The organisers of South Africa’s gay film festival are planning to take the cultural event to gay people and groups across the region.

For 12 years, the South African “Out in Africa” film festival has been one of the biggest cultural events on the gay calendar, now the films will be taken to neighbouring African countries where homosexuality is not seen as positively.

Gay groups and individuals can already watch free DVDs of films featured in the event in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, organisers plan to distribute in six more African countries by the end of the year.

Festival director Nodi Murphy said there is clear enthusiasm across the continent, he told Reuters, “You go to small communities where people are just thirsting for knowledge, they’re thirsting for images of themselves. They’re so appreciative. They’re ready to celebrate.”

South Africa is the only country in the region to support gay rights.