The BFI's successful London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (LLGFF) kicked off its 22nd year last night with a gala screening of Alek Keshishian's romantic comedy Love and Other Disasters.

The film follows an American intern (Brittany Murphy) as she tries to find a boyfriend for her gay flatmate (Matthew Rhys).

More than 200 films and shorts will be shown across the 15 days of the festival with screenings and events at the BFI cinemas, the Odeon West End and Film Wotever.

One of the centrepiece screenings at the festival is Parvez Sharma's A Jihad for Love, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. The documentary follows gay Muslims across 12 countries as they attempt to reconcile their faith with their sexuality. There will be an extended discussion with the director and producer of the film, as well as members of the Imaan Muslim LGBT Group, following the screening film on Mar 30.

Other highlights of the festival include the UK premiere of Bruce LaBruce's gay zombie film Otto; Or, Up with Dead People, and Angelina Maccarone's exploration of female sexuality, Vivere, which closes the festival on April 10.

Several series and retrospectives will also take place during the festival including Queer Silence, which will screen a collection of silent movies with live piano accompaniment. The festival will also look at the relationship between film and dance with Queer Dance screenings and discussions, culminating in a free ballroom dancing event at the Royal Albert Hall.

The festival is programmed by Brian Robinson for the BFI, and will tour round 40 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland from May-September.