MANILA, PHILIPPINES – What first started as an online campaign in 2015 has now become a global phenomenon with a following of its own. To help propel conversations on inclusivity, acceptance, and equality for the LGBTIQ+ community, the British Council and its film arm the British Film Institute (BFI) created the Five Films for Freedom, initially called FiveFilms4Freedom, a digital festival that screens five different shorts for free to anyone in the world.
Each film is carefully selected from BFI’s Flare Programme, an annual festival held in London focused on the same theme. It was the first of its kind, and on its inaugural run gained an aggregated 75 million reach across social media.
This year, the online event is focusing on films that touched on self expression, homophobia in rural communities, coming out as a teenager, and finding love later in life.
Films go live on March 18, 2020 and can be watched for free until March 29, 2020.
Directed by Sarah-Jane Drummey
Jack prepares to take the stage at an Irish dancing competition as family members come to terms with their feelings around their child’s gender identity.
After That Party (Brazil)
Directed by Caio Scot.
“Why would he hide something like this from me?”
Leo struggles to approach his father after discovering a secret.
Pxssy Palace (UK)
Directed by Laura Kirwan-Ashman.
“It is more than clubbing. It’s that sense of community where people actually care about each other.” Writer-director Laura Kirwan-Ashman welcomes you into the world of Pxssy Palace, a London-based QTIPOC (queer trans intersex people of colour) collective and club night.
Something in the Closet (UK)
Directed by Nosa Eke.
“Maddie what about you, which boy do you like?”
A teenage girl is conflicted by her feelings for her best friend. The more she pushes them away, the more her bedroom closet looms over her thoughts.
When Pride Came to Town (Norway)
Directed by Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæter
“Growing up gay in a small town wasn’t easy.” Bjørn-Tore left his rural hometown to escape the everyday homophobia he experienced growing up. Decades later he returns for Norway’s first-ever rural Pride celebration. Thrilled to see his neighbours hoisting a pride flag, he hopes that the turn out for Pride is higher than the numbers of anti-pride demonstrators from the local church group.
Exclusive interviews of each director is also available on a British Council Arts YouTube Playlist.