The full programme for BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival is due to be announced soon, but ahead of that, the British Film Institute has announced the opening and closing films of the fest, which runs 21st March to 1st April at BFI Southbank. The UK’s premiere lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film fest will open with Tali Shalom-Ezer’s My Days Of Mercy on Wednesday 21st March. Powered by stirring performances from Ellen Page (Juno, Inception, Freeheld) and Kate Mara (House Of Cards, The Martian), Shalom-Ezer’s follow up to Princess is a poignant love story between two women from vastly different backgrounds and opposing political views.
The European Premiere of Steve McLean’s stylish and sexy Postcards From London will feature as the Closing Night Gala. The film tells the story of beautiful teenager Jim (Beach Rats breakout star, Harris Dickinson) who, having travelled from the suburbs, finds himself in Soho where he falls in with a gang of unusual high class male escorts ‘The Raconteurs’. Set in a vibrant, neon-lit, imaginary vision of Soho, this morality tale manages to be both a beautifully shot homage to the spirit of Derek Jarman and a celebration of the homo-erotic in Baroque art.
Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s Senior Programmer comments, “It’s a pleasure to open this year’s Festival with My Days of Mercy, Tali Shalom-Ezer’s politically resonant and emotionally astute drama. This is bold and provocative filmmaking, featuring captivating performances from both Kate Mara and Ellen Page, the latter of whom continues to show such inspiring commitment to telling LGBT stories on screen”.
Tricia Tuttle, Artistic Director, BFI Festivals adds, “In recent years, the Festival has been developing links between the established film industry and the UK’s very exciting new generation of emerging LGBT identified filmmakers. We’re seeing a true strength in depth of talent in the UK and it’s a real thrill to see this in action with our Closing Night film, Steve McLean’s stylish and witty Postcards from London, a love song to European queer art and culture.”
BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival is the UK’s longest running LGBT film event. It began in 1986 as Gay’s Own Pictures. By its 3rd edition it was known as the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and since then has grown to become the largest LGBT 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 LGBT Film Festival will include 56 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 21st February. The festival runs 21st March – 1st April. You can find more information at: www.bfi.org.uk/Flare