London’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival launches their 2019 programme – centering bisexuality, asexuality and intersex identities

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

BFI Flare, London’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival, has revealed its full programme for 2019 – and it’s bloody brilliant.

Jam-packed full of lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex representation – and bookended by two films centering queer women’s stories – the programme feature the likes of DIVA faves Kristen Stewart and Gemma Arterton.

Spread across ten days, the Flare (or “queer Christmas” as we like to call it) will present over 50 features, more than 80 shorts and various special events, guest appearances, club nights and lots, lots more.

There’s bound to be something that appeals to your queer film appetite this year. 

Last week, BFI Flare first announced that the festival will open with Chanya Button’s Vita & Virginia starring Elizabeth Debicki and Gemma Arterton.

The highly anticipated film explores the queer relationship between writer Virginia Woolf and aristocrat Vita Sackville-West. 

We now know that the Festival will close with Justin Kelly’s JT LeRoy, adapted from Savannah Knopp’s memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy.

The centrepiece screening of the Festival is the UK premiere of Jonathan Agassi Saves My Life, the latest documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Tomer Heymann, capturing both the highs and lows of one of the world’s most successful gay porn stars.

2019 THEMES

  • HEARTS – films about love, romance, friendship (From Zero to I Love You, Red Cow) 
  • BODIES – stories of sex, identity and transformation (Little Miss Westie, Last Ferry) 
  • MINDS – reflections on art, politics and community (United We Fan, Tongues Untied)

Want a few recommendations?

  • Tell It To The Bees – stars Holliday Grainger and Anna Paquin as two Scottish women who fall in love in the 1950s.
  • Two In The Bush – A Love Story, a rom-com where bisexual Emily embarks on a polyamorous relationship with her boss and their partner. Saucy.
  • Red Cow – an impressive coming of age film where a 17-year-old girl’s sexual and political awakening upsets her devoutly religious father.

Oh, and don’t forget The Big Gay Film Quiz, inviting you to put your queer knowledge to the test, whether you’re a film buff or a novice.

“At the heart of BFI Flare is a commitment to telling as wide a range of stories as possible, stories which speak to all members of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s Senior Programmer.

“One of the many things which makes this year’s programme so exciting, and so vital, is an increased number of films addressing subjects so often overlooked in cinema – such as bisexuality, asexuality or intersex representation – making the 2019 edition one of our most diverse and inclusive yet.” 

High five to that, Michael.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for the BFI Flare preview in the new issue of DIVA, due out 22 February 2019. Get yours in print divadirect.info and digitally at divadigital.co.uk.

Tickets for Flare go on sale from 25 February for BFI Patrons, Champions and Members and go on general sale on 28 February. All events and screenings will take place 21-31 March 2019 at BFI Southbank in London.

For further details and the full programme see www.bfi.org.uk/flare

Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.

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