GT Arts

I am Christian Okali

Cyrus Stafford's award-winning short film is both eye-opening and thought provoking

There are many things our community is known for, but some of the best things include our mission for LGBT rights around the world, and the creative ways in which we express our feelings, beliefs and how we bare our souls.

The world right now professes to be liberal and progressive when considering the current state of LGBT rights in certain countries, it would appear the world still has a long way to go. The extent of certain situations includes violence, legal action and hate crimes against the LGBT community. And one person decided to add his creative message into the fold of powerful proclamation of just how bad situations of hate can get.

Cyrus Strafford is the Director behind a new short film entitled I am Christian Okali, which depicts an event in Christian’s life when he was a victim of a violent hate crime that was unpredictable and extreme in nature. The film is shot in such a simple and beautiful way with Christian sat in a spotlight telling his story. He already garners so much respect from us here at GT for surviving such an ordeal but even more so for being willing to tell and essentially relive his story.

It comes as no surprise that this powerful piece is a multi award-winning, six-minute short film that has been praised by the likes of 20th Century Fox, Film 4, The Independent, etc. It has been officially selected as one of the Top 100 Pieces of Art in London for 2013.

It was Cyrus’ intentions for people to see his film and stop classing people as 'gay' and 'non gay', but actually see their humanity underneath. Its message is effective and powerful and, as far as we’re concerned, gets the message across in a beautifully poignant way.

We recommend you check out the video below, but you want to prepare yourself because it's certainly strong in message and powerful in emotion.

I'm Christian Okoli from Cyrus Trafford on Vimeo.

Words: Daniel Riding (@DanielRiding)

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