There are only a few days left now to catch BFI Flare’s 2021 edition! Bringing you the best in contemporary queer cinema from across the world, BFI Flare is the UK’s longest running queer film event, beginning in 1986 as Gay’s Own Pictures. Since then it has grown to become the largest LGBTQIA+ film event in the UK, and the most anticipated, with an exciting, diverse and generous programme for 2021.
Their three strands, Hearts, Bodies and Minds, explore everything from love and romance to identity, transformation, politics and community and run alongside a brilliant, and completely free, programme of Shorts. If you are wondering what to watch, look no further, as we share our favourites from this year’s programme. You can buy virtual film tickets until 11pm on Sunday 28th March.
The Greenhouse (2021)
A tight-knit family find their lives upturned when one of their mothers passes away. Their idyllic, rural home becomes the centre of bittersweet memories, and only Beth is left behind when her adopted siblings move out and move on. Reuniting for their mother’s 60th birthday party, Beth is finally forced to face her grief when she discovers a portal into the past. She is not alone in her time travel, however, and when past and present memories collide, the whole family is in danger. Strangely enjoyable from start to finish, this mesmerising gothic tale is both whimsical and humorous, exploring family bonds, sexual confusion, betrayal and bettering.
P.S. Burn This Letter Please (2020)
If you have gained a pen-pal in the last year of lockdowns, look no further for letter writing inspiration and proof of the power of writing! When a cache of letters from 1950s New York were discovered in 2014, filmmakers Michael Seligman and Jennifer Tiexiera tracked down the authors to tell their story. The result is a fabulous montage of memories, as the drag scene of 1950s New York is painted out by the drag queens themselves. Self-described as female impersonators, mimics and illusionists, their vibrant, but clandestine world proves the importance of resistance by existence. This inspiring look at a generation of queers at the very margins of society sees them find peace, freedom and power in the intersectional spaces they created within their work, their identity and their fearless energy.
Boy Meets Boy (2020)
If you are aching for a summer holiday, and maybe a summer fling, Boy Meets Boy is for you. Full of natural conversation, humour and tender romance, follow Harry and Johannes around Berlin on the last day of Harry’s weekend break. After meeting on a nightclub dancefloor in the early hours, an instant attraction and undeniable chemistry leads to them spending the day together. With Johannes as tour guide and Harry as tourist, the two men find the time to play out a modern love story on the streets of Berlin in this sunny, funny and refreshingly realistic romance.
I Am Samuel (2020)
Filmed over five years, this touching documentary sees couple Samuel and Alex navigate the dangers, hardships and heartache that come from maintaining a committed gay relationship in Kenya’s complex cultural landscape. Featuring some sobering evidence of the violent reactions given to queer identity, this is a love story that sees the couple battle traditional obligations and family expectations, whilst giving us an intimate look at the joys that characterise their love for each other and their commitment to a future together, despite the risks.
Kiss Me Before It Blows Up (Kiss Me Kosher) (2020)
With a fumbled marriage proposal opening the film, fun-loving Shira and her German girlfriend Maria’s whirlwind romance surprises both their families. Despite hiding her own secret love-match, the family’s matriarch, Grandmother Berta, refuses to accept that Shira is not marrying a nice Jewish girl. As Maria struggles to settle into her new life, it is up to Shira to unite the family and ensure that love really does conquer all. This fresh romantic comedy navigates intense culture clashes, re-surfaced history and family secrets with a deft touch from director Shirel Pelag!