Two hugely anticipated queer UK titles will be available digitally through BFI Flare in March 


After the news that Jump, Darling would be having its premiere at the 35th edition of BFI Flare, we knew there would be plenty more exciting premieres coming our way this March. 

And today, London’s LGBTIQ+ film festival has announced that two UK-produced features, Rebel Dykes and Firebird, will receive their world premieres at the digital edition of the festival, available from 17-28 March via BFI Player. 

Screening as part of the Minds strand of the festival, the press release explains that Rebel Dykes is: “A heady, energised mash-up of animation, unseen archive footage and interviews, Rebel Dykes provides an intimate insight into the politically charged, artistically radical sub culture in 1980s London, and the individuals who helped shape and change their world.” You can check out the trailer here and read an exclusive feature in the March issue of DIVA, available from 26 February.

Siobhan Fahey, the film’s producer, told DIVA: “The Rebel Dykes team are honoured and delighted to be having the film’s world premiere at BFI Flare. This feels like the natural home for our film. We have been supported by BFI Flare from the beginning of our project, and we are excited to introduce our completed film for the first time, especially to all our supporters and followers who have helped make this film happen.

“As a Producer working on my first feature film, it has been the most incredible privilege to work with immensely talented and dedicated directors and artists, Harri Shanahan and Sian Williams and watch the brave, creative and unique ways they retold almost lost stories. They animated, recreated and rewove tales from this community into something very special. This is a film that has been supported by queers, and punks and feminists and ex-squatters and musicians and historians from start to finish. It’s been a long six years in the making, but I think you will see it was worth the wait. 

“Sometimes dyke stories get sidelined and forgotten, especially stories from recent history.  But I don’t think anyone will make the mistake of forgetting the Rebel Dykes again!”

Firebird, receiving its premiere in the Hearts strand of the festival, is “a touching love story set at the height of the Cold War, where a troubled soldier (Tom Prior) forms a forbidden love triangle with a daring fighter pilot (Oleg Zagorodnii) and his female comrade (Diana Pozharskaya) amid the dangerous surroundings of a Soviet Air Force Base.” The debut from director Peeter Rebane, it looks like a beautiful tale about love flourishing against all odds.

This year’s BFI Flare will deliver fully virtual festival premieres of all the best new queer films from around the world via the BFI Player, making this the most accessible version of the festival yet. 

The full programme and how you can get your hands on tickets is set to be announced 23 February. Head over to the website here and keep your eyes peeled. 👀

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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