BFI Flare Programme 2020
Tickets for the BFI Flare Festival 2020 are now on sale. In its 34th year, the UK’s biggest LGBT+ Film Festival includes more than 50 feature films, 85 shorts and a wide range of special events, guest experiences and free events. The films are split into three thematic categories: hearts, bodies and minds. Take a look at the full list of features below, or head to the BFI website to book tickets.
OPENING NIGHT GALA:
A young man is forced to face past traumas when he embarks on a new relationship, in this remarkable feature debut.
DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN (USA)
A well-timed and thrilling analysis of the history of transgender stories on screen, from the silent era to the present day.
HEARTS: Films about love, romance and friendship
Bumping into an ex the day she moves into a new apartment makes Anne reflect on her past, in this smart and sexy webseries.
Taking refuge in an idyllic lake house following her recent break-up, Karen meets the mysterious Lana in this moody and atmospheric debut.
A DOG BARKING AT THE MOON (China/Spain)
This impressive dissection of one Chinese family’s imperfect life gradually reveals discomforting secrets.
ELLIE & ABBIE (& ELLIE’S DEAD AUNT) (Australia)
In this delightful rom-com from debut director Monica Zanetti, Ellie’s dead aunt has the perfect dating advice for her. But will she listen to it?
JACK & YAYA (USA)
A year in the lives of childhood best friends who go from swapping gendered Christmas gifts as kids to transitioning in their twenties.
A young woman struggles with her demons, in this arresting sophomore feature from Tucked (Flare 2019) director Jamie Patterson.
THE LAWYER (Lithuania)
This gentle romantic drama gradually increases in intensity as it probes its protagonists’ complex lives.
LINGUA FRANCA (USA)
A deftly woven tale of love and inequality for a Filipina transwoman living under the radar in New York.
MATTHIAS & MAXIME (Canada)
A kiss between two childhood friends has dramatic repercussions in the eighth film from Xavier Dolan.
MEMORIES OF A TEENAGER (Argentina)
An Argentine teenager finds life and love difficult following the death of his gay best friend.
MOFFIE (South Africa)
Oliver Hermanus’ fourth feature is a beautiful yet brutal study of closeted homosexuality in the Apartheid-era military.
Having opened Flare in 2014 with his acclaimed debut Lilting, Hong Khaou returns to the festival with this poignant meditation on cultural displacement.
MY FIONA (USA)
Grief draws out unexpected emotions and new beginnings in this riveting feature debut from Kelly Walker.
THE PRINCE (Chile)
This powerful tale of queers behind bars won the Queer Lion at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
SUK SUK (Hong Kong)
Love blossoms unexpectedly for two older Hong Kong gents.
T11 INCOMPLETE (USA)
Past mistakes haunt the present and threaten a new love affair between an older woman and her patient in this compelling melodrama.
TWO OF US (France)
Lies in the past and secrecy in the present has a potentially devastating impact on the relationship between two older women in this poignant drama.
YOUNG HUNTER (Argentina)
A lonely teenager gets more than he bargained for when he meets an older boy at the skate park.
BODIES: Stories of sex, identity and transformation
ASK ANY BUDDY (USA)
This lovingly edited compilation of erotic gay film is the nearest you’ll get to experiencing queer life in the glory days between 1968 and 1986.
BLOODSISTERS: LEATHER, DYKES & SADOMASOCHISM (USA)
In this S&M classic, eight self-described leather dykes discuss queer politics, power and self-determination.
BODILY AUTONOMY (USA)
After the banning of body modification procedures using consent laws that have restricted queer practices, this talk explores sex, subcultures and personal autonomy.
CHANGING THE GAME (USA)
A compelling account of the hard-won victories by trans teenage athletes competing across America.
DON’T LOOK DOWN (France)
Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, directors of Theo and Hugo (Flare 2016), serve up a deliciously enigmatic chamber piece.
DRAG KIDS (Canada)
Enjoy flamboyant fun and temper tantrums galore in this cute foray into the world of child drag artistes.
A rich high-school teen trio bite off more than they can chew in the quest for conventional beauty.
INTERSEX STORIES: ACTIVISM, RESISTANCE AND BEING (USA)
Join intersex columnist and writer Valentino Vecchietti for an engaging, informative and illustrated overview of intersex culture.
MAKE UP (UK)
The debut feature from acclaimed short filmmaker Claire Oakley is a riveting psycho-sexual drama in which nothing is quite what is seems.
MIDNIGHT KISS (USA)
It’s time to kiss your nerves goodbye as there’s a killer in town with taste for ripped male flesh.
NO HARD FEELINGS (Germany)
An incisive portrait of what it means to be an immigrant in contemporary Germany.
SEQUIN IN A BLUE ROOM (Australia)
Sexual obsessions spiral dangerously out of control in this altogether different coming of age tale.
SIXTH HAPPINESS (UK)
An opportunity to see Firdus Kanga’s powerful autobiographical drama, detailing his battle to overcome prejudice.
Like a gay variation on Get Out, this socio-political shocker is a masterclass in escalating tension.
Four very different Israeli teenagers, on the verge of military conscription, divulge the turning points in their transitions.
WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE: D/DEAF DISABLED PEOPLE ON FILM (USA)
A timely provocation that highlights the importance of queer disability representation within the landscape of film and culture.
YOU DON’T NOMI (USA)
Paul Verhoeven’s much-maligned masterpiece is put under the microscope in this fascinating rumination on the one and only Showgirls.
MINDS: Reflections on art, politics and community
BUSY INSIDE (Russia)
A therapist works with several women struggling with dissociative identity disorder, while dealing with the illness and the impact of her own childhood trauma.
DRAG BALL (UK)
A thrilling discovery, this short documentary captures with joyful panache one of the legendary drag balls at West London’s Porchester Hall.
FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO (USA/Germany)
No description of Daniel Karslake’s powerful documentary can do justice to its sheer emotional intensity.
KEYBOARD FANTASIES: THE BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND STORY (UK)
After his 1986 album Keyboard Fantasies is re-discovered, a black trans musician recounts his life, from the lonely 1960s to the joy of witnessing the present.
LA LEYENDA NEGRA (USA)
A young undocumented teenager is confronted with deportation under the Trump administration.
A NIGHT AT SWITCH N’ PLAY (USA)
Enjoy an evening of non-binary burlesque with creative collective Switch n’ Play, reinventing the gender wheel in Brooklyn queer spaces.
OUR DANCE OF REVOLUTION (Canada)
A documentary portrait of how skilful organising created a cohesive Black LGBTIQ+ movement in Toronto.
PIER KIDS (USA)
Queer black youth in New York contend with homelessness, violence and discrimination with dedication, humour and passion.
PRIDE & PROTEST (UK)
The modern face of protest is the focus of this timely and necessary documentary.
QUEER GENIUS (USA)
A cutting edge look at the lives of five artists whose work has been instrumental in creating a bold queer aesthetic.
QUEERING THE SCRIPT (Canada/USA)
Explore the history of queer women on television and the various fandoms they inspired in this insightful and entertaining documentary.
RESCUE THE FIRE (Germany)
Delve into the stirring archives of photographer Jürgen Baldiga, the gifted provocateur who laid bare his queer life and death.
STEELERS: THE WORLD’S FIRST GAY RUGBY CLUB (UK/Netherlands)
Whether you are a fan of the game or not, this uplifting documentary will charm the (rugby) socks off you.
WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS (USA)
Activism is alive and well in this documentary portrait of a group of women who champion the importance of community.
CLOSING NIGHT GALA:
Gemma Arterton stars in acclaimed theatre director Jessica Swale’s moving Second World War drama, as a woman rediscovering her ability to love.