Acclaimed film from Ravensbourne lecturer highlights intersex issues

Poster for Only Love Matters showing cast and awards

Article by: David Millett

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A film produced by Dr Iram Qureshi, senior lecturer in TV and Film at Ravensbourne, is making waves at film festivals, while shining an important light on the issues intersex people face in British society.

Only Love Matters’ is a romantic drama that has been described as a landmark moment for British cinema, as it is the first British film to feature intersex lead characters and explore the realities of being intersex in the UK.

At its heart, it tells the story of the sacrifices made by an intersex mother for her adopted daughter. In doing so, it lays bare the social, psychological, and medical issues intersex individuals face in Britain.

It is currently having a fantastic showing in the film festival circuit – so far, it has won over 30 awards, including ‘Best Feature Film’ at the Andromeda Film Festival, ‘Best Original Idea’ at the Top Indie Film Awards, and ‘Best Romantic Film’ at the Rome International Movie Awards.


Stills from 'Only Love Matters'

A still from Only Love Matters set in a doctors' office

Only Love Matters - doctor

A father breaks a toy doll as a young male-presenting child looks on

Only Love Matters - toy

An actor stands in front of a horse

Only Love Matters - horse

A young woman reads a book outside a London street cafe

Only Love Matters - book

A man grabs a distressed character by their neck from behind

Only Love Matters

The film was revealed by Dr Iram last week on World Intersex Awareness Day, which was Wednesday 28 October 2022. World Intersex Awareness Day is an internationally observed time to support the voices and human rights of intersex people around the world.

Speaking about the film, Dr Iram said: “United Nations and intersex experts have raised their concerns about violence and unnecessary irreversible sex reassignment surgeries of intersex children without their informed consent, which is a clear violation of their fundamental human rights.

“The lack of awareness about intersex in society and predominantly in filmmakers have resulted in the negligence of this subject in mainstream British cinema and misrepresentation of intersex in overall English-language films.

“I wanted to produce a film that could create awareness in society and reflect on the issues of British intersex citizens. ‘Only Love Matters’ is the first step towards increasing the visibility of realistic intersex characters in British feature films. I am overwhelmed to see the amazing reception of film in the festival circuit around the world, which in an expression of acceptability of the subject and solidarity with intersex people.”

Photography mainly took place in London, with some scenes also shot in Norwich and the Great Indian Desert. The film is headed for streaming platforms in 2023. 

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