Thiruvananthapuram: Rafiki, a film banned in its home country Kenya, would be screened at the 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala. The film was directed by Wanuri Kahiu and deals with the subject of homosexuality. This is the first Kenyan film to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival where it was included under the ‘world cinema’ category.

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Kahiu tried to pull off the film in a conservative Kenyan society in which LGBTQ people are not allowed to address their partners as lovers but they can as 'rafiki' (friends) in the Swahili language, where same-sex marriage is illegal and homosexuality is criminalised.

Rafiki tells the love story of two girls, Kena and Ziki. Kena, a tomboyish Kenyan girl, falls for Ziki, who is the daughter of the political rival of Kena's father. Both of them try to be secretive about their relationship, but eventually are forced to choose between their love and safety.

The women-led film - from female director, writers, crew members, trainees, to sound-track artists - was banned by the Kenyan Film Classification Board. Due to its homosexual theme, it was screened a mere seven times even after the lifting of the ban as Kahiu sued the government.

It was shown to a sold-out crowd at a cinema at Nairobi, and the ban raised international outrage by the supporters of LGBTQ rights.