PREVIEW: BFI Flare LGBT Film Festival announce 2017 programme

Alice Blezard February 24, 2017

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival has unveiled its 31st edition’s full programme.

Signature Move (director. Jennifer Reeder) Closing Night, BFI Flare
Signature Move (director. Jennifer Reeder) Closing Night, BFI Flare

One of the most significant and long-standing film events in the world’s LGBT+ calendar, BFI Flare will present over 50 features, more than 100 shorts and a wide range of special events, guest appearances, discussions, workshops, club nights and much more.

The festival opens on the 16th March with the World Premiere of Fergus O’Brien’s BBC Production Against the Law at BFI Southbank, and will close with the International Premiere of Jennifer Reeder’s Signature Move.

Tickets are on sale to BFI Patrons, Champions and Members at and will be available to the General Public from Monday February 27.

Tricia Tuttle
Tricia Tuttle

Tricia Tuttle, BFI Deputy Head of Festivals, said: “If last year’s 30th Anniversary of the Festival was time for reflection on just how far we’ve come, many world events in the 12 months since have reminded us just how vital this event still is. And what a programme we have to offer this year – it’s vibrant, politically engaged, playful, stirring – and with a number of World, International and European Premieres on offer, BFI Flare is absolutely the place to see the best new LGBT+ cinema first.”

The Centrepiece Screening of the 2017 Festival is the European Premiere of Torrey Pines, a psychedelic stop-motion animation about a child grappling with gender identity and a schizophrenic mother. The film will be accompanied by a live score from director Clyde Petersen’s Queercore band, Your Heart Breaks.

The year’s Special Presentations are both World Premieres: the new UK web series, Different for Girls, a smart, sassy, sexy multi-layered lesbian drama, directed by award-winning Festival alumni Campbell X and After Louie in which Alan Cumming plays a New York artist whose life is turned upside down by an encounter with a much younger man.

2017 sees the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which decriminalised private homosexual acts in England and Wales.

The Festival marks this anniversary in a number of ways:

♦      Fifty Years of Queer History through the Moving Image and Beyond a unique afternoon of illustrated talks, screenings and storytelling with a wide range of historians, archivists and individuals who lived through the period.

♦      The aforementioned Against the Law is the profoundly moving true story of Peter Wildeblood and the events that led to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform.

♦      BFI Flare will host the World Premiere of the politically charged Pride?, a provocative and intelligent documentary which details the history of the Pride celebrations.

♦      As previously announced, the BFI is also marking the 50th anniversary with a new season of screenings and events in July and August. Gross Indecency will explore the pioneering – and sometimes problematic – depictions of LGBT+ life in British film and TV in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

In a global climate which sees many LGBT+ people struggle for basic human rights, BFI Flare also presents a selection of films and events which explore LGBT_ culture around the world.

Highlights include:

♦      Out of Iraq is an outstanding documentary about the forbidden relationship of two Iraqi young soldiers at the height of the Iraq war.

♦      The Pearl of Africa follows the story of Cleopatra Kambugu, the first out transgender woman in Uganda.

♦      Sridhar Rangayan, the Director of Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will attend BFI Flare and take part in an event exploring LGBT+ film and television culture in India, as part of UK/India 2017.

♦      LGBT+ film gets an international spotlight with the welcome return of fiveFilms4freedom, programmed in partnership with the British Council, which sees five LGBT+ short films from BFI Flare available online for free throughout the festival. Last year’s films were seen in more than 130 countries worldwide.

For further details and full programme, click here: