The BFI Flare: LGBTQ+ London Film Festival has announced its full programme for its 32nd edition.
The festival, which runs from Wednesday 21 March to Sunday 1 April, will include over 50 features, more than 90 shorts plus special events including guest appearances, discussions, workshops and club nights.
A Deal With The Universe, a UK feature documentary from former BFI Flare programmer Jason Barker about his gender transition and becoming a parent, will have its World Premiere at the Festival as the Centrepiece Screening.
Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute), about French activists fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s, is the Special Presentation, while the Special Event in collaboration with The Art Machine is Rise: QTIPOC Representation And Visibility In Film, a single-day series of talks and workshops examining inclusion and stories of queer people of colour on and off screen.
Fresh from its Sundance premiere, Rupert Everett’s The Happy Prince starring Everett, Colin Firth and Emily Watson plays at the Festival, as does Love, Simon, a coming-out high school drama starring Nick Robinson (Jurassic World).
Other inclusions in the programme are Laura Marie Wayne’s doc Love, Scott about a young man left paralysed after a homophobic attack, shorts programme Trans Family Matters and BFI Flare Programmer Brian Robinson’s illustrated talk Cinema Of Aids.
The BFI NETWORK @ Flare Mentorships return to the event this year, in partnership with BAFTA. The programme gives advice to UK-based LGBTQ+ emerging filmmakers, with Desiree Akhavan, Russell T Davis and Tom Harper amongst last year’s mentors, and previous participants include Harry Lighton, BIFA & BAFTA-nominated for his short film Wren Boys.
Tricia Tuttle, Artistic Director, BFI Festivals, welcomed the “richly complex and diverse characters and stories” on offer this year, and noted the Festival name change, ”That Q+ reflects shifts in cultural conversations around identity, but also the Festival’s own ethos as welcoming and inclusive.”
The Festival recently announced a three year philanthropic commitment from Pureland Foundation, whose founder Bruno Wang said: “The Festival mirrors Pureland Foundation’s belief in the power of the arts and culture to promote inclusion and social well-being and to celebrate diversity in our communities.”
Announced last week, the Festival will open with My Days Of Mercy starring Ellen Page and Kate Mara, and close with Steve McLean’s Postcards From London.