Let DIVA guide you through the best lez/bi flicks at this year’s virtual fest


The 35th edition of BFI Flare is well underway, with many films already sold out.

But if you’re still trying to decide what to watch, don’t worry! We’re here to guide you through the best lez/bi flicks in the programme with our official guide to Flare 2021. Consider us your Fairy Dykemother!

Taking place completely online, 2021’s Flare promises to be the most inclusive and accessible version of the film festival yet, bringing films, talks, events and more to audiences across the UK. 

Described as the “strongest selection yet” by programmer and former DIVA screen editor Emma Smart, the best queer feature films and shorts are split across three strands – Hearts, Bodies and Minds – and ticket holders are encouraged to “choose their own adventure”, building their own Flare experience with films available to watch at anytime between 17-28 March. 


With so much choice, it can be difficult to choose what to watch. We’ve certainly struggled to narrow it down! But here are some of our faves from each strand – DIVA’s map of the festival, if you will. Join us as we watch and tweet along using the hashtag #DIVADoesFlare

My First Summer (dir Katie Found)

“Claudia has been brought up in isolation by her mother in a remote rural home miles away from the nearest town. Emotionally unequipped to cope with her mother’s suicide, Claudia hides in her ramshackle old house, her beloved dog her only company until the spirited Grace breezes into her life. The two women very quickly form a close bond, teaching each other the joy that can be found in life and falling in love along the way. But their idyllic summer can’t last forever and as the adult world closes in on them is Grace’s love strong enough to keep Claudia afloat? A remarkable debut from Katie Found, this is queer filmmaking at its best.”

Well Rounded (dir Shana Myara)

“Shana Myara’s documentary focuses on fat and fierce babes in Canada who are using their creativity to clap back at a diet culture that seeks to shrink marginalised bodies. Interviewees all tell stories of struggle, self-actualisation and radicalisation, and taking back charge in a fatphobic, racist heteronormative society. Here, fatness, queer identity and race intersect in unique ways that never get represented in film, underlined with a fat-ass bass soundtrack and gorgeous animation. It’s a truly liberating film, and through its use of burlesque, comedy, dance circus, media and more, you will be left in no doubt of the intrinsic value of ALL bodies. DIY, direct and full of heart, Well Rounded takes us through personal stories of terror and triumph – this is the fat queer film we’ve been waiting for!

Tove (dir Zaida Bergroth)

“The bohemian life of artist and writer Tove Jansson is wondrously brought to life in this timely and moving biopic. Exploring her early years as a struggling artist in Helsinki, shunned by the artistic establishment, Tove parties hard with the intelligentsia and fails to live up to the high artistic expectations of her sculptor father. At her first solo exhibition she meets the married theatre director Vivica Bandler, their attraction to each other obvious. A passionate love affair ensues, which nourishes Tove’s creativity and soon her most famous creation takes the world by storm. This is a beautiful celebration of the life and work of a remarkable woman and will make you want to take a stroll through Moominvalley as soon as it’s over.”


Want more? Exclusive interviews with actors and filmmakers from these films and many more will be popping up on divamag.co.uk throughout the festival as well as trailers, teasers and more, so keep your eyes peeled for those, bébes 👀


We really miss that magical sense of community that Flare brings so we want to recreate some of it online. Throughout the festival, we’ll be tweeting, ‘gramming and talking all things Flare over on the DIVA Community. So come and join the conversation and let’s make this the best BFI Flare yet!

Book your tickets now at bfi.org.uk/flare 🍿

DIVA magazine celebrates 27 years in print in 2021. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another 27. Your support is invaluable. 

divadigital.co.uk // divadirect.info 

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