We’re delighted to hear that the opening film for the 33rd BFI Flare Festival will be the UK premier of Vita and Virginia.

BFI Flare takes place at the BFI Southbank in London between 21st and 31st March 2019.

VITA & VIRGINIA is the true story of the passionate relationship between literary trailblazer Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki), and the enigmatic aristocrat Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton). The film tells the story of the birth of the novel their intoxicating encounters inspired; Woolf’s bold experiment in art and androgyny, ‘Orlando’.

When their paths cross, the magnetic Vita decides the beguiling, stubborn and gifted Virginia will be her next conquest, no matter the cost. The film is a celebration of their unconventional bond; a vivid exploration of gender, sexuality, creativity and passion. VITA & VIRGINIA is a love story, told in a contemporary style, about two women – two writers – who smashed through social barriers to find solace in their forbidden connection.

VITA & VIRGINIA is written (screenplay) by Chanya Button and adapted from Dame Eileen Atkins’ play of the same name. With a supporting cast that includes Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones and Peter Ferdinando, VITA & VIRGINIA was shot in Dublin and produced by Evangelo Kioussis and Katie Holly. The film will open in the UK on 12 July 2019 through Thunderbird Releasing.

BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival is the UK’s longest running LGBTQ+ film event. It began in 1986 as Gay’s Own Pictures. By its 3rdedition it was tagged the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and since then has grown to become the largest LGBTQ+ film event in the UK, and its most anticipated. The Festival changed its name to BFI Flare in 2014 to reflect the increasing diversity of its films, filmmakers and audience. The festival is programmed by Jay Bernard, Michael Blyth, Zorian Clayton, Brian Robinson and Emma Smart, led by Artistic Director, Tricia Tuttle.

The full programme of BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival will include 52 feature films, an expanded industry programme, selected films on BFI Player VOD service, a series of special events and archive screenings. FiveFilms4freedom will see Flare offer five LGBT short films for free across the world and promoted through the British Council’s global networks. The full programme will be available on 20th February.