Tuesday 17 January 2017

The British Council has opened nominations for its 2017 LGBT global influencers list, calling for suggestions of inspiring LGBT activists around the world.

The list recognises those who support and promote LGBT rights and equality in their communities, sometimes at great personal risk, and is due to be unveiled during this year’s #fiveFilms4freedom online short film programme staged by British Council and BFI in March.

Last year’s list included Bisi Alimi, a blogger and campaigner who became the first Nigerian to come out on national TV; British director Jake Graf, the first trans man to appear on the cover of QX, Vanity Hype and GNI and the poet Florence Khaxas from Namibia.

The 2017 Global Influencer List is a key part of fiveFilms4freedom, an online celebration of LGBT film exploring themes of love, gender and sexual identity, through five short films selected from BFI Flare: London’s LGBT Film Festival.

With its launch in 2015, #fiveFilms4freedom became the first ever global digital LGBT short film showcase, promoted across more than 60 countries and regions around the globe. 

Last year’s programme drew 1.57 million views of the films on Facebook and YouTube in 179 countries including thousands of views from countries where LGBT people are persecuted. 

Alan Gemmell, Director of #fiveFilms4freedom, British Council said: “fiveFilms4freedom creates a global space for people to talk about LGBT issues and to celebrate diversity, freedom and equality through one of the world’s most powerful and accessible cultural forms: film

“With the Global Influencers List we want to honour people who work tirelessly to promote equality often working in countries and cultures where LGBT communities are overlooked.

“In a borderless film festival we want to unite these people through their efforts to raise awareness of issues affecting LGBT communities.”

The deadline for nominations for the Global Influencer List is 10 February 2017 with the final list to be announced on 21 March 2017.

For more information, contact Peter Hawkins in the British Council Press Office on 0207 389 3061 / 07771 718135 or out-of-hours 07469 375160 or peter.hawkins@britishcouncil.org

Notes to Editor

The 2017 Global List
All nominations will be judged by the fiveFilms4freedom team, British Council and BFI Flare using the following criteria:
How has this person used culture or the creative industries to promote freedom, equality or LGBT rights?
Has this person had to work in a challenging environment or difficult place?
Has this person inspired others?
Has this person encouraged a debate about freedom, equality or LGBT rights on or off-line?
Has this person made national and international connections?
All nominated individuals, and those submitting nominations, must be over 18.
All nominations must be in English. 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

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