fiveFilms4freedom 2016

The world’s first global, digital LGBT film festival

Between 16 and 27 March 2016, we selected five original short lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) films which were viewed in over 40 European countries, 179 countries worldwide, and watched 1.57 million times in total on Facebook and YouTube during a 10 day period. These films inspired people throughout Europe and the world, demonstrated and celebrated European values, promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights.

Watch our video:

A global social media campaign

In partnership with BFI Flare, the British Film Institute's LGBTQ Film Festival, and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the British Council selected five short films about contemporary LGBT life in Ireland, the UK, and Spain, as well as Brazil and the Philippines.

The films were viewed across Europe and worldwide, including in 56 countries where LGBT people continue to face legal challenges and 11 countries that still maintain the death penalty.

Watch the #fiveFilms4freedom trailer. 

Inspiring people...

fiveFilms4freedom's global list

We used the British Council’s global network to help us find 33 inspiring people who use culture to promote freedom and equality and provoke debate, or who are risking their lives to promote the rights of LGBT communities in their society or country everyday.

The list included freelance director and writer Almass Badat and author and journalist Paul Burston in the UK, filmmaker Kate Dolan in Ireland, director of Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival Manny de Guerre in Russia, film directors Pablo García Perez de Lara and Marc Serena in Spain, Human Rights Defender Daniela Tomasino in Italy and Pink Life QueerFest director Bilge Tas in Turkey.

These key influencers ensured increased engagement and reach throughout Europe and worldwide.


In EU Europe, our hashtag reach was 4.4 million on Twitter, 1.32 million on Facebook, and 484,000 on other channels - a total of 6,204,000.

The five films were viewed 1.57 million times in total on Facebook and YouTube.

In 10 days we saw a total global digital reach of 148.3 million.

The hashtag was adopted by popular Twitter users such as in Berlin, Germany, political commentator Ece Temelkuran in Istanbul, Turkey and Human Rights activist William Gomes in the UK, demonstrating the influence and significant reach across Europe and worldwide.

Love is a human right

The world's first global, digital LGBT film festival