Thursday 27 October 2016 06:30 pm

During October, which is LGBT History Month in the US, the British Council and partners across the US are organising screenings, panel discussions and stakeholder receptions showcasing the #fiveFilms4Freedom digital campaign. fiveFilms4Freedom is the world's first and largest digital LGBT film festival, running now for 2 years across the world. fiveFilms4freedom is a social media campaign and partnership between the British Film Institute and the British Council to promote equality and diversity, by encouraging people around the world to watch five short films from BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival.

On October 27, 2016, #fiveFilms4Freedom comes to DC. Join us at NYU Washington, DC to see all five films and hear from incredible speakers on LGBT issues. Please find the event details below, including more information on the films, fiveFilms4freedom and the speakers.

This screening and panel event is delivered in partnership with NYU and the Scottish Government.

Registration is free and easy - click here to learn more!

Event Details

Opening Remarks

Michael Ulrich, Director, NYU Washington DC

Leigh Gibson, Director British Council USA

Film screening: #fiveFilms4Freedom 2016 short films

Panel Discussion

Employment and equal opportunity for members of the LGBT community

Moderator: Tim Naftali, Director, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives and CNN Presidential Historian


  • Siri Rodnes, Filmmaker
  • Patrick Davies, Deputy Head of Mission to the USA, British Embassy
  • Deena Fidas, Director Workplace Equality, Human Rights Campaign
  • Matt Nosanchuk, Senior Advisor, Department of State

About the film screenings

A trailer of the films can be watched here. You can learn more about each filmmaker here.

Film Director Country Run time
Breathe James Doherty UK and Ireland 14 mins
Swirl Peterson Varga Philippines 4 mins
The Orchid Ferran Navarro-Beltran Spain 3 mins
Take your Partners Siri Rodnes Scotland 14 mins
Xavier Ricky Mastro Brazil 14 mins

About Fivefilms4freedom

In partnership with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the British Film Institute and the British Council, in 2016, five directors created five short films about contemporary LGBT life. From travelling communities to Easter bonnets to the wonderment of growing up, the five films tell a range of affecting stories about contemporary LGBT life in countries as diverse as Brazil, Ireland, Spain, the Philippines and the UK. During the month of March 2016 we made these five original LGBT films available everywhere, demonstrating and celebrating the values of human rights, promoting freedom and equality, provoking debate and promoting the rights of LGBT people around the world.

The 2016 digital campaign was highly successful. There were 1.57 million views of the films on Facebook and YouTube, with the films being viewed across 179 countries. Among the top countries in that list were countries in which LGBT rights are entirely lacking or seriously curtailed, including Russia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. The #fiveFilms4Freedom hashtag reach was 85.6 million and total web impressions were 54.9 million worldwide. The films have contributed to a growing global conversation that extends discussion about LGBT rights.