BFI Flare LGBTIQ+ Film Festival announce opening and closing films for 2020 festival

BY DANIELLE MUSTARDE/BFI FLARE LGBTIQ+ FILM FESTIVAL

Hold onto your hats, film buffs – the 34th edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, the UK’s longest running queer film event, is back from the 18-29 March 2020 at BFI Southbank in none other than London Town.

Two of the films are first features in the shape of Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare’s opening night gala, Cicada, and Jessica Swale’s Closing Night Gala, Summerland (starring the wonderful Gemma Arterton). Then of course, there’s the centrepiece screening of Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen, directed by documentary filmmaker Sam Feder (Kate Bornstein Is A Queer & Pleasant Danger).

“With Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare’s Cicada and Jessica Swale’s Summerland, we are thrilled to be showcasing the works of three extraordinary new directorial voices for our opening and closing night films,” said Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s Senior Programmer.

“Alongside the centrepiece screening of alumni filmmaker Sam Feder’s fascinating documentary Disclosure, this trio of special presentations beautifully reflect the richness and diversity of contemporary queer cinema.”

Opening night gala: Cicada

When Ben (Matt Fifer) and Sam (Sheldon D. Brown) randomly meet whilst browsing discount books at a street stall, they form an instant connection. But as they slowly let their guards down and reveal intimate details about their lives, both begin to recognise the need to confront past traumas if they are to truly let the other person in.

Centrepiece screening: Disclosure – Trans Lives On Screen

An unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender representation in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton and Chaz Bono share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments, tracing a history that is at once dehumanising, yet also evolving, complex, and sometimes humorous.

Closing night gala: Summertime

Olivier Award-winning playwright and theatre director Jessica Swale’s feature debut, Summerland, starring Gemma Arterton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. In Kent, England 1940, fiercely independent writer Alice (Gemma Arterton) secludes herself in study: occupied by her work but also profoundly lonely, haunted by a love affair from her past. When spirited young Frank (Lucas Bond), an evacuee from the London Blitz, is dumped into her irritable care, his innocence and wonder awaken Alice’s deeply buried emotions. Bravely embracing life’s miraculous unpredictability, Alice learns that wounds may be healed, and that hope and second chances do exist…

The full programme for BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival will be revealed on Tuesday 18 February 2020 – click here for more.

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