The BFI Flare is one of the longest running and most respected LGBT film festivals in the world, and the UK’s leading LGBT film event. It takes place in London every year, and it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The packed programme takes place from March 16th to March 27th.
The Festival will open with The Pass, a new British drama directed by first-time feature filmmaker Ben A. Williams, starring the film and TV star Russell Tovey and Arinze Kene. The screening will take place at the Odeon Leicester Square, the largest cinema in the UK. This represents a great honour and achievement for the event: the last time it used the mammoth venue was a decade ago.
So, what is it that makes a film LGBT or suitable for the festival? The Festival Programmer Brian Robinson clarified that the LGBT angle can be in the film story but also in the history of those involved in the filmmaking process, particularly “the persona of the movie director”. In other words, the sexual diversity can be both in front or behind the camera, making the scope of the event very broad and diverse
Robinson also explains that they strive to make a festival of UK premieres, but this is not set in stone. Most importantly, “the film must tell a good story, take you to places you haven’t been, or simply inspire and inform”, he concludes.
This year the event will be divided into three sections, Hearts, Minds and Bodies with key themes emerging including British film and new British talent, transgender representation and Queer Science and new technology. Film highlights this year include Summertime (Catherine Corsini) – about a country girl who meets an urbanite during a feminist protest in Paris – and Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (Fenton Bailey/ Randy Barbato) – an profound and uncompromising portrait of the life and work of the legendary American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Click here in order to view the full festival programme and to buy your tickets.
As a special feature in the anniversary programme, screenings will continue on the day after the Closing Gala (Easter Sunday 27 March) with a Second Chance Sunday devoted to 2016 Festival best-sellers and a selection of LGBT archive gems from the Festivals’ history.
DMovies will follow the event live and bring the filthiest developments firsthand to you.