The world’s widest-reaching LGBTIQ+ digital campaign returns from 16 to 27 March 2022.

The British Council, in partnership with BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, makes five LGBTIQ+ themed short films available for the world to watch online for free, over an 12-day period each year.

The programme, which features work by emerging filmmakers from across the world, is selected from and coincides with BFI Flare. Through our global network in more than 200 countries, we encourage people to watch the films in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited. 

Running since 2015, the programme has seen more than 17 million people viewing one of the films in more than 200 countries and principalities, including many parts of the world where homosexuality is criminalised, and in some cases, punishable by the death penalty.

This year in Taiwan, we collaborate with GagaOOLala, Asia’s first streaming platform focused on promoting LGBTIQ+ films. All five films will be available to watch on GagaOOLala from 16 – 27 March 2022.

 

 

2022 Five Films For Freedom

Frozen Out
(Hao Zhou, 5 mins, 2021, China/USA)

An immigrant retreats to frozen prairies and forests, hoping to escape the anxieties of dislocation and find meaning in an endless expanse. Delivered as a letter to the protagonist’s sister in rural China, the film meditates on identity, self-exile, home, and ties to family.

Hao Zhou is from Nanchuan, China, and now lives in the United States, where he studied for an MFA the University of Iowa. His first feature, The Night (2014), about young, queer, sex workers in China, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, and he an alumnus of Berlinale Talents. Frozen Out won a Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards, Los Angeles.

 

For Love
(Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, 13 mins, 2021, UK)

Illegal immigrant, Nkechi, lives happily in the shadows with her partner Martha, but when immigration officers turns up unexpectedly, they have to make difficult decisions about their future together.

Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when she was 16. In 2016 she produced Joseph A Adesunloye’s feature White Colour Black, which was selected for the London Film Festival, and she joined the BFI’s LGBT+ mentorship programme. In 2020, Joy was a Screen International Star of Tomorrow and a BAFTA Breakthrough participant. Having produced shorts and features, For Love, made with BBC Film, is the first short that she has written and directed.

 

All Those Sensations In My Belly
(Marko Dješka, 13 mins 19 secs, 2020, Croatia)

An animated documentary about the real life of transgirl Matia, who relates the story of her experience of the transition process, and the complexity of finding true love with a heterosexual man.

Marko Dješka is an animation director, scriptwriter and comic book artist from Croatia, and an animation graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. , animation department. He’s an alumni of the European animation development lab Animation Sans Frontieres  and the script writing course at La Poudriere in France. All Those Sensations in my Belly has screened at over 100 international festivals, including Annecy (France), Outfest (Los Angeles) and Message to Man, Russia. It won the Best Script Award at Ottawa International Animation Festival. Marko is a co-founder of animation studio Adriatic Animation.

 

Sunday
(Arun Fulara, 10 mins, 2020, India)

When the middle-aged Kamble makes his weekly visit to the neighbourhood barber shop, it's not just for a shave. He can't wait to be touched by Jaan, the new barber-boy he has a crush on. It's the highlight of his otherwise dull existence as a married man leading a dual life in a society that abhors homosexuality.

Arun Fulara is a writer and filmmaker based in Mumbai, India. Sunday is his first short film, and it’s travelled widely to festivals around the world including, including Tampere Film Festival in Finland, Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, Kashish - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, and Inside Out, Toronto, and winning the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker at KASHISH MIQFF. Arun’s second film, My Mother’s Girlfriend was awarded the KASHISH QDrishti Film Grant, and won Best Film awards at REELING: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival and International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala. Arun is currently working on his debut feature film, My Home is in the Hills, a coming-of-age drama steeped in magical realism in the context of migration.

 

Birthday Boy (Vuelta al Sol)
(Judith Corro, 7 mins, 2020, Panama)

It's César's birthday and his parents expect him to wear clothes that make Cesar feel uncomfortable. Now he has to make a decision. Continue to please his family's expectations or be true to his identity as a trans man.

Judith Corro is a cultural manager and storyteller, and works in communications in the NGO sector, on projects focused on gender, identity and community. Birthday Boy is her first film.

 

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