In 2015, British Council created the world’s first global, online LGBT film festival, fiveFilms4freedom. We made five short films from the BFI’s Flare Festival available for everyone, everywhere. We then asked people around the world to watch these films and join us to say that love is a basic right. Millions of people in 135 countries took to social media to support the festival using the hashtag #FiveFilms4Freedom.
The festival is now back, with five brand new short films. All of the films are available to view from 17-27 March 2016 at the BFI website, and we invite you to watch one or more of these films and join our discussion on social media.
Geng Le awarded “fiveFilms4freedom 2016 Global Influencers”
Geng Le is the founder of China’s leading LGBT web portal and social media app Blued, and is one of China’s most successful gay business leaders. Blued now has 27 million registered users.
Geng Le uses his public profile to raise awareness of HIV prevention and workplace protection for LGBT people, and also campaigns for the recognition of same-sex partnerships. In 2010, Geng Le was invited to meet the then Vice Premier, Li Keqiang. Last year, he flew seven Chinese gay couples to the United States to get married, creating one of the biggest social media stories of the year in China.
Carma Elliot, Director British Council China, said: “I am so pleased to see Geng Le in the first ever Global Influencers list. Geng Le is a pioneer and advocator in HIV prevention, workplace protection for individuals in the LGBT community and for same-sex partnerships. I hope that the fiveFilms4Freedom season, now in its second year, will encourage more people to join us in raising awareness of the LGBT community in China.”
Geng Le first set up a gay culture website in 2000, only three years after homosexuality was decriminalized in China and was still classified as a mental disorder. To devote more time to running the website, he chose to resign from his job as a policeman. At the beginning of the business, his website was repeatedly shut down by the authorities. Fifteen years later, his company has attracted global investors and is expanding internationally.