This year’s selection comes from Guyana, Cyprus, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and South Korea
BY KRYSTA MCKENZIE, IMAGE BY FIVE FILMS FOR FREEDOM
Five Films For Freedom is a campaign that was launched in 2015 to bring LGBTQIA films to a global audience, and show support for queer communities around the world that are still fighting for equal rights. It’s safe to say that it has been successful because since starting, the films have been watched 20 million times in over 200 countries and principalities (including parts of the world where homosexuality is still ciminalised).
This film programme is organised as a partnership between the British Council and BFI Flare. Five Films For Freedom will go live alongside BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, from 15 to 26 March. Five new queer films from Guyana, Cyprus, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and South Korea will be available for free on the British Council’s global digital networks and BFI Player.
The selected films are available with subtitles in 23 languages to make them accessibile to a broad range of audiences.
Below are the film descriptions from Five Films For Freedom:
All I Know by Obinna Robert Onyeri (Nigeria/USA)
Two friends meet for dinner, one goes to meet a stranger for a hook-up date while the other goes home. We follow a man’s search for his friend that puts him at risk of revealing life-altering secrets they both share.
Butch Up! by Yu-jin Lee (South Korea)
“Stop being miserable.” After hearing her ex’s last words to her, Mi-hae, a lead singer of an independent band, cannot get herself to sing the band’s most popular song, Oppa’s Girl.
Eating Papaw on the Seashore by Rae Wiltshire and Nickose Layne (Guyana)
A coming-of-age film about Asim and Hasani, two queer Guyanese boys, navigating their feelings in a homophobic society.
Just Johnny by Terry Loane (UK – Northern Ireland)
Maria and Dermot’s straightforward family life takes a sudden turn when their son Johnny announces that he wants to wear a dress for his Holy Communion. Both parents are keen to do what is best for Johnny, but their different opinions almost pull the happy family apart.
Buffer Zone by Savvas Stavrou (UK/Cyprus)
Two young soldiers across enemy lines fall in love and find escape from their oppressive environments through music.
Watch the campaign trailer below:
Michael Blyth, Senior Programmer at BFI Flare said: “We are delighted to once again be partnering with the British Council on Five Films for Freedom. This global campaign is an essential part of the BFI Flare programme, and it’s a privilege to share the work of these hugely talented filmmakers with millions of people around the world, many of whom do not have the same level of access to LGBTQIA+ film, or the rights to express themselves freely. This year’s campaign remains as vital and urgent as ever.”
Make sure to catch these films while they are available, and support the platform by spreading love with the hashtag #FiveFilmsForFreedom on social media.
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