London LGBT Film Festival
Our coverage 2020 here
Our coverage 2019 here
Our coverage 2018 here
The 34th edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival unveiled its full programme tonight at BFI Southbank. One of the world’s most significant and long-standing LGBTIQ+ film events, BFI Flare will present over 50 features, 85 shorts and a wide range of special events, guest appearances, family-friendly and free events, club nights and more. Tickets go on sale via bfi.org.uk/flare to the general public on 27th February.
As previously announced, the Festival will open with the World Premiere of Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare’s remarkable feature debut CICADA, about a young man forced to face past traumas when he embarks on a new relationship. The Closing Night Gala is the UK Premiere of acclaimed theatre director Jessica Swale’s SUMMERLAND, a moving Second World War drama about a woman rediscovering her ability to love, starring Gemma Arterton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
The Centrepiece Screening of the Festival is the UK Premiere of DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN, the latest documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Sam Feder. Absorbing and informative, providing a timely history lesson at the crossroads of change, the film features Laverne Cox at the helm and a cast of big hitters that include the Wachowski sisters and Chaz Bono.
Additional programme highlights include Jamie Patterson’s arresting sophomore feature JUSTINE, which sees a young woman struggle with her demons in this powerful rumination on how the past can shape the present, MOFFIE, Oliver Hermanus’ beautiful yet brutal study of closeted homosexuality in the Apartheid-era military and MONSOON, Hong Khaou’s poignant meditation on cultural displacement featuring Henry Golding in a tender portrayal of a man endeavouring to reconnect with the place he once called home. With DON’T LOOK DOWN, Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau serve up a deliciously enigmatic chamber piece which is far more than just an exercise in style, but is also a sly critique on power, submission and the destructive side of love, while Claire Oakley’s debut feature MAKE UP is a riveting psycho-sexual drama in which nothing is quite what it seems.
Among the key themes emerging from this year’s programme are strong representations of activism, resistance and rebellion in stories about brave individuals and communities that will not give up in the ongoing fight for change. Highlights include:
- LINGUA FRANCA (Dir. Isabel Sandoval), a deftly woven tale of love and inequality for an undocumented Filipina transwoman living under the radar in New York.
- BFI Flare Official Partners PGIM and Mishcon de Reya are supporting CHANGING THE GAME (Dir. Michael Barnett), a compelling account of the hard-won victories by Trans teenage athletes competing across America.
- OUR DANCE OF REVOLUTION (Dir. Phillip Pike), a documentary portrait of how skilful organising created a cohesive Black LGBTIQ+ movement in Toronto.
- PRIDE & PROTEST (Dir. Blaise Singh), opening with the anti-LGBTIQ+ lessons protests in Birmingham, the modern face of activism is the focus of this timely and necessary documentary.
- STEELERS: THE WORLD’S FIRST GAY RUGBY CLUB (Dir. Eammon Ashton-Atkinson), an inspiring testament to the power of teamwork and friendship, this uplifting documentary will charm the (rugby) socks off you – whether you are a fan of the game or not!
- WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS (Dir. Linda Goldstein Knowlton), activism is alive and well in this documentary portrait of a group of women who champion the importance of community, and this joyous film is full of hope and inspiration to see the next generation of fierce confident young women more than ready to take on the world.
2020 marks an impressive year for LGBTIQ+ feature fiction films coming from the UK with SUMMERLAND Closing the Festival, and with JUSTINE, MONSOON and MAKE UP screening in the main programme alongside the UK co-produced MOFFIE. The world premieres of PRIDE & PROTEST and STEELERS: THE WORLD’S FIRST GAY RUGBY CLUB also represent strong documentary offerings from the UK.