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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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