It’s March, end of the first quarter and the most wonderful time of the year…
I’ve blocked off my calendar, done hours of reading and research, booked all the industry events and have once again produced my festival spreadsheet to make sure I don’t miss one moment of queer film goodness.
I am of course, talking about BFI Flare, one of the biggest and longest running queer film festivals in the world. I was lucky enough to be part of the team as Events Coordinator in 2013 and 2014, and have a lifetime of anecdotes to show for it. I love the variety of films shown, the ambition, the club nights and the BFI Festival team is its own superhero gang, but maybe I’m biased.
The festival kicks off tonight with Against the Law, a portrait of gay male life in the 1950s before the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, now half a century ago. Everything the festival does this year falls under this shadow; I hope it’s a strengthening, emboldening factor rather than a flattening, dulling one. I hope the festival, especially this years, continues to be a mixture of remembrance, celebration and activism.
If you hadn’t heard about it, why not?! But honestly, don’t worry about tickets. I’ll say it again: Don’t freak out if you haven’t got tickets. I say this for several reasons; have you tried to herd queers? Have you ever tried to get a large group of queers (or your Caribbean family) to get to a venue on time for anything? There will be some tickets available from people who haven’t turned up, people trying to sell spares, unused sponsor tickets and sometimes late releases. If there’s a film you really really want to see, I honestly recommend turning up and queueing up. Worst come to worst, you’ll get to hang out with your friends who didn’t get tickets either. BFI Flare will have you bumping into all of your friends (including your exes, so be prepared).
With this in mind, I have a big bunch of films I want to point out for your enjoyment. These are the films I’m really looking forward to seeing: