to the lives of four young gay Cameroonians, Born This Way steps outside the genre of activist filmmaking and offers a vivid and poetic portrait of day-to-day life in modern Africa. Lyrical imagery, devastating homophobia, the influence of western culture and a hidden-camera courtroom drama mysteriously coalesce into a story of what is possible in the global fight for equality.

Born This Way follows Cedric and Gertrude, two young Cameroonians, as they move between a secret, supportive LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and an outside culture that, though intensely homophobic, is in transition toward greater acceptance.

Cedric and Gertrude, the focus of the film, are only out to their closest friends, but they both dream of sharing the truth about who they really are with their families. Cedric wants to come out to his mom, and Gertrude wants to come out to the mother superior who raised her in a Catholic convent.

Both Cedric and Gertrude work at a non-profit organization that officially operates as an HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention center, but also functions as an LGBT community center. It is one of the only places in Cameroon where LGBT people can come together as their full selves, free of fear of going to jail, of being attacked, of being rejected by family and friends.

The film follows Cedric and Gertrude through the most intimate parts of their lives as they grapple with homophobia, religion and the complexities of traditional Cameroonian culture—and as they prepare to come out to their mothers. At the same time, their activism becomes bolder and stronger as they work to help defend two young women on trial for charges of homosexuality.


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