Kolkata, March 24: British Council launches 7th edition of Five Films for Freedom, the world’s largest LGBTIQ+ digital campaign. Audiences everywhere are invited to watch the five films online in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited, and to spread the word using the hashtag #FiveFilmsForFreedom. From self-expression, homophobia in rural communities, to coming out as a teenager, and finding love later in life — this year’s short films look at an intersection of LGBTIQ+ perspectives to explore love and acceptance.
At the launch, Jonathan Kennedy, Director Arts India, British Council, said, “The Five Films For Freedom campaign continues to gather a wider audience and deeper engagement with people across the world. We are glad that we have partners with whom we share our purpose of achieving greater inclusion and solidarity for the LGBTIQ+ community.”
British Council launches 7th edition of Five Films for Freedom, Indian short film selected
Broadcasting five brand new LGBTIQ+ films to countries around the world, British Council launches seventh edition of Five Films for Freedom. This year’s programme showcases queer storytelling from Spain, Sweden, USA and the UK. The festival’s short film selection also includes an Indian film this time. Titled, Bodies of Desire, and directed by Varsha Panikar and Saad Nawab, the movie uses Panikar’s work as the basis for a visual, poetic film capturing four sets of lovers in a sensual celebration of genderless love and desire.
British Council launches 7th edition of Five Films for Freedom, COVID-sensitive screening organized
Ever since British Council started Films for Freedom programme in 2015, over 15 million people from more than 200 countries have watched the festival online. This year, British Council launches seventh edition of Five Films for Freedom. This year, the campaign further addresses the language barrier typically associated with international content, by providing subtitles in local languages such as Hindi.
In India, British Council has partnered with The Queer Muslim Project, South Asia’s largest virtual network of queer, Muslim and allied individuals, to celebrate and amplify LGBTIQ+ stories, voices and people. In addition, a series of COVID-sensitive community film screenings and curated online or offline engagements will be hosted by 10 LGBTIQ+ and allied communities, collectives and organizations across India.
Workshops and more
The 2021 programme plan also includes an online digital storytelling workshop for young LGBTIQ+ artistes and creators based in India and Nepal. The two-day online digital storytelling workshop is designed to equip participants with the skills needed to tell their stories in a digital format. The workshop will explore a range of themes from online security and safety to creating shared community spaces, and learning the basic elements of a script, writing practice, and narration. Participants will be provided with technical support so that they are able to produce their own digital story (in the form of a 3-minute long film) either during or after the workshop.
Five Film For Freedom programme 2021:
- Bodies of Desire (India)
- Land of the Free (Sweden)
- Pure (USA)
- Trans Happiness is Real(UK)
- Victoria (Spain)
- Harkat Studios, an international boutique arts studio based in Mumbai and Berlin, will host a screening followed by conversation with filmmaker Varsha Panikar on March 27 at 7 pm at their space in Versova, Mumbai.
- The Kalinga Literary Festival will host a screening, followed by panel discussion and a poetry session at Oxford Book Store, Bhubaneswar on March 28 at 4 pm. Speakers include renowned Olympian and sprinter Dutee Chand, among others.