Tonight the annual programme launch took place (on YouTube – you know, becauase we’re in a pandemic, but that means you can re-watch, which is like super cool!) where we got to see a few snippets of trailers in each of the sections of the programme.

This is our full list of lesbian, bisexual, queer – basically the wlw films , along with our annual guide of how to watch every wlw film across the festival without clashes – oh hang on, it is on BFI Player, so there will be no clashes?!

This year, all short films will be available for FREE! Yes, for free, however the feature films are still ticketed, and tickets are limited. So get your fingers ready to book your tickets…

Why not engage with us on social and tell us what you want to see!

This year’s BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival (17-28 March 2021) will deliver virtual festival premieres of the best new LGBTIQ+ cinema from around the world via BFI Player to UK-wide audiences, in the most accessible version of the festival yet, including features, free shorts programmes and events. The full programme for this year’s BFI Flare, including information about ticket booking was announced at a digital programme launch via the BFI YouTube channel on Tuesday 23 February, 18:00 GMT. This launch was available for the public to attend for the first time. Find out how to watch the films and book tickets here: www.bfi.org.uk/flare/how-to-watch

The lesbian and bisexual feature films showing at BFI Flare 2021

MINDS: Rebel Dykes

REBEL DYKES is a full-length documentary about the explosion that happened when punk met feminism, told through the lives of a gang of lesbians in the riotous London of the 1980s.

United Kingdom 2021  Running time 82 minutes

Directed by Harri Shanahan, Sîan Williams Produced by Siobhan Fahey

MINDS: Tove

The movie centres on the life of Tove Jansson, showing both her personal relationships, and the creation of the popular Moomin books.

Finland, Sweden 2020 Runtime 100 minutes

Directed by Zaida Bergroth Produced by Aleksi Bardy, Andrea Reuter Written by Eeva Putro Featuring Alma Pöysti, Krista Kosonen, Shanti Roney

Languages Swedish, Finnish and English with English subtitles

HEARTS: The Greenhouse

Grieving the death of her mother Lillian, Beth Tweedy-Bell wakes one night to find a portal to the past in the forest surrounding her family home. Swept away by visions of her idyllic upbringing with her three siblings and two loving Mums, Beth becomes mesmerized by the past, unable to see the dangers that lie ahead. 

Australia 2020 Running time 88 minutes

Directed by Thomas Wilson-White  Produced by Lizzie Cater Written by Thomas Wilson-White Featuring Jane Watt, Camilla Ah Kin, Rhondda Findleton

HEARTS:  Kiss Me Before It Blows Up (Kiss Me Kosher)

A subversive love story between clashing cultures and families, KISS ME BEFORE IT BLOWS UP is a romantic misadventure crossing all borders. When two generations of Israeli women fall for a German woman and an Palestinian man, chaos follows. What happens with lovers who don’t fit but do belong together?

Germany 2020 Running time 105 minutes

Directed by Shirel Peleg Produced by Christine Günther, Chevy K. Chen Written by Shirel Peleg Featuring Moran Rosenblatt, Luise Wolfram, Rivka Michaeli

HEARTS: My First Summer

16-year-old Claudia has grown up in isolation from the outside world. Stranded on a remote property after her mother’s death, she is shocked when Grace, a spirited local teen, appears in the garden like a mirage, a breath of fresh, sugary air. The pair find in each other the support, love and intimacy they need, and teach each other the restorative power of human connection. But their idyllic peace is a fragile one as the adult world closes in and threatens their secret summer love. Headlining some of Australia’s brightest young talent, Markella Kavenaugh (Romper Stomper) and Adelaide’s own Maiah Stewardson (Windmill, STC, Patch), My First Summer takes girls seriously and sensitively.

Australia 2020 Running time 80 minutes

Directed by Katie Found Produced by Alisha Hnatjuk, Jonathan auf der Heide Written by Katie Found Featuring Markella Kavenagh, Maiah Stewardson

HEARTS:  Sweetheart

A socially awkward, environmentally conscious teenager named AJ is dragged to a coastal holiday park by her painfully ‘normal’ family, where she becomes unexpectedly captivated by a chlorine smelling, sun-loving lifeguard named Isla.

United Kingdom 2021 Running time 103 minutes

Directed by Marley Morrison Produced by Michelle Antoniades Written by Marley Morrison Featuring Nell Barlow, Jo Hartley, Ella-Rae Smith

BODIES: Well Rounded

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!

Canada 2020 Running time 61 minutes

Directed by Shana Myara Featuring Candy Palmater, Ivory, Lydia Okello

The lesbian and bisexual wlw short films at BFI Flare

Into The Unknown: From A to Q

When Alex wakes suddenly from a dream in which she confesses her love to a girl, her whole world is turned upside down.

United Kingdom 2020 Running time 19 minutes

Directed by Emmalie El Fadli Produced by Emmalie El Fadli, Katie Pratten, Hansof Waller, Mark Owen, Bob Oliver, Dionne Jacomello Written by Emmalie El Fadli Featuring Sophie Rivers, Holly Ashman

Into The Unknown: The Cost of Living

Lily is stuck in a state of ennui, until Death comes along in the form of a beautiful woman and entices her to live.

United Kingdom 2021 Running time 13 minutes

Directed by Alice Trueman Produced by Katie Hodgkin, Alex Hurle Written by Alice Trueman Featuring Lily Loveless, Genesis Lynea

Into The Unknown: Girls Shouldn’t Walk Alone at Night

(Les filles ne marchent pas seules la nuit)

After a late night high school graduation party, Chantal and Delphine find themselves walking home alone in the dark. Lost in the forest, their long night walk is punctuated by carelessness and an irrepressible desire to exist.

Canada 2020 Running time 17 minutes

Directed by Katerine Martineau Produced  by Guillaume Collin Written by Katerine Martineau Featuring Nahéma Ricci, Amaryllis Tremblay, Guillaume Laurin

Into The Unknown: Hello, Goodbye

Sometimes love just isn’t enough to hold two people together.

Canada 2019 Running time 4 minutes

Directed by Sarah Rotella Produced by Sarah Rotella Written by Adrianna DiLonardo, Sarah Rotella Featuring Nadia Mohebban, Ali Goebel

Into The Unknown: Love is a Hand Grenade

Mixing drink, drugs and a friendship on eggshells was always going to be an explosive mix in this bittersweet British mini drama.

United Kingdom 2020 Running time 13 minutes

Directed by Jessica Benhamou Produced by Rosanagh Griffiths, Victoria Thorson, Louise Tse Featuring Genesis Lynea, Saffron Hocking

Into The Unknown: Wings

A heartwarming LGBTQ+ love story that spans over six decades, between two Land Army girls during World War II. A partly silent film, accompanied by a beautiful score, starring BAFTA award-winning actresses.

United Kingdom 2020 Running time 18 minutes

Directed by Jamie Weston Produced by Carla Fraser, Jamie Weston Written by Carla Fraser, Jamie Weston Featuring Miriam Margolyes, Virginia McKenna, Rosie Day

For the Record: All I Need is a Ball

Paloma Pujol, tired of being the only freestyler woman in Spain, challenges herself to open the female category in the Spanish Football Freestyle Championship, but she needs at least four more girls to achieve her goal.

Spain 2020 Running time 17 minutes

Directed by Elena Molina Produced by Jessica Costilla Written by Elena Molina Featuring Paloma Pujol, Chaima Kaguya, Paula Sanz

Queer as in Question Everything: Bodies of Desire

Using Varsha Panikar’s poetry series by the same name Bodies of Desire is a film that captures four sets of lovers amid passion; to create a portrait of tender intimacy, of longing, of discovery, of desire, of embrace and care, of profound companionship. It is a sensual celebration of genderless love and desire, inspired by the poet’s lived reality. The text follows the poet’s journey of healing and self-acceptance as she rediscovers love, passion and identity after encountering her muse, her lover, who acts as an encounter, a rupture that awakens the poet and her desire to express her inner truth. Immersed in the lover’s thought, the poet recalls moments spent in embrace, the touch, the smell, the little things that evoke feelings and emotions in her, that are complex, multidimensional and fluid, and inevitably puts her on a path of discovering her own power and uniqueness.

India 2020 Running time 4 minutes

Directed by Varsha Panikar, Saad Nawab Produced by Asawari Jagushte, Neha Vyas Written by Varsha Panikar

Queer as in Question Everything: We Two

A smart, meditative take on the gulf that emerges between ex- lovers.

United Kingdom 2020 Running time 3 minutes

Directed by Grace Porter Featuring Grace Carter, Lynsey Murrell

Queer as in Question Everything: Pure

Whoever you are, whatever your desires, you too shall go to the prom!

USA 2020 Running time 12 minutes

Directed by Natalie Jasmine Harris Produced by Natalie Jasmine Harris, Alexyss Robinson Written by Natalie Jasmine Harris Featuring Mikayla LaShae Bartholomew, Josca Moore, Jacob Daniel Smith

Striving to be Seen: Victoria

A florist receives a surprise visit from her ex-wife, uneasy at the next round of coming out.

Spain 2020 Running time 8 minutes

Directed by Daniel Toledo Saura Produced by Alberto Tortes Castelló, Álvaro Diaz Calvo, Sara de la Fuente Monedero Written by Daniel Toledo Saura Featuring Abril Zamora, Lorena López

Shapes We Make, Spaces We Take: Is it Me?

Body dysmorphia takes centre stage in this highly visual examination of the selves we invent to navigate the world.

United Kingdom 2020 Running time 9 minutes

Directed by Christopher McGill Produced by Siobhan Fahey Featuring Emma Russer

Of course, this is only a small selection of the entire BFI Flare schedule. There are a number of films around gay, trans, non-binary, drag queens, intersex people. The programme is as diverse as our LGBTQ+ community.

You can see the full programme here: https://www.bfi.org.uk/flare

ABOUT BFI FLARE

BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival is the UK’s longest running queer film event. It began in 1986 as Gay’s Own Pictures. By its 3rd edition it was tagged the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and since then has grown to become the largest LGBTIQ+ 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, Emma Smart and guest programmer Tara Brown, led by Festivals Director, Tricia Tuttle.

www.bfi.org.uk/Flare

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