British Council and BFI Flare reveal programme for sixth edition of Five Films For Freedom campaign


Five Films For Freedom, the world’s largest LGBTIQ+ digital campaign, will mark its sixth year by broadcasting five brand new LGBTIQ+ films to countries around the world, including those where homosexuality remains illegal.

In this continuing creative partnership, the British Council makes five short films from the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival available across the British Council’s global digital networks, free of charge, from 18 – 29 March 2020.

In 2020, filmmakers from Norway, Ireland, Brazil, and the UK explore compelling LGBTIQ+ realities, from navigating family relationships to the struggle for and celebration of sexual freedom. Watch the campaign trailer via the link in the attached release.

Global audiences are encouraged to show solidarity with LGBTIQ+ 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:

134 (Ireland) Dir. Sarah-Jane Drummey

Jack Leahy always knew he was a girl. The film begins and ends with the moment Jack first publicly presents himself as such. While Jack’s mother Christine is in full support when the film begins, we get a hint of her past turmoil. But ultimately, it is his father’s love and acceptance that Jack seeks. Sarah-Jane Drummey enjoyed a successful career as an actress in her native Ireland and the UK before becoming an award-winning filmmaker.

After That Party / Depois Daquela Festa (Brazil) Dir. Caio Scot

Leo had never imagined he would see his father kissing another man in the middle of a party…Until it happened. Now, with the help of his best friend Carol, he has to find the most perfect way to tell his father that he found out about his secret. Caio Scot is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter. Depois Daquela Festa is his second short film.

Pxssy Palace (UK) Dir. Laura Kirwan-Ashman

An introduction to and snapshot of Pxssy Palace, a London-based QTIPOC (queer, trans, intersex, people of colour) collective and club night. Laura Kirwan-Ashman is a writer-director whose work focuses on blackness, queerness, and the female experience. She co-founded female film collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah in 2016.

Something In The Closet (UK) Dir. Nosa Eke

A queer teenager struggles with her sexuality as her desires manifest their way from the depths of her eerie closet into reality. Nosa Eke is a platform agnostic writer and director, working in interactive and traditional storytelling. Her debut interactive feature film is currently in development with the BFI.

When Pride Came To Town / Bygdehomo (Norway) Dir. Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæter

A provocative yet heart-warming story about the clash between conservatism and sexual freedom in one of Europe’s most liberal countries. After leaving his rural hometown to escape homophobia, Bjørn-Tore returns decades later to participate in its first Pride parade. Julia Dahr is an award-winning documentary director, motivated by telling character-led stories on human rights and sustainable development issues. Her first feature was the critically acclaimed documentary Thank You For The Rain (2017). Julie Lunde Lillesæter has directed, shot and produced several award-winning documentaries. In 2018, she was named Norway’s Video Journalist of the Year.

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 LGBTIQ+ support and connection.

“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.” Former participant and Scottish film director Siri Rødnes

Building on the success of Five Films For Freedom, the British Council and partners BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival and BFI NETWORK, announced last year three further LGBTIQ+ short film commissions under the banner #MoreFilms4Freedom. These films will also screen as part of this year’s BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival.

All films will be available to view from 18 – 29 March 2020 via the British Council Arts YouTube channel.

Five Films For Freedom is the world’s widest-reaching LGBTIQ+ online film campaign. The campaign has been run by the British Council in partnership with BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival since 2015. Click here for more information.

BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival is the UK’s longest running queer film event. It began in 1986 as Gay’s Own Pictures. By its 3rd edition it was tagged the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and since then has grown to become the largest LGBTIQ+ film event in the UK, and its most anticipated. Click here to learn more about BFI Flare 2020 events.



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