Photos by David Brownlie-Marshall for LDNISTA


BFI Flare 2019: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival


The 33rd edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival will open on Thursday 21st March with the UK premiere of biopic 'Vita & Virginia'. The film, written and directed by Chanya Button, stars Elizabeth Debicki as iconic author Virginia Woolf, and Gemma Arterton as her lover and muse Vita Sackville-West.

The rest of the line-up for the festival will be revealed on Wednesday 20th February at a special programme launch event; and if previous years are anything to go by, we'll be in for a jam packed line up of queer films including world premieres and a selection of European and UK premieres.

I'm also looking forward to see how the BFI NETWORK FLARE Mentorships programme is developing, with four successful years under their belt, the BAFTA partnered programme offers five LGBTQ+ identified filmmakers the opportunity to develop industry knowledge, professional connections and insights through one-to-one meetings with senior figures in the UK film industry, as well as a roundtable with senior industry figures. There has been success in the past, and I'm optimistic for the future.

As someone with a particular interest in Philanthropy and fundraising in the arts, it is worth noting that the BFI are continuing to work closely with the Pureland Foundation as a Mains Supporter over a three year period. The foundation aims to support social, spiritual and emotional wellness through art and music - which makes it seem like a good fit, and I look forward to observing this collaboration over the coming years.

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. In previous years this has enabled almost 2 million people to tune in from 202 countries.

The full programme will be available on 20th February. The festival runs 21st - 31st March