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You Can Support Equality Through the British Council’s Global Online LGBT Festival fiveFilms4freedom

You Can Support Equality Through the British Council's Global Online LGBT Festival fiveFilms4freedom

On March 17, fiveFilms4freedom will become a 24-hour campaign asking people everywhere to watch a LGBT film together over the course of one single day. fiveFilms4freedom is
the world’s first digital, global, LGBT film festival and will be
promoted through the British Council’s network in more than 50 countries
and regions, reaching audiences across the Americas, China, India,
Israel, Kosovo, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and the Middle East. This will
be a chance for audiences, wherever they are, to enjoy LGBT cinema; to
find out a little bit more about emerging LGBT filmmakers from around
the world; and most importantly, to show support for freedom and
equality everywhere.

The British Council, the UK’s international organization
for cultural and educational opportunities, and the BFI (British Film
Institute) have
announced the five short films from BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival,
that will be made available online and completely free of charge on this date for audiences across the world as part of this year’s fiveFilmsforfreedom, an online film
festival which celebrates love and diversity.

From traveling communities to Easter bonnets to the
wonderment of growing up, the five films tell a range of affecting
stories about
contemporary LGBT life in countries including Brazil,
Ireland, Spain, the Philippines and the UK. They are polished, rough,
funny, sad and
inspiring and each has a different voice.

The five films are:

  • “Swirl”
    Two girls, young and in love, move backwards through
    the city in Peterson Varga’s lyrical short from the Philippines.
  • “Xavier” is a film by Brazilian director Ricky Mastro about a father who notices that his 11-year-old son pays a lot of attention
    to slightly older boys.
  • “Breathe” is a British-Irish film by James Doherty, about an
    Irish traveller is increasingly concerned that his son is ‘soft’, so
    sets about
    toughening him up.
  • “Take Your Partners”
    In this British short film by director Siri Rodnes,
    Miss Paterson expects Ollie to make an Easter bonnet like the other
    girls. But Ollie is
    not like the other girls.
  • “The Orchid”
    A man has something important to tell his son, but
    can only get through to his voicemail in this film by Spanish director

The five films will be available to watch online on March 17th via the British Council website and BFI player.

Alan Gemmell,
Director fiveFilms4freedom, British Council

“fiveFilms4freedom is a ground-breaking LGBT film
festival supporting freedom and equality all over the world. For our
second year we are
showcasing some of our finest short film makers to help
celebrate love and diversity through one of the world’s most powerful
and accessible
cultural forms: film. By bringing together the British
Council and films from BFI Flare we are promoting LGBT cinema in
countries that make up
half of the world’s population.’

Briony Hanson, Director Film, British Council

“The British Council’s job is to connect people around
the world and fiveFilms4freedom explores the diversity, freedom of
expression and
celebration of difference that characterise UK society.
We believe passionately in the power of culture and film to change
people’s lives and
hope that this programme has a long lasting, far
reaching and positive impact.”

Tricia Tuttle, Deputy Director of Festivals at the British Film Institute said:

“LGBT film festivals are great spaces for nurturing new film talents and
creating dialogue between filmmakers and audiences. In this, our 30
th edition of BFI Flare, we are thrilled to
present a rich and diverse programme which shows LGBT cinema to be in
great shape. And
it’s fantastic to work with British Council to connect
filmmakers to a truly global community united in a love of film and a
belief that love
is a basic fundamental human right.”

The British Council has joined together with BFI Flare –
the UK’s leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) film
event – to help
celebrate love and diversity through one of the world’s
most powerful and accessible cultural forms: film.

Queer filmmakers have delivered some of cinema’s most
striking, vital, challenging, provocative and beautiful films and for 30
years BFI Flare
has been key in bringing these to UK audiences – this
unique partnership with the British Council is designed to open up the
films and
celebratory spirit of the festival for audiences across
the world. Empathy requires understanding and film is a powerful tool in
helping people
see and explore lives and experiences different to their
own – as director Paul Greengrass has said, “film festivals at their
best are a window
and also a mirror. A window through which we can see the
world, and a mirror in which we can see ourselves.”

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