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Mar 15, 2023 / 15:30

Online film screening program to promote the human right to love

Short films with an LGBTQIA+ theme will give the viewer a humane sense of the right to be loved by all the people of the world.

The British Council in Hanoi has launched an online film screening program entitled "Five Films for Freedom", featuring five short films by international filmmakers.

Screenshot from the trial of the 2023 “Five Films For Freedom” film-screening program

The organizers of the event said they encourage people to watch the films in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ communities, especially in places where freedom and equality are limited, in recognition of the fact that love is a human right.

"Five Films For Freedom" is an online celebration of global LGBTQIA+ stories in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual rights, in partnership with BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival.

Now in its ninth year, the program will showcase five LGBTQIA+-themed short films and make them available to the world for free online viewing over the 12 days of BFI Flare.

Since its inception in 2015, this much-loved program has reached over 20 million people worldwide. The films have been watched in more than 200 countries and principalities, including many parts of the world where homosexuality is still criminalized, and in some cases, punishable by the death penalty.

This year’s “Five Films for Freedom” consists of five films, including: “Buffer Zone” by Stavvas Stavrou (Cyprus/ UK); “Eating Papaw on the Seashore” by Rae Wiltshire and Nickose Layne (Guyana); “All I Know” by Obinna Robert Onyeri (Nigeria); “Just Johnny” by Terry Loane (Northern Ireland) and “Butch Up!” by Yu-Jin Lee (South Korea).

 A scene from the movie “Butch Up!” by Yu-Jin Lee (South Korea)

The 16-minute film "Buffer Zone" tells the story of two young gay Cypriot soldiers, one Greek, and the other Turkish, serving on opposite sides of enemy lines. As they fall in love, they find that music is their escape from their oppressive environment.

"Eating Papaw on the Seashore" is a coming-of-age film about Asim and Hasani, two queer Guyanese boys, navigating their feelings in a homophobic society. This short film was developed through the Commonwealth Foundation's Commonwealth Shorts, Caribbean Voices workshop.

The short film "All I Know" tells the story of two friends who meet for dinner, one goes to meet a stranger for a date while the other goes home. The story follows one man's search for his friend, which puts him at risk of revealing the life-changing secrets they both share.

Meanwhile, “Just Johnny” is about a young guy Johnny with his desire to be a girl. The family of 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.

“Stop being miserable.” After hearing her ex’s last words to her, Mi-hae, a lead singer of an independent band in the film titled “Butch Up!”, cannot bring herself to sing the band’s most popular song, ‘Oppa’s Girl’.

“Five Films For Freedom 2023” runs from 15-26 March 2023. Visit http://www.britishcouncil.org/five-films for detailed information and film showtimes.