More Films for Freedom

Building on the success of Five Films for Freedom (our annual digital programme run in partnership with BFI), we launched a new short film commissioning programme exploring LGBTIQ+ stories in 2019.

Our pilot More Films for Freedom programme saw three new films made by British producers working in partnership with Syrian, Palestinian and South African filmmakers. The first three films were made available online throughout summer 2020. At a time when many Pride celebrations were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the films were screened as a way of linking and celebrating LGBTIQ+ communities everywhere.

A second round of More Films For Freedom was announced at the end of 2020 and three films were commissioned from UK producers working in partnership with filmmakers of Nigerian, Libyan and South African heritage. The films are currently enjoying a successful festival journey taking in Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, and BFI London Film Festival, as well as finding huge awards success, nominated for a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) and winning Iris Prizes.

In April 2022, we commissioned a further four films - this time adding creatives from Brazil to those from Middle East and Africa - and we'll be seeing the finished films in Spring 2023.

The story so far:

Egungun

UK with Nigerian collaboration

Director | Olive Nwosu | Producer | Alex Polulin | 15 mins

In this captivating and stylish drama by Olive Nwosu, a woman returns to her hometown of Lagos in search of healing. What she discovers instead is a path that takes her into her past and toward a new understanding of the people and experiences that shaped her. (Nominated for Best Short BIFA 2021).

Prayers for Sweet Waters

UK with South African collaboration

Prayers for Sweet Waters (2021), directed by Elijah Ndoumbe

Director | Elijah Ndoumbe | Producer | Naeem Dxvis | 16 mins

A submergence into the vivid realities of three Transgender sex workers living in Cape Town, South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baba

UK with Libyan collaboration

Baba (2021), directed by Sam Arbor, Adam Ali

Directors | Sam Arbor, Adam Ali | Producer | Hannah Stevenson | 16 mins

Living in the tunnels beneath Tripoli a queer Libyan teenager, Britannia, dreams of escape to a better life, but an unexpected discovery forces him to question whether to stay or flee from his homeland and his friends. (Winner Iris Prize 2021).

Let My Body Speak

UK with Syrian collaboration

Let My Body Speak (2020), directed by Madonna Adib

Director | Madonna Adib | Producer | Noe Mendelle | 10 mins

Our bodies store memories. The body does not forget. A childhood in Damascus, OCD, the revolution, falling in love with a woman. My body remembers.

The Men Who Speak Gayle

UK with South African collaboration

The Men Who Speak Gayle (2020), directed by Andrew Brukman

Director | Andrew Brukman | Writer | Nathan Kennedy

Producers | Thembisa Cochrane and Georgie Paget

‘Welcome to the greatest diva show and Gayle language comedy.’

Young drag performer Nathan is one of the last people to speak Gayle – a secret language the gay community were forced to invent during Apartheid.

Nowhere

UK with Palestinian collaboration

Nowhere (2020), directed by Christopher Manning

Director | Christopher Manning | Producer | Garry Paton | Co-Producers | Laura Samara and Baher Agbariya | 20 mins

‘You are stronger than you think, trust me.’

A young Palestinian woman crosses the Israeli border illegally to find her long-lost brother, discovering the truth behind his exiled existence.

Where we started

Our partners

You might also be interested in:

  • Five Films for Freedom

    The world’s widest-reaching digital celebration of LGBTIQ+ themed film will return in 2023

  • Opportunities

    View our range of international opportunities for filmmakers, creatives, professionals and organisations.