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Preview: BFI Flare Festival 2015

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Irene Silvera gives us an overview of what to expect at the upcoming BFI Flare festival of LGBT cinema in London, from 19 – 29 March


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The full programme of the 2015 BFI Flare Festival was announced earlier this week.

This year’s BFI Flare Festival, the UK’s leading LGBT film event, will encompass 50 feature films from around the globe, 100 shorts, a number of special events and guest appearances. The 29th edition of the festival will open on 19th March with UK premiere of Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael, starring Jess Franco and Zachary Quinto, and close with documentary Out to Win on 29th March.

Special events this year include a 40th anniversary screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the BFI Imax (27th March) followed by a Blue Room Party, club nights, free screenings for secondary schools and BFI Flare Family Fun, an event aimed at children with storytelling, games and a stop motion animation workshop.

The subject of this year’s We Love… lecture series is Xena Warrior Princess, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the series, followed by a Warrior Women fancy dress after party.

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Reading Between the Lines: Queer Books on Film – the festival’s new book group, will offer the chance for discussion through literary salons and the screening of four female-directed classic LGBT literary adaptations from the archives: Orlando, The Color Purple, Strangers On A Train and Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe.

The ‘Best of the Year’ selection will include: comedy about a bisexual Iranian-American in Brooklyn Appropriate Behavior; Peter Strickland’s visually arresting The Duke Of Burgundy; and last year’s beloved British hit Pride, which will be followed by a Q&A with some of the real-life characters the film was based on.

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This year’s Centrepiece screening, UK premiere of Stories of Our Lives, directed by Jim Chu Chu, is a drama adapted from real testimonies of LGBT Kenyans (where the film is banned for promoting homosexuality) has recently won the Teddy Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

Festival highlights in the themed sections of Minds, Hearts and Bodies include: first gay film from Sri Lanka, Frangipani; Carol Morley’s highly anticipated new feature The Falling; Match, starring Patrick Stewart as a dance teacher; a rare screening of Jim Sharman’s Shock Treatment and Jeffrey Shwarz’s documentary about secretly gay matinee idol Tab Hunter, Tab Hunter Confidential.

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The BFI’s VoD platform, BFI Player, will also a selection of films and coverage direct from the event itself.

Tickets go on sale via www.bfi.org.uk/flare on 25th February for BFI members and 2nd March for non-members.


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