Tag Archives: BFI Flare

Films to see: BFI FLARE Film Festival 2019

BFI Flare, London’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2019 begins today, Thursday 21st March 2019, and runs until the 31st March 2019. This year there are loads of films to see, and here are our choices, starting with the much anticipated Jordana Spiro film, Night Comes On.

Here are our selections. To find out more and to attend the festival, just click on the links to the BFI Flare Films.

 

Friday 22 March 2019

Bodies

20:40
Night Comes On (also Sunday 24 March, 15:45)
After being released from prison, Angel visits her younger sister Abby, a bright, straight-talking pre-teen who struggles with being in foster care. The unspeakable circumstances that tore their family apart make being together incredibly difficult. Together, they gather enough money to get the bus to their father’s new place, but the tension between them is palpable.

+ The Orphan
Following his rejection by multiple foster parents, Jonathas hopes this new couple is ‘the one’.

 

 

Saturday 23 March 2019

Minds

16:00
The Gospel of Eureka (also Sunday 24 March, 14:00, Sunday 31 March 17:50)
Mx Justin Vivian Bond narrates the tale of a Passion Play and a Christian drag show happily co-existing in small-town Arkansas. With a population of just over 2,000, the Bible Belt town of Eureka Springs is not necessarily where you’d expect to find a thriving gay community. Having voted in a Non-Discrimination Ordinance to protect LGBTQ+ rights (a first in Arkansas) and stop the dreaded trans-exclusionary bathroom bill, the townsfolk are a lesson in togetherness.

 

Bodies

18:00
Life in Transit (also Monday 25 March, 20:40)
Travelling through a rich slice of life, the films explore avenues of gender diversity, from determined paths to unexpected twists and turns.

Film 5 – Silvia in the Waves (Silvia dans les vagues)
A teenage son honours his trans parent’s wishes as they journey into the afterlife.

Hearts

18:10
Socrates (Sócrates) (also Monday 25 March, 18:30)
After his mother’s sudden death, 15-year-old Socrates must learn how to fend for himself in São Paulo. Unable to collect her ashes without the consent of a legal guardian and with no income to cover the rent for his run-down apartment, Socrates sees no way out. Landing a small construction job, he meets a troubled young man with whom he forms an unlikely connection. But as financial pressures mount, so do Socrates’ burgeoning feelings, leading him to confront the harsh reality of his situation. Co-written, produced and acted by young people from low-income communities in Brazil.

Bodies

18:40
Little Miss Westie (also Sunday 24 March, 16:15, Tuesday 26 March 20:45)
Screening with Little Miss Westie, a 5min short, + Gender
The beyond the binary rainbow is unpacked and embraced.

Minds

20:50
Vision Portraits (also Sunday 24 March, 14:10)
Hot from its World Premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Vision Portraits is the response of black, gay filmmaker Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother) to his deteriorating eyesight. In this deeply personal documentary, he explores what it means to be a blind or visually impaired creative artist. It’s a celebration of the possibilities of art created by a photographer (John Dugdale), dancer (Kayla Hamilton), writer (Ryan Knighton) and the filmmaker himself, who each experience varying degrees of visual impairment.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Bodies

15:50
Labyrinths of Desire
Films about finding a connection, whether in the street, a bath-house, nightclub or on an app.
*Over 18s only

Film 3 – My Loneliness Is Killing Me
The ease of casual rejection in the modern dating world infuriates a young man who decides to fight back after a night on the town.

Minds

18:15
Deep in Vogue (also Tuesday 26 March, 18:10)
Manchester’s Vogue ball scene is revealed in a compelling documentary that explores notions of love, community and creativity, as preparations are underway for an upcoming competition. This is a celebration of the queer heroes of this scene, which takes its inspiration from the US model of competing Houses that were developed in the black, gay ballrooms of 1980s New York. And as we hear the life stories of the key players, legendary MC Rikki Beadle-Blair works the runway like no one else.

+ See the Man
When a Swedish football team incorporate contemporary dance into their training regime, they find that its rigour and discipline transforms them as a single functioning unit. This moving documentary reveals how the challenge to traditional notions of masculine behaviour truly confounds expectations.

Monday 25 March 2019

Hearts

20:30
Two in the Bush: A Love Story (also Tuesday 26 March, 14:10, plus relaxed screening Tuesday 26 March, 14:00)
Life is not turning out how Emily planned it. Her girlfriend is cheating on her, she gets fired and to top it all off she’s homeless because the now ex-girlfriend’s name is on the lease of their apartment. She ends up on her friend Rosa’s sofa, eating cereal in her pyjamas and getting too invested in daytime television. When Rosa insists Emily ‘get back in the game’, she somehow ends up working for a dominatrix and going on so many bad Tinder dates she wonders if she’ll ever find love again. That is, until her boss Nikki begins to show an interest, along with her boss’s partner Ben.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Hearts

20:40
From Zero to I Love You (also Wednesday 27 March, 14:00)
This delightful relationship comedy begins when Peter bumps into handsome businessman Jack in a gay bar. After a bumpy start, they begin a passionate relationship, in spite of Jack being married. Peter always seems to end up with married men, a situation which brings its own special set of tensions. Gossip, deception, heartbreak and coincidence play their part and eventually Peter is forced to confront the fact that he needs something to change if he’s going to maintain any self-respect.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Minds

18:15
Transmilitary (also Saturday 30 March, 12:00)
Exploring the flabbergasting fact that the military is the largest employer of trans people in the US, this film examines the appeal of such a regimented, binary system. Forced to conform to strict hair lengths and uniforms matching gender assigned at birth, one particularly muscly trans male soldier signs up for multiple tours in Afghanistan as overseas he can wear male uniforms and sport a buzz cut. The ridiculousness of his official skirt uniform back home is one of the primary examples convincing the top brass to reconsider the rules. For every step forward there are two steps back, as evinced by the recent Supreme Court decision on the issue.

Hearts

18:20
Rafiki (also Sunday 30 March, 16:15)
Rafiki tells the story of two young women, Kena and Ziki, who find love despite mounting political and family pressures. Based on Monica Arac de Nyeko’s short story, which won the 2007 Caine Prize for African fiction. Like its equally brilliant predecessor Stories of Our Lives, Rafiki faced a hostile response from the Kenyan government. Initially banned, international pressure and strong resistance from Wanuri Kahiu herself won the day, and the film was eventually screened on home turf. Kena and Ziki face violence themselves, yet their story unfolds as an utterly contemporary affirmation for LGBTQ+ people everywhere.

Bodies

18:40
Shelter: Farewell to Eden (also Friday 29 March, 18:20)
Beginning life in the Philippines, in the minority Muslim population known as the Moro, Pepsi recounts her early experiences with the Islamic Liberation Front, before running away to hide her emerging gay identity, before eventually transitioning. Ending up in Libya as a nurse during the final decade of Gaddafi’s rule, she subsequently sought asylum in Italy. Her life on paper reads like a rollercoaster of adversity, yet her wisdom and resilience give her a philosophical perspective to cope against the injustices of inequality.

Minds

20:30
In Place of the Real
Abstractions of queerness make up this collection of experimental short films, showcasing the best in contemporary artists’
*Over 18s only

Film 3 – Donebeing
Introspections of a deaf visual artist.

Film 6 – Crystal Clear
The body, desired.

Bodies

20:50
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (also Sunday 31 March, 13:50)
It doesn’t matter how old you are, life is for living, as these witty and joyous short documentaries attest to.

Film 3 – Monica – Loose on a Cruise
Journey with the effervescent Monica as she goes on a lesbian cruise for the first time.

Thursday 28 March 2019

Bodies

18:10
Man Made (also Saturday 30 March, 16:10)
Tracking four pumped and proud bodybuilders at different stages in their transformation, this documentary unveils the supportive network of men preparing for the annual FitCon. Originating in 2014, the world’s first trans fitness competition started in the southern state of Georgia, with the aim of uniting the community. From pre-hormone novices to stealth heavyweight hunks who compete year-round against cisgendered men, this diverse celebration of trans-masculine bodies is respectfully shot through the eye of a trans director who noted that, ‘For some of these guys, I think bodybuilding literally saved their lives’.

Hearts

20:45
Tucked (also Saturday 30 March, 18:10)
Gender non-conforming Jackie is an 80+ drag queen with an acerbic nightclub comedy act. Diagnosed with cancer but determined to go out with a bang, they keep on performing and boozing. But at home Jackie is confronted with solitude and regret over family estrangements. Then young, non-binary performer Faith appears in the dressing room and Jackie must show them the ropes. Despite demographic differences, they realise how much they have in common and become each other’s support network in this feel-good, Brighton-based comedy.

 

Saturday 30 March 2019

Hearts

11:15
What Makes a Man, a Man?
Life lessons and love lessons are hard to learn, as evinced in these powerful shorts.

Film 2 – Thrive
A sex date on an app leads to deep conversation the morning after.

Hearts

Night Out

13:45
Dancing with a Stranger – Shorts Programme
Life is full of possibilities in this amazing array of short films that entertain and enchant every step of the way.

Film 4 – Night Out
A night on the town might be just what Meena needs in order to figure herself out.

 

Minds

14:15
Tongues Untied
Part documentary, part performance, it was described as ‘the film we have been waiting for’ by critic Cary Alan Johnson and vilified as a misuse of public funds by right-wing presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan. Such divided opinions were testament to the film’s lasting impact as a powerful depiction of the ongoing black liberation movement, twinned with the devastation of the AIDS crisis. 30 years on, the poetry of Marlon Riggs himself, as well as performances from Essex Hemphill and Brian Freeman, comprise a unique record of a critical historical moment with fierce intelligence, virtuosic rhythm and courageous hope that still stuns today.

This screening will be followed by a discussion, hosted by BFI Flare programmer Jay Bernard, with filmmaker Vivian Kleiman, poet Keith Jarrett and singer, writer and historian David McAlmont.

Sunday 31 March 2019

Bodies

15:00
The Way Things Are – UK Shorts Programme
The most exciting home-grown talent is showcased in this wide-ranging collection of short films, exploring the queer experience in its myriad forms.
*Contains scenes of suicide, viewer discretion is advised.

Film 2 – Anemone
A second-generation teen searches for a way to express their non-binary identity.

Film 3 – Diva
A transcendental fusion of queer surrealism and baroque opera.

Film 7 – Ladies Day
Whilst at the hair salon, Amma wonders if it is time for her to finally speak up.

Film 8 – Listen
A group of trans children discuss what it means for them to live an authentic life.

Film 10 – Batty Boy
Struggling with the threat of homophobia, a young black gay man searches for a place of acceptance.

Minds

15:50
The Short Films of Marlon Riggs
Marlon Riggs was a legendary black gay filmmaker whose poetic style pulled no punches in examining the relationship between race, gender, sexuality, capitalism and the media. A rare opportunity to see all three of his early short films.

Anthem – 1991
An experimental music video portraying a vibrant, exciting and defiant community of black gay men.

Affirmations – 1990
Featuring the poetry of Essex Hemphill, this is a beautiful short film exploring the dreams, desires and fantasies of black gay men.

Non, Je ne regrette rien – 1992
A timely and illuminating documentary examining the impact of HIV and AIDS. There’s fierce and fascinating insight at every turn, and a classic example of Riggs’s formally distinctive style.

 

HAVE A FABULOUS FESTIVAL 2019

BFI Flare 2018: Part 2

2018 BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival began on
Wednesday 21 March, and ends on Sunday 1 April, and there is plenty to see at this year’s BFI Flare Film Festival. Here are our selections. To find out more and to attend the festival, just click on the links to the BFI website.

Have a look at some of the films in BFI Flare 2018: Part 1
This week you can enjoy:

Monday 26 March

20:30
The Wound
“Kwanda, an edgy city boy, has been taken back to his father’s rural village where he is to undergo the painful initiation ritual that will ‘turn’ him into a man.”

This has to be one of my highlights of the festival. I saw this film at the London Film Festival. Tradition clashes with modern living, with a world of secrets. Absolutely fantastic.

Tuesday 27 March

20:30
SHORTS: Rewind the Film
Queer histories and queer futures are reconfigured in this collection of experimental short films, showcasing the best in contemporary artists’ film and video.

FILM 8 – Something Said
As history is remembered, the body is reimagined.

Thursday 29 March

20:40 (also Friday 30 March, 16:10)
SHORTS: Revelate
You must decide what side of reality you stand on in these stories that revel in the dark, the dream-like and the bizarre.

FILM 3 – A Drop of Sun Under the Earth
A man known as Little Bear lives with his father in a run-down Rio slum, but everything changes when he gets a job with a rich older man and becomes obsessed with a Copacabana rent boy.

Friday 30 March

15:45 (also Saturday 31 March, 16:15)
SHORTS: Dangerous Atmospheres
Sometimes relationships happen in spite of the dangers. Four longer shorts with the power of mini-features explore different situations where things don’t turn out as anyone expected.

FILM 4 – Ursinho
A man known as Little Bear lives with his father in a run-down Rio slum, but everything changes when he gets a job with a rich older man and becomes obsessed with a Copacabana rent boy.

18:20
SHORTS: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Life and all its complexities are laid bare in these emotionally-charged short films.

FILM 3 – Y
Laura finds more than she bargained for when she steals from the wrong woman.

18:15 (also Saturday 31 March, 16:20)
Southern Pride
Malcolm Ingram’s spiritual companion piece to his acclaimed documentary Small Town Gay Bar (BFI Flare 2007), Southern Pride offers a fascinating insight into LGBTQ+ rights in a post-Trump landscape. Headstrong bar owner Lynn Koval, alongside a team of friends (and her own Republican-voting sister), endeavour against all odds to organise a Pride march in her local town. Meanwhile, in another part of the state, organisers of a Black Pride celebration are simultaneously striving to make a difference, despite the numerous setbacks that stand in their way. Emotionally textured and politically prescient, this inspiring tale of triumph over adversity addresses themes of leadership, struggle, division, community and race relations, ultimately offering a sense of hope in a world that can too often appear so hopeless.

20:15 (also Saturday 31 March, 20:15)
Good Manners (As Boas maneiras)
Clara, a care worker living on the outskirts of São Paulo, accepts the position of live-in nanny to the as-yet unborn child of a wealthy single woman named Ana. The two women immediately develop a strong bond, but Ana’s increasingly strange behaviour hints at a deep, dark secret.

20:30 (also Saturday 31 March, 11:30)
Hard Paint
Moody, disturbed loner Pedro lives in the depressed harbour town of Porto Alegre. He scrapes together a living as webcam performer NeonBoy and erotic displays of his naked body smeared with neon paint attract a devoted following. When he discovers another male performer, Leon, has copied his act under the pseudonym Boy25, it prompts a radical change to Pedro’s performance and life.

Saturday 31 March

13:20
SHORTS: Wanting, Needing, Waiting
Whilst travelling down that rocky road toward true love, a disparate group of men face some difficult decisions in this heart-rending collection of short films.

FILM 2 – The Things You Think I’m Thinking
A burn survivor goes on a date for the first time since his life-changing accident.

Sunday 1 April

18:10
SHORTS: Brown is the Warmest Colour
Insightful shorts charting the queer Asian experience, and the importance of love, relationships and solidarity.

FILM 5 – More Love. Less Pre-Packed Bullshit
It is easy to overlook the simple extension of love to other people.

The festival runs until 1st April 2018, and there’s a lot more to see,
Sunday 1 April is a chance to catch up on some of the films shown earlier in the festival

BFI Flare 2018: Part 1

2018 BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival began on
Wednesday 21 March, and ends on Sunday 1 April, and there is plenty to see at this year’s BFI Flare Film Festival. Here are our selections. To find out more and to attend the festival, just click on the links to the BFI website.

Have a look at more films to enjoy next week in BFI Flare 2018: Part 2. This weekend, you can enjoy:

Friday 23 March

12:00-17:00
Rise: QTIPOC Representation and Visibility in Film
“Elevating the narratives of QTIPOC (queer, transgender and intersex people of colour) characters, this one-day series of free events will provide a platform to examine the importance of inclusion, both on and off screen, whilst inspiring a generation of directors, screenwriters, filmmakers and producers to develop work which best reflects their stories. Featuring a programme of intimate workshops and panel discussions with established industry professionals, this symposium seeks to affirm to the power of film as a disruptive medium that can broaden the lens and draw attention to the nuanced experiences of QTIPOC people.“

20:30 (Also Saturday 24 March, 15:55)
As part of the feature film, Paternal Rites you can catch the short film Happy Birthday, Marsha!
“Rare archive footage is used to imagine the night Marsha P Johnson instigated the Stonewall riots.”

20:45 (Also, Sunday 25 March, 16:10; Saturday 31 March, 18:30; Sunday 01 April, 20:20)
Alaska is a Drag
Leo and his sister Tristan work menial jobs in a fish cannery, but have big dreams of ditching the fish, becoming stars and finding their mother.
Also, as part of this screening, you can see Wood.
“A young man is confronted by his own feelings when the gay man he attacked appears at his boxing gym.”

20:50 (also, Saturday 24 March, 20:30)
The Carmilla Movie
“Everyone’s favourite lesbian vampire is back, in a feature length sequel to the hit web series. And this time around the stakes are much higher.”

 

Saturday 24 March

11:15 (also Sunday 25 March, 18:20)
SHORTS: Relationship Lessons
Whether you’re hooking up online or in a long-term relationship, things don’t always develop the way we would like. There’s tragedy and high comedy here. You’ve been warned!

As part of this stream of short films, look out for:
FILM 1 – Boyfriend
It all seems too easy. You’ve met the perfect guy and he seems wonderful. There’s just one small problem…

FILM 2 – Skai Blue
Simon, a gay refugee fleeing from homophobic abuse in Cameroon, meets Tom on a dating website in a small town in Belgium. Love can’t solve everything, but it’s a start.

20:20; (also, Sunday 25 March, 15:20)
Sidney & Friends
“Scottish filmmaker Tristan Aitchison visited Kenya in 2013. A chance meeting with an activist revealed an underground network of intersex and trans people that wanted their voices heard. Kenya has various discriminatory laws affecting LGBTQ+ people, although the situation has gradually improved over the last five years. Welcomed into their community, Aitchison recorded six young people who bravely shared their candid stories over a long period, revealing the realities of life as a targeted minority.”

Also, as part of this screening:
Half a Life
Short documentary animates a startling episode in the life of a gay rights activist in Egypt.

Clash
A critique on the lack of BAME representation in UK television and film, highlighting inequality and the absence of media engagement with Britain’s colonial past.

Sunday 25 March

13:30
SHORTS: Fighters of Demons, Makers of Cakes: D/deaf and Disabled Queer and Trans Shorts
+ Q&A with Michael Achtman, Sandra Alland, David Ellington, Matthew Hellett, Lynn Stewart-Taylor and Bea Webster.
An unconventional and often fantastical examination of LGBTQ+ disabled, neurodiverse, chronically ill and/or D/deaf lives. Packed with experimental docs, dance, animation, poetry, drama and comedy. Plus zombies.

FILM 6 – The Deaf Vs the Dead
When the zombie apocalypse breaks out in Los Angeles, an out deaf man must find a way to survive.

FILM 7 – Awake
Chronically ill Anna is visited by Doreen, a door-to-door proselytiser who invites herself in. Two blind actors. An existential comedy.

FILM 10 – Atlantic is a Sea of Bones
Through everyday acts of refusal, performer Egyptt LaBeija confronts legacies of violence, intimately shaped by HIV/AIDS, against Black queer and trans bodies in this otherworldy film.

18:30 (also, Monday 26 March; 20:30)
The Wound
“Kwanda, an edgy city boy, has been taken back to his father’s rural village where he is to undergo the painful initiation ritual that will ‘turn’ him into a man.”

This has to be one of my highlights of the festival. I saw this film at the London Film Festival. Tradition clashes with modern living, with a world of secrets. Absolutely fantastic.

The festival runs until 1st April 2018, and there’s a lot more to see,
I’ll share a few more over the next few days.

BFI Flare Film Festival 2017

BFI Flare Film Festival is back for 2017. Opening with, Against The Law on Thursday 16th March. Our selection of films to look out for are listed below, and include Oscar winning Moonlight, hotly debated in our Oggscars recording. Set in Miami, the film follows Chiron from childhood to adulthood. Beautifully portrayed, it is a must see.

Also at the festival catch the new UK web series, Different For Girls, a smart, sassy, sexy multi-layered lesbian drama, directed by award-winning Festival alumni Campbell X.

Danny Glover appears in San Francisco-set black comedy, Pushing Dead, as boss to Dan, who is facing losing his HIV drugs after 20 years of keeping it at bay.

Uganda is back in the spotlight at the festival with, The Pearl of Africa. This unified six-part web-series follows Uganda’s first out transgender woman, Cleopatra Kambugu from home to Kenya and then Thailand.

We managed to see Jewel’s Catch One at the 60th London Film Festival. It is a celebration of Jewel Thais Williams, owner of the legendary Catch One bar – one of Los Angeles first gay venues. Covering Jewel’s journey from purchasing the bar, fighting through discrimination, and personal challenges. Jewel managed to create a disco bar that welcomed every one, including stars like Madonna.

Plus Brazillian film, Waiting for B, a kitschy, light-hearted and thoroughly camp portrayal of pop culture, mega fandom and the adoration of Beyoncé.

The festival runs for 11 days, and closes on the 26th March with a gala screening of, Signature Move.

Jammie & EC Forde


16-26 March 2017
Over 50 features, more than 100 shorts and a wide range of special events, guest appearances, discussions, workshops, club nights and much more.
BFI Southbank.

Download the film Schedule here.

The official BFI Flare trailer



FEATURE FILMS


Different for Girls | Fri17
A smart, sexy new lesbian drama web series from the award-winning director Campbell X.

Waiting for B | Fri 17 / Sat 18
A crew of queer young Brazilian camp out two months in advance of Beyonce’s big show. One for superfans of the beyhive.

Moonlight | Fri 17/ Sat 18 / Sat 25
The Oscar winning, much-anticipated feature in which a young boy growing up in a harsh environment learns what it means to love and be loved.

Jewel’s Catch One | Fri 17 / Sat 19
This is the story of how Jewel rose from humble origins to create one of the most inclusive, radical and star-studded LGBT discos in America.

The Pearl of Africa | Sun 19 / Mon 20 / Fri 24
After suffering persecution from Uganda’s government and media, Cleopatra journeys to Thailand to get surgery and finally live freely with her boyfriend Nelson.

Free CeCe! | Tue 21 / Wed 22
Laverne Cox leads this insightful documentary into the case of Cece McDonald, whose infamous case sparked protests around the world.

Can’t Stop the Music | Thur 23 [BFI IMAX, Waterloo]
A monument to camp with the Village People and some of the most dazzling musical numbers ever committed to celluloid.

Being 17 (Quand On A 17 Ans) | Thur 23 / Fri 24
Set in the French Alps, this beautiful and emotional coming of age tale has two boys in their last year at school coming to terms with their emotions.

Body Electric (Corpo Elétrico) | Thur 23/ Sat 25
A lively Brazilian drama set in a garment factory: young manager Elias finds distraction in some of his fellow workers, but is he getting too close?

The Trans List | Thu 23 / Sun 26
Famous faces abound in this new HBO production from Timothy Greenfield-Sanders celebrating trans luminaries.

Sexit Screenings: Enactone + Snapshot | Fri 24
As part of the Sexit programme, a double bill featuring two new porn films that will challenge as much as arouse.

Pushing Dead | Sat 25 / Sun 26
Delightful comedy set in San Francisco, in which an HIV-positive slacker/writer battles with life, meds and friends.

Pride? | Sat 25 / Sun 26
A warm and intelligent survey that examines the history of Pride, its radical off-shoots, like Black Pride, and what the future of queer organising will be.


Short Films


Sat 18 / Sun 19 | Transcendent Tales Bold and beautiful fictional shorts from first inklings to years after transition.

Diane From the Moon
Mya Taylor plays a pagan priestess who takes no prisoners.


 

Sun 19 / Wed 22 | Shadow and Act Stylish shorts that compel you to know yourself, live freely and speak the truth to power.

Reluctantly Queer
A beautiful letter about migration, identity and love from a young Ghanaian man to his family.

Hattie Goes Cruising
An ageing African-American couple give a how-to on cruising and what it was like being young, queer and pretty in 1970s and 1980s New York.

Still Burning
A young migrant from Guadeloupe on the French vogue scene cares for his younger brother who is getting ready for his first ball.
*Watch Free on #BFIPlayer or YouTube as part of #FiveFilms4Freedom

I am a Woman
The politics of gender, identity and race are explored in this short and energetic spoken word piece.

Bayard and Me
Civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, the organisational genius behind the 1963 March on Washington, is remembered by his younger partner.

Our Skin
When a sexy chat becomes an intense exchange on race, politics and war, two strangers find out how much they can accept in each other and in themselves.


Thur 23 | The Permanent Perception The queer experience, both real and imagined. A collection of experimental short films, showcasing the best in contemporary artists’ film and video.

Generation Divide
LGBT histories through a TV sitcom lens.

Generation Divide II
More politics and canned laughter.


Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Falling Free An inspiring and varied collection of queer tales, showcasing our most exciting home-grown filmmaking talent.

We Love Moses
Twelve-year-old Ella discovers a secret about her brother’s best mate.


Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Trials and Liberations – Personal stories of transgender and non-binary experiences from around the globe.

Places of Fear and hatred (Lugares de Medo e Ódio)
Five diverse Brazilians speak out on surviving prejudice and violence.


Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Something to Remember The unknowable path to self-discovery can take many an unexpected turn, as the young men in these poignant and accomplished short films are soon to discover.

Heavy Weight
A boxer finds his world turned upside down by the arrival of a new fighter at his club.
*Watch Free on #BFIPlayer or YouTube as part of #FiveFilms4Freedom


BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival is programmed by Jay Bernard, Michael Blyth, Zorian Clayton, Brian Robinson and Emma Smart, led by Tricia Tuttle, Deputy Head of Festivals and Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Festivals. Image: JampotMedia

 

fiveFilms4freedom: Wednesday 25th March 2015

Today (Wednesday 25 March), fiveFilms4freedom becomes a 24-hour campaign asking people everywhere to watch a film together.


Showing support for freedom and equality everywhere.


The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, is asking people everywhere to watch a film together over the course of one single day as part of a 24 hour campaign #FiveFilms4Freedom.

fiveFilms4freedom is showing five short films from BFI Flare, the UK’s leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Film Festival, available to audiences around the world for the first time through BFI player, from 19–29 March 2015.

It is a chance for audiences, wherever they are, to enjoy a taster of LGBT cinema; to find out a little bit more about emerging LGBT filmmakers from around the world; and most importantly, to show support for freedom and equality everywhere. fiveFilms4freedom is produced in partnership with Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity

The five films represent a cross section of contemporary LGBT short film. The films are made by lesbians, gay men and transgender filmmakers, and range from sweet short stories about first love to documenting activism. They are polished, rough, funny, sad and inspiring and each has a different voice. The films are:

  • afternoon
    Click image to watch film

    An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag) Director Søren Green’s new short film is a sensitive exploration of nascent sexuality. Mathias and Frederik are two friends who spend an afternoon together; Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell Frederik that he is in love with him.

  • chance
    Click image to watch film

    Chance Jake Graf’s self-funded short film premieres at BFI Flare. It focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness as a chance encounter between Trevor and a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own past, forces both men to start to live again.

  • Code Academy Canadian writer and director Nisha Ganatra is best known as Producer/Director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. When searching for love in all the virtual places, Frankie, Libby and Sheridan of The Code Academy are their own worst enemy.
  • Morning Is Broken Director and writer Simon Anderson’s 2014 film is a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama set in the lush English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality at the end of his older brother’s wedding.
  • true-wheel
    Click image to watch film

    True Wheel Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for Detroits’ women, queer and transgender communities.


Watch a film today to show your support for fiveFilms4freedom.


 

BFI Flare Film Festival 2015 | Afrocentric films

A selection of afrocentric films at this years BFI Flare Film Festival which opens on Thursday. Here are our selections for the festival.

Including Kenyan film, ‘Stories of Our Lives‘ which gets its UK Premiere at the festival but sadly is already sold out.

Mo’Nique returns to the big screen in her first film since winning an Oscar for ‘Precious‘ in ‘Blackbird‘ a story based on Larry Duplechan’s Novel of the same title, with the films screeplay written by Brit Rikki Beadle-Blair.

The Starlite, one of New York’s pre-Stonewall gay bars – a black-owned and operated influential dance club, is celebrated in, ‘We Came To Sweat‘. Some of the disco sound originated at the bar, which is now under the threat of redevelopment.

Plus there’s another chance to see French film, ‘Girlhood‘ and the hottest black film in years, ‘Dear White People‘ as with its London Film Festival outing last year the tickets sold out within an hour.

The festival closes with the documentary, ‘Out To Win‘, looking at the experience of LGBT sportspeople working in professional sport, with contributions from Brit John Amaechi, and remembering Justin Fashanu.


19-29 March 2015.
50 feature films and over 100 short films. BFI Southbank.


Download the film Schedule here.


FEATURE FILMS


Blackbird

A gay boy in a deeply conservative Southern US town deals with the traumas of religious prejudice and coming out.

blackbird-002“Based on a 1986 Larry Duplechan novel, transposed to a Mississippi small town. Randy, a young black man, is wrestling unsuccessfully with his burgeoning sexuality. A member of his church choir, he has a tight cohort of school friends who seem more aware than he is of his sexuality. Meanwhile, at home Randy has to contend with his deeply religious mother (actress Mo’Nique from Precious), grief-stricken since his sister was mysteriously abducted. An unexpected encounter with a young actor and filmmaker changes things for Randy, but nothing runs that smoothly in this ripely melodramatic, emotionally engaging coming-of-age story, replete with plenty of sharp one-liners.” BFI

  • Mar 21, 2015 8:45 PM
  • Mar 23, 2015 1:50 PM

Girlhood Bande de filles

Céline Sciamma’s triumphant film explores of a young girl’s search for identity in the underprivileged suburbs of Paris.

girlhood-002“Céline Sciamma (Waterlilies and Tomboy) returns with this glorious coming of age drama about a quartet of young black girls growing up in the working class outskirts of Paris. Marieme is the eldest daughter of a single mother who works nights, leaving her with full responsibility for her younger sisters and an older brother so authoritarian that his behaviour borders on the abusive. At first a lonely, solitary figure among the young girls on her estate, Marieme is soon adopted by a sassy group, and the quartet find strength and power together in a community where rough boys dominate. Less overtly ‘L, B, or T’ than her previous work, Sciamma’s Girlhood is a nuanced examination of female friendship, gender dynamics and identity. Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ provides the backdrop to one of the year’s most electrifying, joyful scenes: ‘eye to eye, so alive, we’re like diamonds in the sky…’.” BFI

  • Mar 23, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 24, 2015 3:50 PM

Dear White People

The diversification of an all-black residence hall forces a group of African-American university students to take a stand.

dear-white-people-002“Sam White is frustrated. Everywhere she looks, she finds racial inequality and coded aggression at her elite university. Her radio show is rubbing people up the wrong way and her ex-boyfriend, the tormented son of the school’s dean, is her opponent in a student election campaign she thinks she will never win. When she does, Sam is forced to face the true complexity of the racial politics she espouses; a complexity that Lionel Higgins, a gay writer casually ridiculed by the black student union Sam runs, is already facing.” BFI

  • Mar 24, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 25, 2015 3:50 PM
  • Mar 28, 2015 1:30 PM

We Came to Sweat

Over 50 years of gay, black American heritage is at stake when this pre-Stonewall Brooklyn bar is threatened by redevelopment.

we-came-to-sweat-001“When a Brooklyn landmark, the black-owned and operated Starlite, is threatened with eviction by new landlords, its 50-year history as a pre-Stonewall gay bar and dance club is in peril. This film is a history of the club, its patrons and its staff, many of whom are also deserving of national treasure status. It’s not just in London that gentrification and rising property prices tempt landlords to sell to developers in the hope of making a fast buck. The community rallies around in protest, but is it enough? The history of the Starlite and its importance to the black gay community as a privileged space is underlined by the rich testimony from elders and family members for whom the venue is simply a part of their life. With a rich soundtrack of great music, reflecting the club’s influence on the creation of disco, the film is a warning to anyone who thinks their favourite gay bar is a permanent fixture.” BFI

  • Mar 24, 2015 8:50 PM
  • Mar 26, 2015 6:10 PM
  • Mar 27, 2015 6:10 PM

Stories of Our Lives

A visually stunning and tenderly wrought collection of stories about LGBTI lives in Kenya.

stories-of-our-lives-003“Two young women are in trouble for their ‘peculiar’ relationship; a farm hand is tormented when his crush begins courting a woman; a young DVD seller is intoxicated by the smoke and sounds of a clandestine gay bar. These are among the tales featured in this beautifully rendered collection of narratives from LGBTI Kenyans. Stories of Our Lives started out as an archival project by the multi-disciplinary Nest Collective, and the testimonies given have been tenderly wrought into funny, endearing – and at times heartbreaking – sketches. The quality and imagination achieved transcends the predictable but nevertheless disappointing response from the Kenyan government; after its Toronto premiere Stories of Our Lives was banned in the country for promoting homosexuality. That many of the actors are not themselves LGBT but were willing to participate at great personal risk is testament to the socially incisive and life-affirming vision of the project.” BFI

  • Mar 26, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 28, 2015 11:45 AM
  • Mar 29, 2015 4:10 PM

Out to Win

Inspirational documentary charting the history of homosexuality in competitive sport, with interviewees including Martina Navratilova and Jason Collins.

out-to-win-JasonCollins1“In the competitive world of professional sports, homosexuality continues to be a big issue. So big that it seems no-one wants to talk about it. With so many athletes afraid that coming out will mark the end of their careers, there is a dearth of proud LGBT sportspeople representing the community and empowering future generations. Thankfully, some brave individuals have spoken out about their sexuality and paved the way for change. Told through the words of these pioneers, Malcolm Ingram’s inspirational documentary charts the history of homosexuality in sport, highlighting the triumphs, and indeed the tragedies, of those fearless forerunners, and profiling the victories of present day stars” BFI

  • Mar 29, 2015 6:00 PM
  • Mar 29, 2015 8:45 PM

SHORT FILMS


The View from Here | Mar 20, 2015 4:00 PM | Mar 21, 2015 11:50 AM
Whether you’re in your teens or well into adulthood, coming out can be one of the most terrifying (and perhaps most thrilling) things you’ll ever have to do, as demonstrated in this poignant collection of short films.

The Return  La Retour – A teenage boy must make sense of the world around him after he learns the truth about his older brother.

Director Yohann Kouam | France 2013 | 22 mins

Pleasures and Perils of Desire | Mar 23, 2015 4:00 PM
A rich haul of shorts about yearning for, finding, and remembering encounters of a sexual nature.

Caged  Uitgesproken – A group of friends hanging out at a sports ground discover one of their number is gay, but it seems he might not be the only one.

Director Lazlo Tonk, Dylan Tonk | The Netherlands 2013 | 13 mins

T/Here I Am | Mar 22, 2015 1:50 PM  | Mar 25, 2015 8:45 PM
Take up space, stand your ground, have no fear of not fitting in – these shorts explore what it means to be a queer body in a strange world.

Black Is Blue – A young homeless transman works as a security guard and is called to shut down a party his ex was rather enjoying.

Director Cheryl Dunye | USA 2014 | 16 mins

Dark Rivers of the Heart | Mar 27, 2015 3:50 PM | Mar 28, 2015 1:20 PM
Sinister desires become violent actions in this often disturbing programme of shorts.

Beyond Plain Sight – A seemingly charming young man hides a very dark and disturbing secret in his South London flat.

Director Joseph a. Adesunloye | UK 2014 | 13 mins

Fragile Things | Mar 29, 2015 12:45 PM
A collection of UK short films – From first encounters to break-ups, via autograph hunters, hand-jobs and a vision of Christ, this selection of homegrown narrative shorts explores infatuation and desire.

When Fragile Things Break – An explosive drama about dreams and hearts breaking.

Director Shanika Warren-Markland | UK 2013 | 7 mins

Mingmong – Annalise and Jude collect autographs together but Annalise’s mind is on other things.

Director Richard Turley | UK 2013 | 12 mins

Followers – Lynn has a vision of the face of Christ on a pair of swimming trunks.

Director Tim Marshall | UK 2014 | 12 mins