Date published: May 29, 2018
International LGBT Film Award "Wings" 2018 Honours Salford Student
The ILGCN's (International Lesbian and Culture Network) has given its "Wings 2018" award to British student playwright and film director, Stephen M. Hornby.
The award was made, “for outstanding contributions with film and theatre to LGBT culture and identity”. It was presented by Ben Schiller (ILGCN International Secretary) to Hornby in Liverpool at the international LGBT academic conference, SEXing the Past, at which Hornby presented some of his work. Hornby is a PhD student at the University of Salford. Schiller had travelled from Stockholm with the award.
The Wings Award Committee stated that the diploma honors Hornby "for his powerful film work, including writing the script and directing the film Unchechen using a British creative team to illustrate the persecution, torture and death of gays in Chechnya; for confirming that film and theatre are powerful weapons against homophobia, invisibility and silence, and for proving that when the colours of the rainbow are stretched over geographic and psychological borders, the colours grow not weaker but stronger."
"I am very honoured to receive this diploma and for the recognition it brings to not just to my stage and film work, but specifically to the film I made about treatment of gay men in Chechnya. I have often focused on dramatising hidden British LGBT history, but after the news of the brutal treatment of gay men in Chechnya, I wanted to focus on this terrible violation of LGBT rights. Everyone who worked on the film volunteered and we donated all fees to Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian charity working to free men who are in peril in Russia."
"We have showed Unchechen to numerous audiences in the Nordic region and in Eastern Europe. It has been screened most recently in Stockholm on the United Nations' International Day against Racism and Fascism in March, and it will be show again during the 3rd Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month this October. It’s a very powerful film and moves audiences to tears of anger and outrage.”
Unchechen has been screened around the world, and is available free to screen to any festival or event that supports LGBT rights. The film started life as a stage piece commissioned by Take Back, a political theatre collective based in Manchester headed by the British Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh. The response was so favourable that a short film was created by Hornby using two professional actors, Dean Michael Gregory and Martin Green. Alex Markham was the director of photography and edited the final version of the film. It is available to view free here: