BFI Flare: Huge LGBTQIA+ Film Festival Lands In London This March

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Last Updated 19 February 2024

BFI Flare: Huge LGBTQIA+ Film Festival Lands In London This March
Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal
Andrew Haigh's film All Of Us Strangers plays on the last day of the festival. Image: Getty

'Hearts', 'Bodies' and 'Minds' are the broad theme categories of 2024's BFI Flare, one of the world's longest-running LGBTQI+ film festivals.

Running for its 38th year from 13-24 March 2024, BFI Flare is showing 57 features and 81 shorts from 41 countries, with BFI Southbank doing the hosting honours as usual. A few of the highlights are as follows:

  • Hearts (films about love, romance and friendship): Lesvia, Tzeli Hadjidimitriou's exploration into sexuality on the Greek island of Lesbos; Pine Cone, a semi-autobiographical tale about a gay director in India; The Queen of My Dreams, a story of war and love between a queer woman and her mum.
  • Bodies (stories of sex, identity and transformation): Riley, about a star American football player whose secret love life begins to unravel; M. H. Murray's I Don't Know Who You Are, in which a young man races against the clock to find cash to buy HIV prevention treatment; Departing Seniors, a tongue-in-cheek paean to slasher movies.
  • Minds (reflections on art, politics and community): Merchant Ivory, the story of gay couple Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, who crafted an incredible film legacy; Calls from Moscow in which four Cuban exiles wind up in Moscow the day before Russian invades Ukraine; Studio One Forever, a celebration of the legendary Hollywood disco.
Two Young women on a basketball court
Bottoms, about two women who start a fight club to hook up with cheerleaders, also plays on closing night. Image: Getty

33 of the films screened are European or world premieres, including Amrou Al-Kadhi's Layla, about the relationship between a Palestinian-British drag performer and their white, straightlaced love interest; Close To You, in which Elliot Page plays a newly-transitioned man attending a family reunion; and docu-fiction Lady Like, a rags-to-riches story about someone who lands a place on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Various special events take place throughout the festival, including a badge making workshop, and a quiz from Mr. Ted.

BFI Flare, BFI Southbank 13-24 March 2024