Five Films For Freedom, the world’s largest LGBT+ digital film campaign, starts today – marking six years of broadcasting five brand new LGBT+ films to countries around the world, including those where homosexuality remains illegal. Included in the programme is the Irish LGBT+ film, 134.
In a continuing creative partnership, the British Council makes five short films from the BFI Flare: London LGBT+ Film Festival available across the British Council’s global digital networks, free of charge, from March 18 – 29, 2020.
This year’s BFI Flare Festival was cancelled due to the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 Five Films For Freedom line-up sees filmmakers tell compelling LGBT+ stories, from navigating family relationships to the struggle for and celebration of sexual freedom.
Global audiences are encouraged to show solidarity with LGBT+ communities around the world by watching the films on the British Council’s YouTube Arts channel.
This year’s Five Films For Freedom programme comprises an inspiring mix of drama and documentary from multi-award-winning directors and screenwriters. The selection includes:
An Irish LGBT+ film capturing a family’s voyage through gender identity, modern adolescence and parental expectation. Director Sarah-Jane Drummey gives viewers an emotional glimpse into protagonist Jack’s journey to win the love and acceptance of their parents.
After That Party
Brazilian director Caio Scot tells the moving story of a man on a mission to find the perfect way to tell his father he knows the truth about his sexuality.
A UK documentary from Laura Kirwan-Ashman, co-founder of female film collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah, offering a unique insight into the London-based QTIPOC (queer, trans, intersex, people of colour) collective and eponymous club night.
Something In The Closet
British writer and director Nosa Eke’s short film sees a queer teenager struggle with her sexuality as her desires begin to manifest themselves in unsettling ways.
When Pride Came To Town
Award-winning directors Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæter provide a provocative yet heart-warming account of Norway’s rural Pride network through the eyes of 52 year-old Bjørn-Tore, shedding light on the ongoing battle for gay rights in one of Europe’s most liberal countries.
Over 14 million people from more than 200 countries have viewed the Five Films For Freedom programme since its launch in 2015. This includes online engagement in countries where homosexuality remains illegal, and in some cases punishable by death.
Acknowledging Five Films For Freedom as a unique global opportunity for LGBT+ support and connection, former participant and Scottish film director, Siri Rødnes, said:
“Five Films For Freedom made my short film Take Your Partners available all over the world to audiences it would never otherwise have reached. I am immensely proud to have been involved in this truly innovative programme and to have had the opportunity to promote and publicly discuss my film’s universal themes on such an international scale.”
Building on the success of Five Films For Freedom, the British Council and partners BFI Flare: London LGBT+ Film Festival and BFI NETWORK last year announced three further LGBT+ short film commissions due to be shared later this year under the banner #MoreFilms4Freedom.
Michael Blyth, Senior Programmer, BFI Flare, said: “Since its inception in 2015, Five Films For Freedom has given us the opportunity to share queer stories with millions of audiences across the world. As LGBT+ people in many countries continue the ongoing fight for basic human rights, this campaign offers an essential moment for global communities to come together in solidarity and ensure that our collective voices remain heard.”
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