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The effects of Covid-19 continue to cause uncertainty and doubt in the film industry, with cinemas closed and the festivals that would normally be filling the calendar in the fair city of film either out the window or up in the air.

Thankfully the GAZE Film Festival along with the British Council Ireland are presenting some online screenings to keep us all going indoors as part of the #FiveFilms4Freedom Shorts Programme.

 

The world’s widest-reaching digital celebration of LGBTIQ+ themed film returns for 2020 and GAZE is helping to share a selection of films which are available for the world to watch online in the #FiveFilms4Freedom Shorts Programme for free, over an 11-day period each year.

 

From 18-29 March, Arts – British Council, in partnership with BFI Flare, have presented their sixth edition of #FiveFilmsForFreedom, the world’s widest-reaching online LGBTIQ+ film programme. Every year, they encourage people around the world to watch five films in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited. Since 2015, more than 14 million people in 200 countries and principalities have tuned in online, including many parts of the world where homosexuality is criminalised and, in some cases, punishable by the death penalty.

It’s as good a time as any to show a worthy cause some support, and it doesn’t hurt that an Irish film is among the offerings for 2020. Check out some info on the 2020 films below:

 

134 (Ireland)

Directed by Sarah-Jane Drummey

Jack prepares to take the stage at an Irish dancing competetion as family members come to terms with their feelings around their child’s gender identity.

 

After the Party (Brazil)

Directed by Caio Scot

“Why would he hide something like that from me?”

Leo struggles to approach his father after discovering a secret.

 

Pxssy Palace (UK)

Directed by Laura Kirwan-Ashman

“It is more than clubbing. It’s that sense of community where people actually care about each other.”

Writer-director Laura Kirwan-Ashman welcomes you into the world of Pxssy Palace, a London based QTIPOC (queer trans intersex people of colour) collective and club night.

 

Something in the Closet (UK)

Directed by Nosa Eke

” Maddie what about you, which boy do you like?”

This short film tells the story of a queer teenager struggling with her sexuality as her desires manifest their way from the depths of her eerie closet into reality.

 

When Pride Came to Town (Norway)

Directed by Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæte

“Growing up gay in a small town wasn’t easy”

Bjørn-Tore left his rural hometown to escape the everyday homophobia he experienced growing up. Decades later he returns for Norway’s first-ever rural Pride celebration. Thrilled to see his neighbours hoisting a pride flag, he hopes that the turn out for Pride is higher than the numbers of anti-pride demonstrators from the local church group.

 

You can see Sarah-Jane Drummey speak about their film 134, an official selection at last year’s Cork Film Festival, here:

The films are already available to watch online here until the 29th.  Feel free to watch along on Twitter using #FiveFilmsForFreedom to help spread the word.

To reflect the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, GAZE has extended submission deadlines for the 2020 edition of their festival to April 24th (regular) and May 15th (late). Submissions can be made here. They’re still on to hold the 2020 festival from July 29th – August 3rd but until then you can enjoy a mini festival showcasing LGBTQI+ stories directly from your living room/office/bunker.