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36th BFI Flare LGBTQIA+ film festival 2022

The 36th BFI Flare film festival. Twelve days of screenings, 52 feature films, and 78 free short films, from 42 countries. All films are available online on the BFI Player from the 16th-27th March. There will also be panel discussions and club nights, including The Batty Mama.

Our 2022 selection of Feature and Short films to see at the festival, includes films from Brazil, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Germany, Canada, Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, the USA and more. Tickets can be purchased on the BFI website.

 

FEATURE FILMS


HEARTS includes films about love, romance and friendship

Dakan
Dubbed West Africa’s first film about homosexuality, this film details a tricky love affair between two high schoolers from different sides of the tracks.

“The scene opens with a bright red sports car and two boys furiously kissing on the front seat. Immediately there are complications. Although Manga faces pressure from his middle-class father to ditch working-class Sory, the relationship between the two boys is known to many. There is even playful reverence for them among the female students. Both attempt to lead new lives, with Sory courting an unusual new lover in a different town and Manga joining his father’s business. But youthful infatuation is difficult to forget. Defunded by the Guinean government and the target of protests during its production, Dakan is a heartfelt, lo-fi first in the canon of queer African cinema.”

Director-Screenwriter: Mohamed Camara
Featuring: Mohamed Camara, Cécile Bois, Mamady Mory Camara
Guinea-France 1997 | 87min


BODIES includes stories of sex, identity and transformation.

Being BeBe
Heartfelt and fun, this documentary charts the life of BeBe Zahara Benet, the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“Marshall Ngwa began life as a kid from Cameroon – the only boy in his home economics class and a beloved member of a tight-knit family. Longing for sexual and artistic freedom, he emigrated to the US and won Drag Race as BeBe in 2009 – an encouraging sign for his worried parents. But being the first is not always easy. As the show’s popularity skyrocketed, later winners were rewarded with commensurate wealth, opportunities and exposure. Left behind, BeBe has had to find new ways to reinvent herself in the face of economic and social turmoil, and she does so with bucket loads of grit. Being BeBe is a fascinating portrait of a performance artist who is truly dedicated to the craft.”

Director: Emily Branham
Featuring: BeBe Zahara Benet (aka Marshall Kudi Ngwa)
USA-Cameroon 2021 | 93min

Boy Culture: The Series
Q. Allan Brocka’s comedy Boy Culture had its world premiere at our Festival in 2006. This six-part sequel finds popular escort X adapting to a very different world.

“Returning from the original Boy Culture, 40-ish escort, X (Derek Magyar) still needs to pay the rent and is catapulted into the world after his boyfriend Andrew (Darryl Stephens of Noah’s Arc) decides to leave him. Sassy young hustler Chayce takes the older man under his wing and helps him navigate a world he left 15 years ago. It’s a real treat to revisit these characters and see how they’ve changed, but the series also works as a standalone drama. From negotiating sex work and the internet, personal branding and an ever-expanding range of clients, there’s a lesson for X in every episode. In fact, there’s something we can all learn from this series, about sex and ageing, the value of relationships, the variety of human sexual experience and much, much more.”

Director: Q. Allan Brocka
Featuring: Derek Magyar, Darryl Stephens, Jason Caceres

USA 2021 | 86min (6 episodes)

I Am the Tigress
A bodybuilder pushes herself to the limit to defy expectations, both physically and socially.

Tischa Thomas cuts a beguiling figure in a tight dress, with strawberry blonde wig and enormous biceps. She is about to leave the US to compete in a bodybuilding competition in Romania, accompanied by her jaded but loyal coach. Her extraordinary transformation from overweight mother-of-three to disciplined athlete and dominatrix speaks volumes about the relationship between gender and race, not least because Tischa is neither trans nor queer. Yet everything about her experience is a pointed commentary on how transphobia, racism and gendered violence are intimately linked. This is a highly unusual film about black womanhood that undercuts and destabilises our perceptions at every turn.

Director-Screenwriters: Philipp Fussenegger, Dino Osmanović
Featuring: Tischa Thomas, Steve Scibelli, Edward Zahler
Germany-Austria-USA 2021. 80min

Screening with: The Glorious Ones

Queer black women and non-binary people share their best moments in this upbeat intergenerational discussion.

Director-Producer: Somina Fombo
UK 2021 | 23min

Madame Satã
On its 20th anniversary, it’s a perfect time to revisit this bold, beautiful and epic tale of an extraordinary Brazilian nightlife legend, criminal, queen and hero.

Karim Aïnouz’s extraordinary tale of the larger-than-life Madame Satã premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. As vivid as the most exaggerated fiction, the film recounts the real life of a notorious figure in Rio de Janeiro’s bohemian underworld. Satã was a hustler, transvestite, gangster, chef, homosexual and father; a queen who became something of a folk hero, despite spending 27 years in prison. A born rebel, he also stood up to anyone who tried to get in his way. Dominating the film is Lázaro Ramos’ astounding, energetic performance as the indefatigable and stylish Satã, who confounds his enemies and stands as a symbol against the endemic racism that has traditionally endured in Brazilian society.

Director: Karim Aïnouz
Featuring: Lázaro Ramos, Marcélia Cartaxo, Flavio Bauraqui
France-Brazil 2002 | 105min

 

Manscaping
An Afrofuturist, a naked fetishist and a community activist walk into a barbershop.

Anyone who has entered the highly masculinised environment of a barbershop knows that it can be an intimidating space. This is doubly true for queer and gender non-conforming people, and triply so if you’re from a racialised background. Enter three individuals tackling the problem head on. Devan Shimoyama is an Afrofuturist painter who focuses on the barbershop as a social space, Jessie Anderson runs a queer barbershop in Vancouver, and Australian Richard Savvy gets his kit off as The Naked Barber. All three speak with warmth and candour about their attempts to make people look and feel good, and how the simple act of getting a cut is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Director: Broderick Fox
Featuring: Devan Shimoyama, Jessie Anderson, Richard Savvy
USA 2022 | 62min


MINDS features reflections on art, politics and community.

Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music
The biggest secret in Country music is coming out of the closet, in this moving and triumphant documentary.

Taking centre stage in TJ Parsell’s excellent film are the unsung heroes behind some of Country music’s biggest hits of the last four decades. These lesbian and bisexual women (and one trans man) have been silent for too long and are finally ready to speak out about the industry that kept them in the closet. Through heartfelt interviews, we hear about the homophobia that put an end to careers that were starting out and about gigs that dried up when a brave few dared to come out. Most movingly of all are the stories of friendship and support these performers found in each other as they fought for their music to be heard. Ensuring that these Country music pioneers are hidden no more, Invisible is a joyous and entertaining documentary for all music lovers.

Director-Screenwriter: TJ Parsell
Featuring: Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis
USA 2021 | 106min

It Runs in the Family (Lo que se hereda)
It’s finally here! After a rabble-rousing preview at Flare 2016, Rebel Dykes returns in all its ass-kicking, leather-wearing glory. The film follows a tight-knit group of friends who met at Greenham Common peace camp and went on to become artists, performers, musicians and activists in London. A heady mash-up of animation, archive footage and interviews tells the story of a radical scene: squatters, BDSM nightclubs, anti-Thatcher rallies, protests demanding action around AIDS and the fierce ties of chosen family. This is an extraordinarily privileged glimpse into a bygone world by those who not only lived out their politics with heartfelt conviction but lived to tell the tale.

Director-Screenwriter: Victoria Linares
Featuring: Victoria Linares
Dominican Republic-USA 2022 | 83min

 


Other films worth seeing:

Charli XCX: Alone Together – Acclaimed pop star Charli XCX teams up with her legions of queer fans across the globe to create a new album, in this warmhearted DIY documentary.

Flee (Flugt) – Amin’s engagement to Kasper motivates him to disclose for the first time his experiences as a teenage refugee in this stirring animated documentary.

The Divide (La fracture) – A lesbian relationship in crisis and a city in political turmoil are deftly explored in Catherine Corsini’s powerful political satire.


SHORT FILMS

Family Affairs
Whether it’s births, deaths and marriages, coming out or finding your own tribe, family in its many forms is at the centre of this shorts programme.

Pink & Blue – A trans couple of colour decide to try and raise their baby without an assigned gender.
Dir. Carmen LoBue, USA 2021, 13min

How to Raise a Black Boy – In this modern and surreal modern fairytale, a group of young black boys form a chosen family.
Dir-Scrwrit. Justice Jamal Jones, USA 2020, 13min.

Once More, With Feeling
Lose yourself in the possibilities of love with these charming and engaging short films.
Strictly over 18s only.

the beginning & the middle – Will two high school friends take a chance on each other when they reconnect at a party?
Dir-Scrwrit. Alexis G. Zall, USA 2021, 11min.

Minutes – From nervous first dates to late night arguments, a relationship in microcosm and a chance for something new?
Dir-Scrwrits. Alix Eve, Olivia Dowd, Ella Dacres, Ell Potter, UK 2021, 14min.

Noor & Layla – Drawn to each other by their shared Muslim faith, is it the beginning of the end for Noor and Layla?
Dir-Scrwrit. Fawzia Mirza, Canada 2021, 13min.

A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here – An elder dyke connects with the younger generation of queer women in this sexy short film.
Dir-Scrwrit. Érica Sarmet, Brazil 2021, 26min.

Where Do We Go From Here?
Sometimes, the decisions we make can shape the rest of our lives. This collection of shorts explores the choices, the moments, the encounters that might just change everything.
Contains scenes of graphic sex. Strictly over 18s only.

Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro – After 43 years in cryopreservation, Adrian is due to be defrosted. But ex-partner Milo might not be ready for his former lover’s return
Dir-Scrwrit. Jerry Carlsson, Sweden 2021, 14min.

Everything Changes
Whether processing new feelings, or coming to terms with the past, all of the men in this poignant shorts collection are trying to make sense of where they are now.

Freed (Baltringue) – As he nears the end of his prison sentence, Issa forms an unexpected connection with a new inmate.
Dir. Josza Anjembe, France 2019, 20min.

Parallel Lives: UK Shorts Programme
Take an unpredictable journey through multiple genres with this selection of shorts showcasing the breadth of queer filmmaking in the UK.

Still We Thrive – A rich tapestry of image, music and poetry is interwoven in this powerful meditation on Black resilience.
Dir-Scrwrit. Campbell X, UK 2021, 6min.

 

The Meaning of Daisey – Daisey has the hots for Owens, a customer at her florist. Owens feels the same. But who will make the first move?
Dir. Max’ed Deeq, UK 2020. 5min

Queer Rural Connections – A short documentary offering a rare glimpse into LGBTQIA+ life outside of the big city.
Dirs. Timothy Allsop, Kira Allmann, Suzy Shepherd, UK 2021, 21min.

Losing Joy – On the anniversary of her sister’s death, a young woman is visited by her ex-girlfriend.
Dir. Juliana Kasumu, UK 2021, 15min.

Strength in Vulnerability
These POC shorts show that in a complex situation, self-knowledge is often the answer.

FEVER – A family birthday party is not what it seems in this modern parable of race and relationships.
Dir. Angele Cooper, USA 2021, 20min.

There Is No Place Like Home
Trans and gender diverse tales of home and belonging, interlaced with wonder in nature and the call of the wild.

Prayers for Sweet Waters – Three trans sex workers in Cape Town find support within their communities over the pandemic.
Dir. Elijah Ndoumbe, South Africa-UK 2021, 16min.

Out Here Livin’
Black queer stories told with humour, insight and love.

Taffeta – A poisonous comment during phone sex results in profound self-enquiry.
Dir. Lovell Holder, USA 2021, 11min.

For Love – Against all odds, two women try to resist being torn apart by the UK’s brutal immigration system.
Dir-Scrwrit. Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, UK 2021, 13min.

A Fox in the Night – A South London story in which opposites attract, appearances deceive and bravery reaps rewards.
Dir-Scrwrit. Keeran Anwar Blessie, UK 2021, 11min.

F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K – A delightful existential comedy about work, weed and keeping the dream.
Dir. Harris Doran, USA 2021, 13min.

Egúngún (Masquerade) – The power of the past spans the divide between Nigeria and the UK in this beautiful tale of intersecting lives.
Dir-Scrwrit. Olive Nwosu, Nigeria-UK 2021, 15min.

Hundefreund (Dogfriend) – A casual hook-up takes an unexpected turn in this meditation on race, politics and history.
Dir. Maissa Lihedheb, Germany 2021, 18min.

Sweet Melodies
It’s all bangers, all the time in these films focused on music as a tool for healing, rebellion and embracing queer identity.

Nasir – A transgender musician comes out to several family members over the phone and composes a new song.
Dirs. Jackson Kroopf, Nasir Bailey, USA 2021, 17min.


The Batty Mama Hosted by Lasana Shabazz with DJ TrYb.
Friday 18 March, 21:00 to 01:00
BFI Bar & Kitchen

Short Films to see at the 63rd London Film Festival 2019

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival runs from the 2-13 October 2019, with a loads of short films to see from around the world, we’ve picked a selection of 25 short films to choose from. You can also see our selection of 42 feature films and 4 events to see. Check the available films on the BFI London Film Festival 2019 website.

SHORT FILMS

Create

The Culture
Friday 11 October 2019 | 20:45 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

Sunday 13 October 2019 | 18:10 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Online culture is now all-consuming, and constantly changing through fast-moving technology, both welcome yet terrifying in terms of what comes next. The films here illustrate those cultures brilliantly, whether on a personal level of daily life or the bigger political picture. Total running time 100 min

Film 2: Algo-Rhythm
A hip hop musical, shot in Dakar, using Senegalese musicians and artists, which deconstructs comprehensive threats to human rights posed by the rise of the algorithmic management of daily life via social media and online platforms.
Dir Manu Luksch. Austria-UK-Senegal 2019. 14min

Film 5: Pompeii
Tam gets on the first tube home, plugs himself into his phone and begins reliving his night out via social media stories.
Dir Harry Lighton, Marco Alessi, Matthew Jacobs Morgan. UK 2019. 9min

Film 8: Zombies
Tribal motifs and digital culture collide exploring the stupefying effects of mobile technology.
Dir Baloji. Belgium-Democratic Republic of the Congo 2019. 15min

 

Experimenta

What Remains
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 15:20 | BFI Southbank, NFT3

A series of artists’ short films that explore the effects of human and capitalist destruction of the natural world. Total running time 92 min

Film 2: That Which is to Come is Just a Promise
A single long shot explores the possibility of Tuvalu’s submergence under water, a transformation that scientists have predicted will happen in the next 30 years.
Dir Flatform. Italy-Netherlands-New Zealand 2019. 22min

Debate

Close and Far
Friday 04 October 2019 | 18:15 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 12:40 | Vue West End, Screen 6

The parent-child relationship is one of the most complex, evoking a whole spectrum of emotions. This collection of shorts explores life situations that can shape these relationships permanently, difficult choices that parents can be sometimes faced with and journeys in the search for connection and understanding. Total running time 108 min.

Film 2: Blackwood
A look at the challenges of living in a small Australian town, portrayed through the lens of a novelist and her teenage son.
Dir Kalu Oji. Australia 2018. 12min

Film 7: Dawn in the Dark
When a young girl’s father is taken to hospital, a familial bond between her and her uncle is tested.
Dir Runyararo Mapfumo. UK 2019. 16min

Film 9: Mahalia Melts in the Rain
In preparation for a ballet photoshoot, Mahalia and her mother visit a hairdresser.
Dir Emilie Mannering, Carmine Pierre-Dufour. Canada 2018. 11min

Journey

My Life, Whose Rules?
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 15:15 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Monday 07 October 2019 | 12:50 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Whether it’s about remaining steadfast and true or redefining oneself in a shifting world, these short films tell of personal journeys of survival, identity and agency. Total running time 111 min

Film 1: Appreciation
After a personal tragedy, a Pentecostal preacher is lifted by her congregation in this vivid treat for the eyes and ears.
Dir Tomisin Adepeju. UK 2019. 15min

Cult

When You Think You Know How It Ends
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 17:50 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 15:15 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Meet the doppelgängers, the outcasts and the weirdos. From encounters in the unlikeliest of places in the city you sleep in, to the brightest of days in places you’ll never visit in a supernatural world. Total running time 106 min

Film 5: White Girl
Beth is seemingly lost. As she wanders around seeking help from strangers, things take a darker turn.
Dir Nadia Latif. UK 2019. 13min

Film 6: Suicide By Sunlight
Valentina, a day-walking black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, is forced to restrain her bloodlust to regain custody of her estranged daughters.
Dir Nikyatu. USA 2018. 17min

Laugh

Joy to the World…
Wednesday 02 October 2019 | 20:40 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Friday 04 October 2019 | 15:30 | Vue West End, Screen 5

Joyful films! Triumphant films! Funny films!
Total running time 96min

Film 3: Love the Sinner
11-year-old Joanna tries to understand grief through her mother’s reaction to Princess Diana’s death.
Dir Jennifer Sheridan. UK 2018. 10min

Film 10: Serious Tingz
The face of masculinity as portrayed by young men who grow up in the inner city, where the iconic ‘screwface’ is more than just an expression, it’s a matter of life and death.
Dir Abdou Cissé. UK 2018. 3min

 

Family

Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 12:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT1

This eclectic, exciting and colourful selection of animated short films include themes of friendship and home. This year, alongside films from the UK we present new work from Disney, Dreamworks and Studio Ponoc. Total running time 61 min

Film 2: Exchange Student
A girl from Earth attends alien school. This is “Exchange Student” by Natalie Nourigat – a tale about an Earthling girl who feels like an outsider at a school for aliens. More Short Circuit shorts are coming exclusively to #DisneyPlus in Spring 2020.
Dir Natalie Nourigat. USA 2019. 2min

Experimenta

Strategies of Refusal
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 12:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT3

This programme brings together works that represent the breadth and complexity of resistance across the African Diaspora, considering spirituality, music and arts alongside protest as key interventions for freedom. Total running time 94 min.

Film 1: Sojourner
Honouring the Black feminist activists of the past and present, Cauleen Smith re-imagines Noah Purifoy’s Desert Museum in California as a utopian community.
Dir Cauleen Smith. USA 2018. 23min

Film 2: Fi Dem II
An investigation of Blackness, labour, diaspora and family heritage through archive, glitch, strobe and sound. A commitment to the Windrush generation.
Dir Zinzi Minott. UK 2019. 9min

Film 3: Primeiro Ato
Theatre students André and Gabriel drum up support for resistance against the dismantling of culture policies in Brazil.
Dir Matheus Parizi. Brazil 2019. 19min

Film 4: Pattaki
Under the light of the moon, a community affected by water scarcity marvel at the power of the Orichȧ water deity Yemayȧ.
Dir Everlane Moraes. Cuba 2018. 21min

Film 5: Oh My Homeland
Great soprano Leontyne Price attempts to maintain her composure on stage as she receives adoration from her audience at her 1985 farewell opera.
Dir Stephanie Barber. USA 2019. 4min

Film 6: Pelourinho, They Don’t Really Care About Us
Referencing a 1927 letter from WEB Du Bois to the Brazilian Embassy, colourful footage illustrates an exploration of anti-blackness in Brazil.
Dir Akosua Adoma Owusu. Ghana 2019. 9min

Film 7: Black Bus Stop
A performative reclamation of a site of resistance through dance for African American students.
Dir Kevin Jerome Everson, Claudrena N. Harold. USA 2019. 9min

Experimenta

New World Order
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 14:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT3

This programme is an international cinematic adventure roving across the boundaries that define present-day society, including geopolitics, technology, neo-colonialism and how the human future is only conceivable in relation to the past. Total running time 89 min

Film 5: Hand in Hand (Sunu Jappo)
Exploration of the Chinese-Senegalese relationship, featuring the Museum of Black Civilisations, recently built by China and conceived as a powerful symbol of decolonialisation.
Dir Ming Wong. Senegal-China-Germany 2019. 15min

Love

…In an Age of Consent
Friday 04 October 2019 | 20:40 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 12:20 |Cine Lumiere

The definition of consent is to give permission. Intimacy is defined by a consensual physicality evident in romantic love, sexual activity, a beautiful friendship and random intimate moments with passing strangers. That line of consent is interrogated in the films here, holding up a magnifying glass to every intimate moment from a misplaced hand to the power dynamics of a sexual situation to the re-contextualisation of a past narrative. Total running time 110min.

Film 2: Spring Fever
A refreshingly different and fun sex education class in the Netherlands. This is an anti-shame class.
Dir Anna Snowball. UK-Netherlands 2019. 9min

Experimenta

Double Vision
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 12:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT3

Films that dispel visual certainties to present new optical perceptions.Total running time 115 min

Film 12: A Love
An engagement with love and loss, presence and absence that become ritualised in need for recognition.
Dir Anne-Marie Copestake. UK 2019. 16min

Journey

London Calling
Thursday 10 October 2019 | 18:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 15:00 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

A selection of new shorts from some of the capital’s most exciting upcoming filmmakers, funded by BFI NETWORK and delivered by Film London. Total running time 84 min

Film 4: Losing Pace
A young black man from a working-class background is on a trajectory towards success when an encounter with the police jeopardises everything.
Dir Naomi Soneye-Thomas. UK 2019. 8min

Film 6: Something in The Closet
A queer teenager struggles with her sexuality, as desires manifest their way from the depths of her eerie closet into reality.
Dir Nosa Eke. UK 2019. 14min


Don’t forget to check out our selection of FEATURE FILMS.