#FiveFilms4Freedom to bring global LGBTQ images to NYC

Join GLAAD and the British Council at a screening of Five Films for Freedom, the world's first and largest digital LGBTQ film festival on October 19 in New York City.

Five Films for Freedom is a social media campaign created by the British Film Institute and the British Council to promote LGBTQ acceptance by encouraging people around the world to watch five short films from BFI Flare: London LGBTQ Film Festival. These five films have been available on digital platforms across the world for two years.

This year, the festival includes the films "Breathe", directed by James Doherty of the UK and Ireland, "Swirl", directed by Peterson Varga of the Philippines, "The Orchid", directed by Ferran Navarro-Beltran of Spain, "Take Your Partners", directed by Siri Rodnes of Scotland, and "Xavier", directed by Ricky Mastro of Brazil. Since the films were released in March, there have been 1.57 million views of the films in 179 countries on Facebook and YouTube.

Five Films for Freedom works to bring LGBTQ representation to countries in which LGBTQ rights are limited or completely nonexistent. In Russia, same-sex couples are not granted any of the legal protections that opposite sex couples are, in Iraq, being LGBTQ has been decriminalized, but with the rise of ISIS LGBTQ people are being attacked, and in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE being LGBTQ is punishable by death. However, these countries whose governments are anti-LGBTQ were among the countries with the most views of the films.

GLAAD's Ross Murray, Director of Programs, Global and US South, will be speaking on a panel following the screening. Other panelists include Siri Rodnes, the filmmaker who directed the film "Take Your Partners," Jessica Stern, the Executive Director of OutRight Action International, and Jon Hurst, the Director of LGBTQ Student Center, New York University. The panel will be moderated by Charles Radcliffe, the Director of the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign.

The film festival takes place the day before Spirit Day, the largest and most visible campaign in the world working to advance acceptance of LGBTQ youth. The digital aspect of this film festival makes it possible for people all over the world to view them in safety, and help expand the message of acceptance for LGBTQ people all over the world.

The event will take place on Wednesday October 19th, from 6:00-9:00, at Barclays, 745 7th Avenue, New York. Register here.