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Get to know these ‘Five Films for Freedom’ entries to be screened in the PH

by Jericho Zafra

GET your popcorn ready, mga accla!

Starting March 21, Filipinos can start watching “Five Films for Freedom” in selected Cinematheque locations throughout the country in partnership with the Film Development Council of the philippines.

Five Films For Freedom is an online campaign that showcases gender minority narratives from across the world. It is held in support of the fight for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) individuals.

For this year, entries from various countries across the world will be screened in the Philippines as part of  the ninth edition of the world’s widest-reaching LGBTQIA+ digital campaign of the British Council and BFI Flare’s London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival.

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The Five Films for Freedom will be available for public viewing starting March 21 and 22 through the following schedules:

FDCP Cinematheque Centre – Manila

22 March 2023, 6:30 PM

FDCP Cinematheque Centre – Iloilo, Davao, Zamboanga, Nabunturan, Negros

21 March 2023, 4:00 PM

22 March 2023, 6:30 PM

British Council Director of Film  Briony Hanson said in a statement that the digital campaign films promotes little-known LGBTQIA+ stories from around the world and makes them visible to a global audience, especially for individuals living in countries where they are unable to exist or love as they would like.

In case you’re wondering, here’s what you need to know about the movies that are part of the Five Films for Freedom screening:

 All I Know

Photo courtesy: British Council of the Philippines

Directed by: Obinna Robert Onyeri, 16 mins, 2022, Nigeria/USA 

Two friends meet for dinner; one heads off to meet a stranger for a hook-up date while the other heads home. The film follows a man’s search for his friend that puts him at risk of revealing life-altering secrets they both share.

Onyeri is a Los Angeles based filmmaker, born in Lagos, Nigeria. He studied Film at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Directing Fellowship award and the George Burns and Gracie Allen Scholarship.

 Buffer Zone

Photo courtesy: British Council of the Philippines

Directed by: Savvas Stavrou, ​​​​​​​16 mins, 2022, UK/Cyprus

Two young soldiers across enemy lines fall in love and find escape from their oppressive environments through music.

Savvas was born in Cyprus and studied Film at the University of Westminster, London. He works as a director across advertising, music video and short film, and he is developing his first feature. He is a Sundance Lab alumnus.

 Butch Up!

Photo courtesy: British Council of the Philippines

Directed by: Yu-jin Lee, 12 mins, 2022, Korea

“Stop being miserable.” After hearing her ex’s last words to her, Mi-hae, a lead singer of an independent band, cannot get herself to sing the band’s most popular song, Oppa’s Girl.

Yu-Jin Lee studied film directing at the Korea National University of Arts. Her first short film, A Good Mother, was the most talked about queer film of the year in Korea.

 Eating Papaw on the Seashore

Photo courtesy: British Council of the Philippines

Directed by: Rae Wiltshire, Nickose Layne, 18 mins, 2022, Guyana 

A coming-of-age film about Asim and Hasani, two queer Guyanese boys, navigating their feelings in a homophobic society.

Rae studied literature and linguistics at the University of Guyana. As a playwright, he won Best New Guyanese play at Guyana’s National Drama Festival in 2015, he recently won the Guyana Prize for Literature in Drama, 2022, for his play Don’t Ask Me Why. Nickose is a playwright, poet and actor. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.

 Just Johnny

Photo courtesy: British Council of the Philippines

Directed by: Terry Loane, 19 mins, 2021, UK - Northern Ireland

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.

Terry was born and bred in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and studied photography at Ulster University. He began designing for film in 1996 in the Oscar-nominated short Dance Lexie Dance. In 1998, he wrote and directed his first short film comedy, CLUCK. His latest feature as director, The Last Rifleman, starring Pierce Brosnan and John Amos, was released this year. The film was written by former Hollyoaks actor Gerard McCarthy, who recently came out as non-binary.

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