Shifting identities and love beyond borders: Five Films for Freedom 2023
By Lindelwa Masuku
The Five Films for Freedom campaign is back for its ninth edition, and it promises to be another exciting year for the world’s largest LGBTQIA+ digital campaign.
The British Council has partnered with BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival to showcase five powerful LGBTIQ+ themed short films from the BFI Flare programme.
This year’s Five Films for Freedom collates stories from Cyprus, Guyana, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and South Korea – all made available for free online viewing from 15 - 26 March.
This campaign is important for the representation of queer bodies and the LGBTQ+ community. Often, the voices and stories of LGBTQ+ individuals are not represented in mainstream media, leading to their invisibility and marginalisation.
By showcasing these films, the campaign aims to tell stories that are rarely told and to give a platform to queer individuals and their experiences. These films are aimed at exploring themes from violence and security to shifting identities and love that transcends borders.
The 2023 programme encourages audiences worldwide to watch the films in solidarity with global LGBTQIA+ communities based in territories where freedom and equal rights are restricted.
The importance of telling these stories authentically cannot be overstated. These films are made by queer filmmakers who have lived the experiences they are portraying, and their authenticity shines through in the films.
The queer community is diverse, and these films showcase that diversity. They tell stories from different parts of the world, and they showcase different experiences and perspectives. By doing so, the campaign shows that queer individuals are not a monolith and that their experiences and struggles are varied.
The five films being showcased this year are “Buffer Zone” directed by Savvas Stavrou from Cyprus, "Eating Papaw on the Seashore” directed by Rae Wiltshire & Nickose Layne
from Guyana, "All I Know” directed by Obinna Robert Onyeri from Nigeria, "Just Johnny” directed by Terry Loane from Northern Ireland, and "Butch Up!” directed by Yu-jin Lee from South Korea.
Each film explores different aspects of queer experiences, and they all offer a unique perspective on the queer community.
#SouthernAfricaArts announced the South African launch of Five Films for Freedom with watch parties that will be taking place in and around the country, in Cape Town, Durban, KZN, and Johannesburg. These films can be watched online on the British Council website.
The Five Films for Freedom campaign is an essential initiative for the representation of the LGBTQ+ community. By showcasing these films, the campaign gives a voice to queer individuals and their experiences, which are often ignored in mainstream media.
The films offer a unique perspective on the queer community, and they showcase the diversity and complexity of queer experiences.
The campaign encourages audiences worldwide to watch the films in solidarity with global LGBTQIA+ communities based in territories where freedom and equal rights are restricted. It is a powerful call for representation, equality, and inclusion.