A short film set in the Austrian army has been released free online ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia tomorrow.

‘Homophobia’, follows Michael, a young soldier in the Austrian Military Forces, whose struggles to suppress sexual feelings for a comrade and manage the stigma associated with homosexuality.

During the pair’s final night on watch at the border between Austria and Hungary, armed with guns to prevent illegal crossings, Michael’s latent feelings reach the surface.

The 22-minute film was partly financed through crowd funding, raising $10,000.

The crowd funders were also able to take part in the project online. Decisions about the script and cast were presented for discussion in a hidden Facebook group before being finalised.

Released ahead of IDAHO on 17 May, the film aims to portray fear of the unknown as the reason behind homophobia.

Gregor Schmidinger, the director of Homophobia said: “Laws can prevent people from doing crimes, but they don’t change people’s thinking. Art can touch people on an emotional level and therefore really make an impact.

“People often connect homophobia with hate, but it’s really about fear. It’s the fear of the unknown and sometimes of the unknown within ourselves. With Homophobia I want to portray this conflict and provide people with new perspectives on an empathetic level.”

Homophobia premièred in Vienna last week.