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Five Films For Freedom: British Council celebrates a decade of LGBTQIA+ Stories

Five Films For Freedom

PHILIPPINES – Five Films For Freedom, the world’s widest-reaching LGBTQIA+ digital campaign, returns on 13 March bringing five new films from the Philippines, India, Spain, the UK and USA to audiences across the world.

Over two weeks (13 to 24 March 2024) audiences worldwide are invited to dive into the world of LGBTQIA+ cinema from the comfort of their own homes and watch the films online for free.

The film programme continues the British Council’s partnership with BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, with the short films promoted across the British Council’s global digital networks and BFI Player for free.

Our tenth anniversary edition will showcase global LGBTQIA+ stories that resonate with strength and spirit, from the historic defiance of Compton’s 22 in San Francisco to the heartfelt journey of love and understanding in Halfway. This year’s selection, including Little One, Cursive, and The First Kiss, dives deep into themes of family, identity, and the universal quest for acceptance.

“We are immensely proud to mark the tenth anniversary of Five Films for Freedom,” said British Council Director of Film, Briony Hanson.

“This platform has not only provided a vital space for LGBTQIA+ stories to be heard but has also fostered a global movement for equality and acceptance. As we celebrate this milestone, we invite audiences everywhere to join us in championing love in all its forms.”

Audiences in Philippines are encouraged to watch the films online for free from 13 to 24 March 2024, and share their experiences using the hashtag #FiveFilmsForFreedom. For more information and to access the films, visit our British Arts YouTube channel.

“It is a privilege to showcase the exceptional work of these immensely talented filmmakers to audiences worldwide and we are truly proud to have a Filipino film included in this year’s selection,” said Lotus Postrado, British Council in the Philippines Country Director.

“Throughout the ten-year journey of Five Films For Freedom, we’ve been able to reach over 23 million viewers globally with these remarkable films. We take pride in our ongoing commitment to supporting this initiative, which not only sheds light on new narratives but also fosters new connections and understanding.”

About Five Films For Freedom

Five Films For Freedom is an annual online celebration of global LGBTQIA+ stories, presented in partnership with BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival. Launched in 2014 by the British Council and the British Film Institute, the initiative aims to amplify LGBTQIA+ voices and advocate for love as a human right.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.


Watch this year’s five films online for free on our British Arts YouTube channel.

2024 Film Selection

Little One
Directed by Clister Santos (Philippines – 9 mins)
A pregnant mother, unsure of how to raise a child, arranges an interview with her two gay dads but fate intervenes when his dad suffers a heart attack. Her dad reflects on their family’s history, captured on an old camcorder.

Directed by Kumar Chheda (India – 14 mins)
A turbulent couple ends up at different entrances of Juhu Beach, forcing them to walk towards each other and meet halfway.

Directed by Isabel Steubel Johnson (UK – 9 mins)
When a woman on the verge of a breakup gets help from a mysterious stranger to improve her handwriting, she finds the inner voice she longed for all along.

The First Kiss
Directed by Miguel Lafuente (Spain – 9 mins)
Today is a special day for Andi, he is going to Madrid to have his first date with a boy he’s met online.

Compton’s 22
Directed by Drew de Pinto (USA – 18 mins)
Three years prior to Stonewall, transgender sex workers and drag queens revolted against police violence at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

Journal Online
A collection of noteworthy information on various topics from the Philippines and the rest of the world.