LGBTQ+ History Month: Awakenings

First Loves in LGBTQ+ World Cinema

This LGBTQ+ history month we’re presenting a season of films exploring the joy, and the heartache, of first love. From nervous stolen glances to tentative touches that crackle with electricity and heartbeats that flutter, the three films in our season celebrate those moments in our lives when anything seems possible. They’re stories from a range of voices from across the globe about falling in love, coming of age, and discovering who you are. How does it feel to explore and begin to understand your sexuality when you cannot see? What does it mean to fall in love for the first time in a country where your love is still illegal?

These are stories that we still don’t see enough on our screens. And while we aim to support and celebrate queer stories all year-round at the Showroom, in this month of reflection we wanted to make space for the vibrant, vital stories from LGBTQ+ communities in parts of the world that do not always get the attention they deserve from the UK film industry.

We launch the season with a special preview of Rafiki ahead of its April 2019 release. Originally banned in Kenya for its attempts to “legitimize lesbianism” (the ban has since been lifted), this film boldly challenges perceptions of both Kenya and LGBTQ+ communities there. Rafiki - alongside the other films in the season, Circumstance (Iran) and The Way He Looks (Brazil) – breaks down international barriers in a way that’s as exciting and hopeful as the feeling of your very first love.

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