Orient Magazine Issue 76 - April 2020 - Page 17


Responding to COVID-19:

Members Giving Back

The world's widest-reaching digital celebration of LGBTIQ+ themed film returns from 18 - 29 March 2020.

Five Films For Freedom is a global, online short film programme in support of LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer) rights. We invite audiences everywhere to watch the five films online in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited, and to spread the word using the hashtag #FiveFilmsForFreedom. Self-expression, homophobia in rural communities, coming out as a teenager, and finding love later in life - this year's short films look at an intersection of LGBTIQ+ perspectives to explore love and acceptance.

Want to know more about the 2020 films?


Directed by Sarah-Jane Drummey

Jack prepares to take the stage at an Irish dancing competition as family members come to terms with their feelings around their child's gender identity.


Directed by Caio Scot

"Why would he hide something like that from me?" Leo struggles to approach his father after discovering a secret.


Directed by Laura Kirwan-Ashman

"It is more than clubbing. It's that sense of community where people actually care about each other." Writer-director Laura Kirwan-Ashman welcomes you into the world of Pxssy Palace, a London based QTIPOC (queer trans intersex people of colour) collective and club night.


Directed by Nosa Eke

"Maddie what about you, which boy do you like?" This short film tells the story of a queer teenager struggling with her sexuality as her desires manifest their way from the depths of her eerie closet into reality.


Directed by Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæte

“Growing up gay in a small town wasn’t easy” Bjørn-Tore left his rural hometown to escape the everyday homophobia he experienced growing up. Decades later he returns for Norway’s first-ever rural Pride celebration. Thrilled to see his neighbours hoisting a pride flag, he hopes that the turn out for Pride is higher than the numbers of anti-pride demonstrators from the local church group.

Visit britishcouncil.org/arts/fivefilmsforfreedom for more information.

Dyson (3)

Dyson have worked with British product development and medical consultancy The Technology Partnership to design and build the CoVent after a request from the UK Government to assist in design and manufacturing of ventilation equipment. The design is said to incorporate the Singapore-made Dyson Digital Motor, originally designed for Dyson's cord-free vacuum cleaners and hand dryers.

Grand Hyatt

The Hotel has been hosting various guests who are affected by the current situation, including Malaysians and workers who are unable to return home, as well as Singaporeans who have returned home from abroad. Working with Changi Airport and the National Taxi Association, the hotel prepped lunch boxes for 500 taxi drivers at all four terminals' taxi stands last month to recognise their tireless commitment and service during this period. To ensure the safety of guests, colleagues and contractors, Grand Hyatt Singapore worked closely with the local authorities to conduct an independent audit of the hotel’s public hygiene standards and cleaning measures. As a result of this comprehensive audit, it was the first hotel in Singapore to be awarded the SG Clean Quality Mark by National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

HSBC (4)

In Hong Kong, HSBC is offering special relief loans to customers working in selected sectors impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and where appropriate, deferred principal payments on mortgages for customers experiencing hardship. In mainland China, HSBC is waiving all fees for remittances associated with donations and medical purchases and is partnering with healthcare providers to offer virtual and telephone consultation services to ease the pressure on hospitals and reduce infection. To assist governments across the world, the bank is helping raise money on sovereign debt markets to boost their economies and health services.


McLaren Applied Pte, a British Chamber of Commerce Singapore member company since 2017 has been actively involved in supporting COVID-19 efforts through its parent company McLaren Group. McLaren Applied Pte’s Managing Director Asia Pacific (and also BritCham’s Vice President) Michael Shearer OBE explains: “When most people think of McLaren they tend to think of our racing team. However, the Group has built on its successful racing expertise and diversified to include a global, high-performance sports car business, McLaren Automotive, and a game-changing technology and innovation business, McLaren Applied, which operates across Asia Pacific from Singapore, focusing on electrification, virtual product development, and, telemetry, control and analytics. Right now, employees from all three of our Group companies – Racing, Automotive and Applied – are currently working with a consortium of significant UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, to produce medical ventilators for the UK. Over the past few weeks the consortium has been working hard to investigate production of a range of ventilator design options to meet a high-level specification for a Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System (“RMVS”) developed by clinicians and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (“MHRA”). The consortium has evaluated all requirements to design, manufacture, assemble and test components, as well as finished medical ventilators. It will now accelerate production of an agreed new design, based on existing technologies, which can be assembled from materials and parts in current production. The device combines existing proven clinical equipment and is the clinicians’ first choice for the RMVS. All of us at McLaren are proud to be part of this Consortium and to consider how racing technology and innovation approaches can be applied to urgent, health challenges.”

Micro Focus

The company has extended business continuity offers to support their clients. In addition, they have added volunteering days for staff to contribute to their local communities which have led to extraordinary acts of kindness from employees such as sewing masks for the people in need, supporting children’s virtual learning transformations, helping to feed families and even donating platelets for Red Cross.

Microsoft (5)

Microsoft is collaborating with NantWorks’ ImmunityBio to map out the spike protein of the coronavirus to understand the means it uses to pry its way into and infect human cells. It has created the Bing COVID tracker, a new remote learning community for distance learning, and made Minecraft: Education Edition available for free to teachers and students with O365 Education accounts. The company is also offering its Azure Healthcare Bot service to organisations on the frontlines of the coronavirus response to help screen patients for potential infection and care.

Diageo SEA (2)

Diageo Southeast Asia is donating 60,000 litres of neutral spirit at no cost to governments and local manufacturers in the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar to help overcome shortages in their healthcare systems. This donation will enable the production of over a million bottles of sanitisers or disinfecting agents. This follows the company’s earlier global announcement of a pledge to donate Grain Neutral Spirit to the UK, Ireland, Italy, the USA, Brazil, Kenya, India and Australia, enabling the creation of eight million hand sanitisers for frontline medical workers in countries where Diageo has major distilling operations.