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Screening and panel discussion of ‘Oriented’

3 June 2016

Khader Abu-Seif and ex-boyfriend David Pearl in a scene from Oriented (Photograph: Oriented)

LGBT Identity, culture and religion will take centre stage in Soho tonight (Friday 3 June) as Aritha Wickramasinghe and Pride in London present a special screening and panel discussion of ground-breaking gay Israeli-Palestinian documentary, Oriented.

Oriented follows the lives of three Palestinian friends exploring their national and sexual identity in Tel-Aviv during the Israel-Gaza conflict of 2014. Determined to make a change, these three best friends form a non-violent, cultural resistance group making viral content for gender and national equality.

In a series of cultural events leading up to Pride Festival, London's eclectic Ham Yard Hotel will host a special screening and a panel discussion talking about the LGBT experiences of cultural minorities. On the panel, Oriented director Jake Witzenfeld will be joined by actor Khader Abu Seif and film producer Hanan Kattan. The discussion will be chaired by LGBT campaigner Aritha Wickramasinghe.

I’m delighted that Oriented is playing its part in this year’s Pride Festival to help tackle issues of identity, culture and religion among LGBT cultural minorities.

Oriented is essentially a film about people’s identity, about not fitting in on several different levels. More importantly, this film is also about people searching and being able to find their own direction. This is an important message for many LGBT people in London trying to make sense of who they are and how they fit in.

Aritha Wickramasinghe, LGBT campaigner and host

One's identity is a complex matter, made more so when two innate parts of it find themselves at odds with each other. There are too many young people who don't feel comfortable with the way they were born because of the way they were raised. Pride in London is delighted to be hosting this debate and hope that it fuels continued engagement by the LGBT+ community and beyond with this subject matter.

Mohsin Zaidi, Director at Pride in London

  • Notes for editors

    For media access to the event, and to interview anyone taking part, please contact James Holt on or 07590 982997.

    Oriented will be showing at 18:30, Friday 03 June 2016 at Ham Yard Hotel, Soho. A discussion panel and a drinks reception will follow.

    The Pride in London Festival 2016 is the largest in Pride’s history and showcases some of the most inspiring talents and celebrates diversity in the LGBT+ community. As the UK’s largest LGBT festival, it includes theatre, dance, talks, conferences, LGBT+ tours, art exhibitions and much more.

    Other Pride in London events coming up:

    Pride in London’s campaign this year is called #nofilter. It celebrates the spirit of Pride and asks you to do something very simple: Live your life as you. It takes courage to be your true self especially when it defies convention. We want to inspire more people to come out as who they are, whether that be at home or in the work place. Because we believe that acceptance and diversity makes for a stronger society, united, not divided. Let's not hide or self censor. Let's be proud, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. Let's live life with #nofilter.

    Mohsin Zaidi is a barrister and, in his spare time, the Legal Director of Pride in London. Mohsin was recently ranked by the FT as a top future LGBT leader. Separately, he was shortlisted for the FT Innovative Lawyer Award of ‘Most Innovative European In-House Lawyer’ for his work setting up the Pride in London legal team. Before going to the bar, Mohsin was at international law firm Linklaters LLP for 6 years. In 2014, Mohsin spent a year as Judicial Assistant to Lord Wilson and Lord Sumption at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

    Aritha Wickramasinghe is an international finance lawyer by profession, is a pioneering activist in the field of diversity and inclusion. He has spearheaded a number of initiatives and pro bono projects promoting diversity, equality and human rights – specifically LGBT rights – globally. He is the founding trustee of the UN Human Rights Office endorsed initiative Think Equal and is the Sri Lanka Country Representative for iProbono.

    Aritha was ranked #1 in the Financial Times 2015 Top 30 Global LGBT Future Leaders list. He was ranked alongside Inga Beale, head of Lloyds (who topped the Business Leaders list), and Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook (who topped the Allies list).

Any questions?

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