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BFI Flare LGBTQIA Film Festival announces full 2024 programme

BFI Flare
Summer with Carmen (Image: Peccadillo Pictures)

The BFI Flare London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival has announced its full programme for 2024.

Once again the festival, one of the world’s most significant and long-standing queer film events, will return to the BFI Southbank and online between 13 and 24 March 2024. As well as an impressive lineup of feature and short films BFI Flare will also feature an array of events and DJ nights.

The 2024 festival, the 38th edition, will see 33 World Premieres (across features and shorts) with 57 features and 81 shorts from 41 countries. Among the films to premiere at BFI Flare are We Forgot to Break Up, What a Feeling, What’s Safe, and What’s Gross, What’s Selfish, and What’s Stupid.

As previously announced, Amrou Al-Kadhi’s Layla gets its European premiere at BFI Flare. The film, starring Bilal Hasna, tells the story of a struggling drag queen whose bravado masks the desire for love. Lady Like will get its World Premiere and will close BFI Flare 2024. It follows RuPaul’s Drag Race star Lady Camden on their journey to international fame. Also previously announced was the Special Presentation and European Premiere of Elliot Page’s Close To You.

Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers, starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, will also be screened during the festival. Emma Seligman’s Bottoms and the Colman Domingo-led Rustin will also screen as will 20,000 Species of Bee.

Kristen Stewart brings more star power to BFI Flare. She and Katy O’Brian star as a lesbian couple drawn into a web of violence in 1980s small-town New Mexico in Love Lies Bleeding. The lineup also includes a variety of coming-of-age high school and college grad stories across genres. One notable example is Riley, where Dakota Riley is a star player on a football team whose secret gay life threatens to destroy him. For fans of a horror slasher there’s Departing Seniors, where a murderer among a group of high-schoolers puts their upcoming graduation into perspective.

BFI Flare will also include a number of authentic trans narratives. Among these is Woman Of, which focuses on a closeted trans woman’s life in small-town Poland against the tumultuous backdrop of a crumbling Soviet Bloc. India’s 1st Best Trans Model Agency sees a group of visionary hijra in Delhi form a modelling agency to bring the traditional third gender into the 21st century.

BFI Flare 2024
BFI Flare poster (Image: Provided)

A favourite of BFI Flare, Jeffrey Schwarz returns after Boulevard! A Hollywood Story, Tab Hunter Confidential, and I Am Divine, with Commitment to Life, a look at how community action mobilized around AIDS in Los Angeles. Featuring ordinary people and Hollywood celebrities the film is another look into LGBTQ history from a brilliant documentarian.

Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero will also be screened at BFI Flare. The documentary takes a look behind the curtain on the superstar’s first world tour.

Greece is a popular subject for films in this year’s BFI Flare. A number of titles explore the country’s landscapes, history, and culture. Among the films fitting into this bracket are Aligned, Lesvia, and The Summer with Carmen. Other films will also explore life across Africa as well as the experiences of people of faith.

The main festival will be divided into three strands – Hearts, Bodies, and Minds. Meanwhile, the Shorts programme includes themes like Tender hearted: Shorts from UK & Ireland, A Taste of Spain, and Methods of Facing a Hostile World.

Five Films for Freedom returns with another selection of films made free for audiences worldwide. The programme celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. BFI Flare and BAFTA’s partnership continues for its tenth year as well to help six aspiring filmmakers. Further help from industry pros is on offer at the BFI Flare Industry Day on Saturday 16 March.

Among the events during BFI Flare are talks and Q&As with filmmakers like Amrou Al-Kadhi and Jeffrey Schwarz. Scenes of Intimacy will look at creating queer intimate scenes with intimacy co-ordinator Tommy Ross-Williams. Mr Ted returns for a Big Fabulous Interactive Quiz. Other talks will look at faith communities and the Oska Bright Film Festival. The latter will look at the festival for films made by or featuring people with learning disabilities or autism.

The popular Badge Cafe returns as will the BFI Flare DJ nights. Those will take place on Friday 15, Saturday 16, Thursday 21, and Friday 22 March

For further details about everything, click here.

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