Spring is in the air (almost) and with this comes gay films – and the BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival.
Taking place from March 16th – 27th at the NFT on the South Bank in London, this year Flare, for it’s 31st year, will deliver over 50 features, more than 100 shorts, and a wide range of special events including workshops, club nights and much much more in what is one of the world’s largest LGBT Film Festivals. Here’s a taste of what is showing:Against the Law
Against the Law – the world premiere (and opening night gala) of this British film which commemorates 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. The film deals with a Daily Express journalist, Peter Wildeblood, who has an affair with a serviceman that becomes disastrous for both of them in light of the law. Starring Mark Gattis (Boys in the Band) and Daniel Mays.
Signature Movie – a widowed Pakistani woman living in Chicago falls in love with a Mexican woman but it’s not acceptable behavior in her culture. Even more so in that her mother constantly nags her about about finding another man to marry.
Torrey Pines – a psychedelic stop-motion animation film 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.
After Louie – Alan Cumming is a troubled New York-based artist, a survivor of the AIDS epidemic, who meets a young man who turns his life around.
Different for Girls – A woman has to explain to her female partner how she became pregnant while they were on a break. Expect lots of tension and drama!
Short film Heavyweight deals with the arrival of a boxer who finds his world turned upside down by the arrival a new fighter at his club.
Flare continues to categorise the films in different sections: Hearts (love, romance and friendship), Bodies (sex, identity and transformation) and Minds (reflections on art, politics and community). Here’s a small sample of some of these films:
Handsome Devil, starring Andrew Scott, is about the unlikely friendship between a lonely gay teen and his hunky rugby-playing roommate; Heartland follows a young woman who has to move back home to Oklahoma following the death of her girlfriend; Being 17 is the touching story of two gay teenage boys in their last year in high school; Body Electric follows a young man and his casual encounters in Brazil; The Trans List, a documentary of where prominent transpeople, including Caitlin Jenner and Laverne Cox, tell their stories; Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things, a documentary about LGBT life in Canada’s remote Artic Intuit polulation; as well as Last Man Standing, the life of eight long-term AIDS survivors.
There’s also a chance to catch two recent gay-themed films in case you missed them. Academy Award winner Moonlight, which is the first gay-themed film to win Best Picture, and French Canadian wunderkind director Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World will both be shown at the festival.
We highly recommend a visit to the festival at least on one of the days, but if you have the stamina, and the money, there is something for everyone every single day of the festival. To learn more about what’s going on, and to buy tickets, please visit:
Watch the trailer:
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.