In 2024 we took Five Films for Freedom on the road!

On 23 March 2024 we brought Five Films For Freedom to Galway Arts Centre for a FREE screening and panel discussion, where we delved into the world of LGBTQIA+ cinema and heard from a panel of filmmakers and academics on the five films and celebrated global LGBTQIA+ stories, in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual rights.

This was the tenth anniversary edition of the Five Films for Freedom programme. This year, we showcased global LGBTQIA+ stories that resonated with strength and spirit, from the historic defiance of Compton's 22 in San Francisco to the heartfelt journey of love and understanding in Halfway. The 2024 selection, included Little One, Cursive, and The First Kiss, and explored themes of family, identity, and the universal quest for acceptance. 

The screening of the films was held in Nuns Island Theatre in Galway, Ireland and was followed by a panel discussion with local filmmakers and academics who discussed the films in the context of LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland. There was also a Q+A as part of this conversation, which allowed audience members to engage with the panel.

More information on the 2024 films and our panel can be found below. 

Five Films for Freedom 2024

Little One
Directed by Clister Santos (Philippines – 9 mins)

A pregnant mother, unsure of how to raise a child, arranges an interview with her two gay dads but fate intervenes when his dad suffers a heart attack. Memories captured on an old camcorder help her reflect on their family's history.

Cursive
Directed by Isabel Steubel Johnson (UK – 9 mins)

When a woman on the verge of a breakup gets help from a mysterious stranger to improve her handwriting, she finds the inner voice she longed for all along.

Halfway
Directed by Kumar Chheda (India – 14 mins)

A turbulent couple ends up at different entrances of Juhu Beach, forcing them to walk towards each other and meet halfway.

The First Kiss
Directed by Miguel Lafuente (Spain – 9 mins)

Today is a special day for Andi, heading to Madrid to have his first date with a boy he's met online, but things don’t turn out quite as he expected.

Compton's 22 
Directed by Drew de Pinto (USA – 18 mins)

Three years prior to Stonewall, transgender sex workers and drag queens revolted against police violence at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. Compton’s 22 imagines what happened.

Our Panellists 

Our panel was moderated by Rod Stoneman;

Rod Stoneman was Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at the University of Galway. Before that he was CEO of Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board until September 2003 and previously a Deputy Commissioning Editor in the Independent Film and Video Department at Channel 4 Television in the United Kingdom.  He has made a number of documentaries, including Ireland: The Silent Voices, Italy: the Image Business, 12,000 Years of Blindness and The Spindle, and has written extensively on film and television. He is the author of Seeing is Believing: The Politics of the Image; Chávez: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.Maria Molloy

Our panelists included;

Maria Molloy

Maria Molloy is Vice-Chairperson of the AMACH! LGBT+ Galway. As well as a background in science and healthcare management, Maria holds a Certificate in Family and Community Studies, University of Galway. She is also a board member of LGBT Ireland, Sexual Health West and Saolta Arts. Maria has volunteered for several charities over the years but her work with AMACH and the opening of Teach Solais LGBT+ Resource Centre in 2017 until it closed in 2020 has been one of her proudest times within the volunteer sector. Now that AMACH looks to re-open a bigger and better Resource Centre, we hope that as well as it being a health and wellbeing hub, the centre will be, once again a creative place for culture and arts forthe LGBT+ community within this region.

Alan Phelan 

Alan Phelan is an artist who works in film, sculpture, museum interventions, public art and collaborations with other artists, writers and curators. All of these elements inform and contribute to an interest in the narrative potential of an artwork.  Narrative is explored through historical events, ideas, things, and places as well as through their fictional counterparts.  Recent film works include Foly & Diction, 2021 made for the RHA Dublin and shown in Void Derry, CCI, Paris; Our Kind, 2016 made for the Hugh Lane Gallery and also shown in Oslo, Bergen, Derry, Belfast and Carlow where it won the Hotron Éigse Art Prize; Pantone 2685, 2016 made for EVA International; and Edward & Arlette, 2014 made for Golden Thread Gallery and shown in Dublin, Stockholm, and Treignac Projet, France. 

Jamie Bigley 

Jamie Bigley is an artist, teacher, and researcher from originally from County Tyrone, now based in Galway. They are a graduate of the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies at University of Galway and will soon complete their PhD thesis which looks at how contemporary queer performance may challenge and/or reaffirm hegemonic understandings and practices of resilience. They have delivered papers in Reykjavik and Galway on their research, as well as held an in-conversation event in 2021 with Philly McMahon (THISISPOPBABY) on the future of queer performance in Ireland. They have worked with Galway Theatre Festival as a member of their programming committee and as the Coordinator of the Visual Arts Invigilation Programme for Galway International Arts Festival.