Official Selection

  • “Sidney & Friends is a definite must watch.”

    Toni&Guy Magazine
  • “Beautifully assembled… draws the audience in and challenges our perceptions.”

    Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
  • “Fascinating and deeply moving.”

    BFI Flare
  • “Truly, a beautiful, difficult and important work of film art…
    The indomitable spirit of humanity shines through.”

  • “Everyone is on their own journey and no society has the right to deny someone’s destiny. We are all looking for one thing, happiness, and this film is part of that journey.”

    Willis Austin Chimano, Musician, Sauti Sol
  • “Very powerful. Unlike anything ever seen from the African continent.”

    Bisi Alimi, LGBT Advocate
  • “One of the most impacting and breathtaking reflections of intersex and trans life. Sidney and his friends’ courage, bravery and pain will move mountains.”

    Intersex UK

About the Film

When his family tries to kill him, Sidney, who is intersex, flees to Nairobi where he meets a group of transgender friends. Together, they fight discrimination and discover life, love and self-worth.

Sidney grew up in rural western Kenya. He didn’t like wearing skirts or doing chores that girls are traditionally supposed to do, preferring herding cattle and playing football. Sidney was born intersex, but Sidney only knew he was different. Growing up, he found these differences increasingly made him stand out in the community, a source of concern to family members that manifested itself into chastisement, castigation, and hate.

His family say he is possessed by demons, demons that make him want to become a man. When Sidney fled from his family’s prejudice, he was forced from slum to slum, stripped in public and beaten. His life changed when he eventually met a group of transgender friends. For the first time in his life, Sidney was no longer alone…

Feature documentary Sidney & Friends is a heartfelt exploration of the hopes, dreams, and everyday reality of a group of intersex and transgender friends fighting to survive on the edge of Kenyan society. Join Sidney and his new friends as they share what it is like to grow up and live as a gender minority, in a region known for prejudice and discrimination against its LGBTI population. Filmed over 3 years, our friends reveal the secrets of their struggles with poignancy and sometimes also humour. The premise is simple; it’s about gender, friendship…and love.

About the Film

Announced Screenings



(World Premiere)

Mar 22, 18:15, BFI Flare, BFI Southbank, London, UK.

Mar 24, 20:20, BFI Flare, BFI Southbank, London, UK.

Mar 25, 15:20, BFI Flare, BFI Southbank, London, UK.


(Germany Premiere)

Apr 19, 20:30, Transgender Film Festival, Kino in der Pumpe, Kiel, Germany.

(Poland Premiere)

Apr 21, 16:00, Afrykamera/LGBT Film Festival, Kinoteka, Warsaw, Poland.

Apr 21, 18:00, LGBT Film Festival, Kino Bodo, Lodz, Poland.

Apr 21, 18:30, LGBT Film Festival, Kino Nowe Horyzonty, Wroclaw, Poland.

Apr 22, 20:00, LGBT Film Festival, Kino Kosmos, Katowice, Poland.

Apr 23, 20:00, LGBT Film Festival, Kinoteka, Warsaw, Poland.

Apr 26, 15:30, LGBT Film Festival, Kino Muza, Poznan, Poland.

Apr 30, 18:00, LGBT Film Festival, Zak Club, Gdansk, Poland.


(Spain Premiere)

May 1, 17:00, CLAM – Festival Internacional de Cinema Social de Catalunya, Manresa, Spain.

May 8, 19:15, LGBT Film Festival Kino Pod Baranami, Krakow, Poland.

(USA Premiere)

May 11, 19:00, Translations: 13th Seattle Transgender Film Festival, Erickson Theatre, Seattle, U.S.A.

May 11, 19:30, LGBT Film Festival, ACK UMCS Chatka Zaka, Lublin, Poland.

(South Asia Premiere)

May 26, 11:00, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, Metro INOX, Mumbai, India.


(Italy Premiere)

Jul 6, 21:00, Sole Luna International Documentary Film Festival, Palermo, Italy.

Jul, 18:30 , Queer Vision 2018 at Bristol Pride, Watershed, Bristol, UK. (Q&A with Filmmaker)

Jul 28, 19:00, QFEST, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Houston, USA.


(Latin America Premiere)

Aug 21, 20:00, Doqumenta, Cineteca Rosalio Solano, Queretaro, Mexico.

Aug 23, 18:30, STAMPED: Pensacola LGBTQ Film Festival, Little Theater, Pensacola, FL, USA.

(Asia Premiere)

Aug 24, 16:50, Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, SPOT Huashan Cinema, Taipei, Taiwan.

Aug 24, 21:00, Transgender Film Fest, The Cinema Museum, London, UK.

Aug 27, 11:00, Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, SPOT Huashan Cinema, Taipei, Taiwan.


Sept 12, 16:30, Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.


Oct 10, 18:00, Queerfilm, City 46, Bremen, Germany.

Oct 12, 17:15, TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, USA.

Oct 14 – 17, Bangkok Thai International Film Festival, Bangkok Arts & Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand.

(Switzerland Premiere)

Oct 19, 17:00. Everybody’s Perfect, Maison Des Arts Grutli, Geneva, Switzerland.

Oct 19, 20:00, Hamburg International Queer Film Festival, Passage Kino, Hamburg, Germany.

Oct 21, 17:00, Queer Streifen, Film Galerie, Regensburg, Germany.

Oct 23, 22:00, Perlen Hannover Queer Film Festival, Kommunales Kino, Hannover, Germany.

(Finland Premiere)

Oct 24, 18:00, Vinokino Docs, Tuseta, Turku, Finland.

Oct 27, 13:45, Newfest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival, Cinepolis Chelsea, NYC, USA.

(Denmark Premiere)

Oct 28, 16:15, MIX Copenhagen, Cinemateket, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Oct 28, 11:00, Newfest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival, Cinepolis Chelsea, NYC, USA.


Nov 1, 19:00, MIX Copenhagen, Cinemateket, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nov 10, 20:30, Film Africa, Rich Mix, London, UK.

(Scotland Premiere)

Nov 11, 13:00, Inverness Film Festival, Eden Court Theatre and Cinema, Inverness, Scotland.

Nov 15, 19:00, Queer Film Festival Playa Del Carmen, Cinepolis, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

Nov 16, 18:30, Vinokino Docs, Kirjasto Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

(Ecuador Premiere)

Nov 20, 18:00, El Lugar Sin Limites, Quito, Ecuador.

(Belgium Premiere)

Nov 22, 19:30, Holebi Film Festival, Cinema ZED Vesalius, Leuven, Belgium.

Nov 23, 17:30, El Lugar Sin Limites, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

(Guatemala Premiere)

Nov 24, 16:00, La Otra Banqueta, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Nov 25 , 17:00, La Otra Banqueta, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Nov 25 , 13:45, Transforming Cinema, The Void Cinema, Sheffield, UK.

(Canada Premiere)

Nov 25, 15:00, Image + Nation, Concordia University Cinema, Montreal, Canada.

Nov 27, 21:00, GLBT Filmfest Slovenia, Ariston Cinema, Trieste, Italy.

(Slovenia Premiere)

Nov 29, 17:30, GLBT Filmfest Slovenia, Slovenska Kinoteka, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Dec 4, 17:00, Festival de Cine y Derechos Humanos Madrid, Cineteca Matadero, Madrid, Spain.

(Chile Premiere)

Dec 5, 19:00, Global Migration Film Festival, Centro Cultural de Tome, Chile.

(Dominican Republic Premiere)

Dec 6, 19:00, Global Migration Film Festival, Cinema Boreal, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Dec 6, 12:30, Scottish Queer International Film Festival, Centre For Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland.

Dec 10, 19:00, Global Migration Film Festival, Centro Cultural Baquedano, Rancagua, Chile.

Dec 10, 19:00, Global Migration Film Festival, Ministerio de Culturas (Centex), Valparaiso, Chile.

Dec 11, 16:10, Omovies, Palazzo Delle Arti, Napoli, Italy.

Dec 13, 19:00, Global Migration Film Festival, Centro Cultural Baquedano, Curico, Chile.

(El Salvador Premiere)

Dec 14, 18:00, Global Migration Film Festival, Centro Cultural de España en El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador.

Dec 15, 15:00, Global Migration Film Festival, Museo de la Educacion, Santiago, Chile.

Dec 15, 16:15, Global Migration Film Festival, Bangkok Screening Room, Bangkok, Thailand.



Dec 23, 19:00, Massimadi Festival des Films & des Arts LGBTQ+ Afro, Salle J.A de Sève de Concordia, Montréal, Canada.

(Australia Premiere)

Dec 23, 15:00, Mardi Gras Film Festival, Golden Age Cinema, Sydney, Australia.

March 2019

(Los Angeles Premiere)

Mar 2, 15:00, OutFest Fusion, TCL Chinese Theatres, Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, USA.

Mar 3, 17:50, Divine Queer, Viabaltea, Turin, Italy.


(Romania Premiere)

Apr 17, 17:30, Serile Filmului Gay International Film Festival, British Council, Cluj, Romania.


(Croatia Premiere)

May 25, 19:00, SMOQUA, Art-Kino, Rijeka, Croatia.

(Trinidad & Tobago Premiere)

May 26, 16:00, Africa Film Trinidad & Tobago, Little Carib Theatre, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.


June 01, 17:00, Transcreen, Kriterion, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Aug 17, 16:00, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver, Canada.

Tickets available directly from each cinema via online or box office.

Check back for future screening announcements or follow us @sidneykenyafilm on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to keep up to date.

Director's Statement

In 2013 I travelled to Kenya to visit my sister but a meeting with Guillit, a transboi and activist would change the course of the next 4 years of my life. Guillit just wanted to be heard. He told me other members of the transgender and intersex community, living on the edge of society, wanted to speak out too.

I was welcomed into the small community where other filmmakers and journalists had been refused access. Over a two-month period, I got to know six members of this community. Despite the risks involved, all were determined to tell their story.

Some interviews were incredibly difficult. Our contributors have suffered traumatic life events and there were several times I had chills at what I was being told. Sidney recalls one occasion he was being beaten by a group with clubs and sticks while his mother just stood and watched. He also told me about an incident where he was beaten, stripped, and left for dead in the street by a gang. A kind doctor paid for a motorcycle taxi to take him home. When the driver dropped him off, Sidney’s father turned to the driver and said, “If she is not dead, take her away, because I have already started digging her grave.”

This film is guerrilla and zero-budget. We have been able to complete the film through incredible hard work from our post-production team whom have contributed their talents and time. I have been generously supported by ScreenHI and XpoNorth, who promote the screen and broadcast industry in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
The creative vision was to produce a feature that shows the reality of living as transgender or intersex in Africa and show the day to day obstacles and hurdles that people from this community face the world over. I always wanted to do this in a way that is not sensationalist but soft and touching, the sort of film you would want to give a hug to…that is Sidney & Friends. — Tristan Aitchison

Director's Statement

This film was completed with generous support from:

Sidney & Friends is working with several intersex ,transgender and gender minority organisations. If you would like to know more about issues surrounding the subject matter of the film or if you are looking for support then please follow the links.

Intersex UKEATHAN (East Africa)