36th BFI Flare London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival announces full in-person & digital lineup

The UK’s longest running and largest queer film happening, BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, has announced the full lineup for its 36th edition. This year’s event will run March 16th to 27th in-person at BFI Southbank, with a selection of titles available to audiences UK-wide via BFI Player, plus international access to the festival’s annual Five Films for Freedom selection, in partnership with The British Council. The programme comprises six world premieres, with 56 features and 84 shorts from 42 countries. Tickets are on sale now at bfi.org.uk/flare.

Girl Picture directed by Alli  Haapasalo. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

BFI Flare opens on Wednesday, March 16th with the UK Premiere of Alli  Haapasalo’s coming-of-age drama Girl Picture about three girls on the cusp of womanhood, which won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award. The world premiere of Kevin  Hegge’s Tramps! will close the festival on Saturday, March 26th. The feature documentary looks back at 80s London and the unique cross-fertilization of British art, fashion, music, and film that culminated in the New Romantics. 


“We’re all chomping at the bit to welcome audiences back to an in-person BFI Flare, our first since 2019″, enthuses Tricia Tuttle, BFI Festivals Director, “with the bonus of screenings online for audiences who can’t make it to the venue, wherever they are in the UK. This year’s programme really does deliver something for every queer audience and cinema fan; rousing personal stories and bold, adventurous filmmaking alike”.

Among the other world premieres is Jean Carlomusto’s Esther Newton Made Me Gay, exuding wisdom, passionate enquiry and a healthy dose of New York no-nonsense attitude in this celebratory portrait of the pioneering octogenarian American academic whose life work has formed the bedrock of LGBTQIA+ cultural anthropology. Also making its festival debut is director Matt Carter’s In From the Side, which explores the lives of a gay rugby team in London, both on and off the pitch, revealing the many different  games that people play.

In From The Side directed by Matt Carter.

Two young men learn to navigate the Iranian courts in order to begin their  transition in Saeed Gholipour’s documentary This Is Not Me; and Jacquie Lawrence’s Gateways Grind joins comedian, broadcaster, and activist Sandi Toksvig on a journey through lesbian London to uncover the history of the legendary Gateways club, one of the longest running lesbian clubs ever, and the women who drank, danced, and loved inside its doors.

Gateways Grind directed by Jacquie Lawrence.

Jimmy in Saigon sees filmmaker Peter McDowell go on a heartfelt journey to understand the truth behind his brother’s mysterious death, while Robin Hunzinger’s strikingly  poetic film, Ultraviolette and the Blood-Spitters Gang, thrillingly brings to life the long-hidden story of his grandmother’s rebellious schoolgirl sweetheart Marcelle in the 1920s. Making its international premiere is It Runs in the Family, which tells the richly textured story of a queer filmmaker who discovers that she’s related to a long-forgotten pioneer of Caribbean cinema, Oscar Torres.

Jimmy In Saigon directed by Peter McDowell.

The European Premiere of Boulevard! A Hollywood Story is the latest documentary by BFI Flare favourite Jeffrey Schwarz (I Am Divine, Tab Hunter Confidential), which uncovers a part of Hollywood’s queer hidden history and proves that that life does indeed imitate art. Read our exclusive interview with Jeffrey Schwarz about the film.

Framing Agnes is Chase Joynt’s anticipated follow up to No Ordinary Man which screened at BFI Flare  last year. An intriguing re-enactment of forgotten trans history, co-written with Morgan M Page, and  featuring Zackary Drucker, Angelica Ross, and Silas Howard. Read our Framing Agnes review from Sundance, where the film was honoured with both the festival’s NEXT Innovator Award and the NEXT Audience Award.

Invisible directed by T. J. Parsell.

This year’s Flare has a focus on the queer women who have shaped the face of modern music, without always getting the credit they deserve.  T. J. Parsell’s Invisible acknowledges the unsung heroes behind some of Country music’s biggest hits of the last  four decades, while Fanny: The Right to Rock is a celebration of the 1970s rock band, Fanny, one of the first all-female bands to release an album in the U.S. They were championed by David Bowie, who  claimed they were as important as The Beatles. The documentary thrilled Outfest audiences when it closed the festival in Los Angeles last year along with a live reunion performance by the band. Watch our red carpet interviews from the event.

Sirens directed by Rita Baghdadi.

For those who like their music on the heavier side, Rita Baghdadi’s Sirens is a lively, loud, and empowering documentary fresh from Sundance about an all-female queer Middle Eastern thrash rock band from Lebanon, while Leigh Brooks’s The Sound of Scars is a captivating chronicle of metal band Life of Agony, whose lead singer  Mina Caputo came out as trans in 2011. Read our Sirens review from Sundance. Also screening is Charli XCX: Alone Together, a warm-hearted DIY documentary by Bradley & Pablo that follows acclaimed pop star Charli XCX, who teamed up with her legions of queer fans across the globe  to create a new album during the 2020 lockdown. Read our Charli XCX review from SXSX Online 2021.

This inspiring selection of music documentaries is contextualized by a BFI Flare themed event, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves: Queer Women In Music, helping to raise the visibility of queer women  working in the heart of the industry today. 

Dakan (1997) directed by Mohamed Camara. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

Screening from the archives is Mohamed Camara’s 1997 queer African cinema classic, Dakan. Dubbed  West Africa’s first film about homosexuality, this is a chance to reassess Dakan’s significance, a film which was defunded by the Guinean government and was the target of protests during its production. Screening in partnership with African Odysseys, Madame Satã is Karim Aïnouz’s bold, beautiful and epic tale of an extraordinary and notorious Brazilian nightlife legend, criminal, queen, and folk hero in Rio de Janeiro’s bohemian underworld. The film will be followed by a Q&A discussion with Karim Aïnouz and lead actor Lazaro Ramos ́ addressing how LGBTQIA+ and race depictions in Brazil have evolved in the 20 years since it premiered at  Cannes. 

Madame Satã (2002) directed by Karim Aïnouz. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

“A recurring theme in BFI Flare 2022 is the rediscovery of forgotten queer histories, and recognition of the LGBTQIA+ trailblazers whose pioneering work has so often gone overlooked”, observes Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s Senior Programmer. “In reflecting on the past, we can better understand the present, appreciating how far we have come, whilst acknowledging how much is still left to do. At the heart of this year’s festival is a glorious celebration of a collective queer history we cannot take for granted.” 


BFI Flare is divided into three thematic strands: HEARTS, BODIES, and MINDS.

Besties directed by Marion Desseigne Ravel.
Fragrance of the First Flower directed by Angel I-Han Teng.

HEARTS includes films about love, romance, and friendship. The films screening in HEARTS are: 

BESTIES (Dir. Marion Desseigne Ravel) – Remixing Romeo and Juliet for the Instagram generation, an engrossing and touching tale of first love. 

COP SECRET (Dir. Hannes Thór Halldórsson) – Two Icelandic cops forced to work together become more than just buddies in an enjoyably explosive send-up of action movies.

DAWN, HER DAD & THE TRACTOR (Dir. Shelley Thompson) – A young trans woman returns to the family farm to reconnect following the death of her mother. 

A DISTANT PLACE (Dir. PARK Kun-young) – A young Korean sheepherder raising his niece is visited by two people from his past in an intimate and sumptuously shot family drama. (Also  on BFI Player

FRAGRANCE OF THE FIRST FLOWER (Dir. Angel I-Han Teng) – A chance meeting between former high school friends stirs up forgotten feelings in this charming digital series screening in its entirety. 

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT DURAS (Dir. Claire Simon) – A taped confession is the starting point for exploring the unusually intense bond that developed between Marguerite Duras and her besotted fan, Yann Andréa. 

THE OUTLAWS (Dir. Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken) – An evocative 1920s thriller and flirtatious caper between two men that erupts into a Johnny and Clyde-style crime spree.

Private Desert directed by Aly Muritiba.
Wildhood directed by Bretten Hannam.

PRIVATE DESERT (Dir. Aly Muritiba) – While sparks fly with the possibilities of virtual romance, are Daniel and Sara really prepared for a relationship in the real world? (Also on  BFI Player

SUBLIME (Dir. Mariano Biasin) – Hot from its world premiere in Berlin, a pitch-perfect drama of late adolescent rockers who share a love of making music, but whose passions and hormones collide. 

THE SWIMMER (Dir. Adam Kalderon) – When a young athlete falls for one of his competitors, he is faced with some big decisions, in a smart and sexy tale of forbidden love.

WALK WITH ME (Dir. Isabel del Rosal) – Supported by Mishcon de Reya – The courage it takes to be true to yourself is beautifully explored in this romantic feature debut. (Also on BFI Player

WILDHOOD (Dir. Bretten Hannam) – Supported by Interbank LGBT+ Forum – This impressive feature debut focuses on one young teenager’s search for their family history. 


Being BeBe directed by Emily Branham.
Camilla Comes Out Tonight directed by Inés Barrionuevo.

BODIES includes stories of sex, identity, and transformation. The films screening in BODIES are: 

BEING BEBE (Dir. Emily Branham) – Heartfelt and fun documentary charting the life of BeBe  Zahara Benet, the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag RaceWatch our exclusive interview with BeBe Zahara Benet about the film and watch our interview with filmmaker Emily Branham.

BENEDICTION (Dir. Terence Davies) – An epic portrayal of the life of the First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon; an intense, beautiful, often hauntingly sad, and moving portrait of gay lives. 

BOY CULTURE: THE SERIES (Dir. Q. Allan Brocka) – Comedy feature Boy Culture had its world premiere at BFI Flare 2006., this six-part sequel, finds popular escort X adapting to a very different world. (Also on BFI Player

BRUNO REIDAL, CONFESSION OF A MURDERER (Dir. Vincent Le Port) – A recreation of an actual murder, based on the testimony of the perpetrator; a gripping and unforgettable excursion into the mind of a sadistic gay killer. 

CAMILA COMES OUT TONIGHT (Dir. Inés Barrionuevo) – A 17-year-old falls for her classmate and finds herself fighting against the tyranny of their strict private school in this Argentinian coming-of-age drama. (Also on BFI Player)

DEATH AND BOWLING (Dir. Lyle Kash) – After his bowling team captain dies, a trans actor meditates on life, mortality, and visibility. 

The First Fallen directed by Rodrigo de Oliveira.

THE FIRST FALLEN (Dir. Rodrigo de Oliveira) – In 1980s Brazil, three friends shut themselves off from society to communally survive AIDS and document their stories so they’re not  forgotten. 

I AM THE TIGRESS (Dirs. Philipp Fussenegger, Dino Osmanović) – A bodybuilder pushes herself to the limit to defy expectations, both physically and socially. 

LONG LIVE MY HAPPY HEAD (Dirs. Austen McCowan, Will Hewitt) – Profile of illustrator Gordon Shaw, whose enlightened approach to living with a brain tumour fuels his comic  world. The feature screens with short film DEATH RACE, a swan-song self-portrait by the filmmaker Charles Lum, a long-time friend of the Festival, who sadly passed away on November 30th 2021, directed by Lum with his frequent collaborator New Queer Cinema alum Todd Verow (Age of Consent, BFI Flare 2014).

MANSCAPING (Dir. Broderick Fox) – A look at the highly masculinised and intimidating environment of barbershops, and three individuals tackling the problem head-on.

MONEYBOYS (Dir. C.B. Yi) – Chinese rent boys, far from home and hungry for success, struggle with the competing demands of their families and the needs of customers, lovers, and friends. 

NICO (Dir. Eline Gehring) – After she’s the victim of a xenophobic attack, a young Iranian woman in Berlin decides to take her life back into her own hands by training in karate.

THE NOVICE (Dir. Lauren Hadaway) – In an electrifying debut, a woman joins her university rowing team and becomes obsessed with being the best, no matter the cost. Read our exclusive interview with filmmaker Lauren Hadaway and star Isabelle Fuhrman.

Passion directed by Maja Borg.

PASSION (Dir. Maja Borg) – After a destructive relationship, the rituals of BDSM and Christianity provide consolation and healing for the director of this documentary.

THE PERFECT DAVID (Dir. Felipe Gómez Aparicio) – A young man strives for physical perfection in this dark and unsettling Argentinian drama. 

SEDIMENTS (Dir. Adrián Silvestre) – At a rural Spanish retreat, six transgender women from different walks of life get to know each other. (Also on BFI Player

WET SAND (Dir. Elene Naveriani) – A death in a small coastal village reveals some hidden secrets and explores uncomfortable truths in a family’s history. 

Also screening in BODIES are the previously mentioned MADAME SATÃ and THIS IS NOT ME (also on  BFI Player). 

North Bu Current directed by Angelo Madsen Minax.
The Law of Love directed by Barbora Chalupová.

MINDS features reflections on art, politics, and community. The films screening in MINDS are: 

THE DIVIDE (Dir. Catherine Corsini) – A lesbian relationship in crisis and a city in political turmoil are deftly explored in this powerful political satire. 

THE END OF WONDERLAND (Dir. Laurence Turcotte-Fraser) – This documentary takes a trip  inside the making of a trans sci-fi comedy porn epic and the inventive mind of its charismatic creator, Tara Emory. 

EVERYTHING AT ONCE: KINK (Dir. Alberto Fuguet) – A peek behind the scenes at the homoerotic photography zine Kink, which cultivated an intimate style employing non-professional models.  

THE LAW OF LOVE (Dir. Barbora Chalupová) – A compelling documentary following a group of queer activists in the Czech Republic as they fight for same-sex marriage to be legally recognized.

NORTH BY CURRENT (Dir. Angelo Madsen Minax) – This filmmaker returns to his hometown in rural Michigan to examine the circumstances behind his niece’s death. 



I CAN ONLY IMAGINE! LOST FILMS, CENSORED STORIES AND LGBTQIA+ HISTORY – Over the course of cinema’s history, queer life has both bloomed on screen and been held from view. It’s a topic that writer Adam Zmith covers in his BBC Sounds Audio Lab podcast The Film We Can’t See. In this event, Adam will explore lost treasures from the pre-sound era and early talkies, such as Different from the Others (1919), Pandora’s Box (1929) and Mädchen In Uniform (1932), alongside an imagined queer film that was never made. Adam will be joined by filmmakers, archivists, and other special guests. 

INTERSEX STORIES: ACTIVISM, RESISTANCE AND BEING – Join intersex columnist and writer Valentino Vecchietti for an engaging, informative, and illustrated overview of intersex culture. From the taboo of intersex existence to creative and empowering representation in film, Valentino guides us on a remarkable journey, introducing key films, activists, and activisms. 

SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES: QUEER WOMEN IN MUSIC – Queer and transgender people have played a substantial role in every facet of modern music. Yet historically, lesbian, bi, queer, and trans women haven’t always been recognised for their  contributions. It’s taken a century for LGBTQIA+ women to get their due, though they’ve inspired and helped shape the music industry. Join the Flare team and a panel of special guests to highlight and celebrate their favourite queer women in music across different eras and genres. 

BIG GAY FILM QUIZ – Fancy yourself a bit of a queer cinema buff? Head on down to the World’s (probably) biggest and (arguably) best test of LGBTQIA+ film knowledge, BFI Flare’s Big Gay Film Quiz, and find out just how deep that passion goes. Covering the full gamut of queer cinema old and new, there will be something in here for everyone. 

BFI FLARE CLUB NIGHTS – Friday 18th, Saturday 19th, Thursday 24th, Friday 25th, and Saturday 26th at BFI Southbank’s Benugo Bar & Kitchen with DJ’s including: The  Batty Mama, Disco Timmy, Club Kali, and Jo Bunny & Gareth Hackney’s Lavender Nights. 

BFI Flare 2022 SHORTS PROGRAMME – split across 12 thematic selections:

Baba directed by Sam Arbor and Adam Ali, plays the Family Affairs Shorts Programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.
Pink & Blue directed by Carmen LoBue, plays the Family Affairs Shorts Programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.

Family Affairs Whether its births deaths and marriages, coming out or finding your own tribe, family in its many forms is at the centre of this shorts programme. 

Pink & Blue (Dir. Carmen LoBue) – A trans couple of color decide to try to raise their baby without an assigned gender.  

Queer Parivaar (Dir. Shiva Raichandani) – A mysterious woman arrives on the eve of Madhav and Sufi’s wedding, revealing a secret family history.  

How to Raise a Black Boy (Dir. Justice Jamal Jones) – In this modern and surreal modern  fairytale, a group of young black boys form a chosen family.

Coming Out With the Help of a Time Machine (Dir. Naman Gupta) – Sid tries to find the perfect way to come out to his parents… again… and again…and again… .

Baba (Dirs. Sam Arbor, Adam Ali) – An unexpected discovery forces a gay Libyan teen to question whether or not to flee his homeland.  

Birthday Boy (Dir. Judith Corro) – It’s César’s birthday. Should he honour his parents’ strict traditions, or embrace his real identity? 

The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night (Dir. Fawzia Mirza) – All cards are on the table when Noor brings her girlfriend Luz to her family’s annual game night. 

And Then directed by Ravenna Tran. Plays the Now and Forever Shorts Programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.
Make Me A King directed by Sofia Olins. Plays the Now and Forever Shorts Programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.

Now and Forever Promises are made and hearts are broken in this collection of beautiful and moving short films. 

Do This For Me (Dir. Marnie Baxter) – Masks that are worn and secrets that are hidden all come tumbling out during one emotional evening amongst friends. 

His Eyes (Dir. Alexander Weber) – Cleo’s quest for perfection threatens to derail plans to start a family with girlfriend Anna. 

And Then (Dir. Ravenna Tran) – Although their time together is finite, that doesn’t stop two women connecting and falling in love. 

Meet Me There (Dir. Rachael James) – It’s that feeling you get when you have waited too long to tell your friend how you feel about them. 

Snuff (Dir. Louise Nesbitt) – Returning home for a clandestine tryst, Noelle discovers her wife had similar ideas but is way ahead of her.  

Make Me a King (Dir. Sofia Olins) – Ari’s family don’t understand her career as a drag king performer. Can she make them see that love is love, no matter who you are? 

Noor & Layla directed by Fawzia Mirza, plays the Once More With Feeling shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.
This Is Katharine directed by Ida H. Eldøen, plays the Once More With Feeling shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.

Once More, With Feeling Lose yourself in the possibilities of love with these charming and engaging short films. 

the beginning & the middle (Dir. Alexis G. Zall) – Will two high school friends take a chance on each other when they reconnect at a party? 

Minutes (Dir. Alix Eve, Olivia Dowd) – From nervous first dates to late night arguments, a relationship in microcosm and a chance for something new? 

Silver and Gold (Dir. Jack Pulford) – Love blossoms and not a word is spoken as the River Thames rolls by. 

Noor & Layla (Dir. Fawzia Mirza) – Drawn to each other by their shared Muslim faith, is it the beginning of the end for Noor and Layla? 

A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here (Dir. Érica Sarmet) – An elder dyke connects with the younger generation of queer women in this sexy short film. 

This Is Katharine (Dir. Ida H. Eldøen) – Katharine is figuring out how to be a lesbian – we’ve all been there. 

My Almost First Time directed by Charles Lum and Todd Verow, plays the Paths to Love shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.
Virgin My Ass directed by Adar Sigler, plays the Paths to Love shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

Paths to Love – The path to love or romance is rarely smooth. These films show it can be memorable, funny, traumatic or even all of these things. Laugh or cry, but learn from others. 

My Almost First Time (Dirs. Charles Lum, Todd Verow) – An idyllic beach and an older man’s memories of trying to lose his virginity. From festival friend, the late Charles Lum. Narrated by The Queer Review’s editor James Kleinmann.

Firsts (Dir. Jesse Ung) – When 21-year-old virgin Andrew hooks up with an experienced older man online, intimacy is as important as sex. 

Stockholm (Dir. Tom Wright) – Fragmented memories of a sexual encounter, filtered  through an alcohol haze, lead to some dark and difficult conclusions.

Virgin My Ass (Dir. Adar Sigler) – How far would you go to educate your sexually inexperienced best friend and what does it mean for that friendship? 

Fisherman (Dir. Nicky Miller) – A fisherman discovers unusual bounty in a lake, in this lyrical and wet sexual fantasy made real. 

It Is Not the Brazilian Homosexuals Who Are Perverse But The Situation In Which They Live  In (Dirs. Leandro Goddinho, Eduardo Mamede, Paulo Menezes) – Two chatty Brazilian gay men get naked and share tales of living on the edge in Berlin. 

Tomorrow Then (Dir. David Moragas) – When a lover returns from a holiday in Amsterdam, his reunion with his boyfriend is a little strained.  

Fervor directed by José Manuel Vélez, plays the Where Do We Go From Here? shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.
Private Photos directed by Marcelo Grabowsky, plays the Where Do We Go From Here? shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

Where Do We Go From Here? – Sometimes, the decisions we make can shape the rest of our lives. This collection of shorts explores the choices, the moments, and the encounters that might just change everything. 

Ants (Dir. Hadar Bunes) – When Naveh experiences a bad trip on a night out, he calls upon his ex-boyfriend Amir for support. 

Private Photos (Dir. Marcelo Grabowsky) – Long-termers Rafa and Matheus invite a third into their bed, triggering very different responses from the two men. 

Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro (Dir. Jerry Carlsson) – After 43 years in cryopreservation, Adrian is due to be defrosted. But ex-partner Milo might not be ready for his former lover’s return.  

Come (Dir. David McShane) – A Grindr hook-up turns unexpectedly meaningful in this beautifully crafted animated short.  

ReFeel (Dir. Omer Harel) – After taking a new drug which allows you to relive past memories, boyfriends Dekel and Neri realise they see things quite differently.

El Video (Dir. Omar E. Ospina) – Venezuelan cousins Jesus and Noé are forced to make an  uncomfortable decision whilst working at a Colombian sex establishment. 

Fervor (Dir. José Manuel Vélez) – A gay teen living in a remote beach town in Chile has his first taste of love. 

Freed directed by Josza Anjembe, plays the Everything Changes shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.
Coin Slot directed by Scott Jones, plays the Everything Changes shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.

Everything Changes – Whether processing new feelings, or coming to terms with the past, all of the men in this poignant shorts collection are trying to make sense of where they are now. 

Freed (Dir. Josza Anjembe) – As he nears the end of his prison sentence, Issa forms an unexpected connection with a new inmate. 

SUNDAY (Dir. Arun Fulara) – Every Sunday, Kamble goes to the barber shop. But it’s not his hair he’s thinking of, it’s the guy who cuts it.  

Coin Slot (Dir. Scott Jones) – A young man struggles to keep it together as the anniversary of a traumatic attacks looms ever closer. 

Borekas (Dir. Saleh Saadi) – When their car breaks down on the way to the airport, a father and son are forced to do something they haven’t done for a while – talk. 

Dash (Dir. Rory Fleck Byrne) – In the isolated countryside, a queer stable hand struggles to find a sense of self-acceptance and belonging. 

Warsha (Dir. Dania Bdeir) A Syrian crane operator working in Beirut finds a moment of  personal liberation in the most unlikely of places. 

Makassar is a City for Football Fans (Dir. Khozy Rizal) Akbar has to play it straight to fit in with his macho friends. But how much longer can he keep living a lie? 

Still We Thrive directed by Campbell X, plays the Parallel Lives shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.
Bingo Queens directed by Nicholas Finegan, plays the Parallel Lives shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

Parallel Lives – Take an unpredictable journey through multiple genres with this selection of shorts showcasing the breadth of queer filmmaking in the UK. 

Too Rough (Dir. Sean Lìonadh) A drunken night out. Nick wakes up next to his boyfriend. His homophobic family are downstairs. He panics. 

Still We Thrive (Dir. Campbell X) – A rich tapestry of image, music, and poetry is interwoven in this powerful meditation on Black resilience.  

The Meaning of Daisey (Dir. Max’ed Deeq) – Daisey has the hots for Owens, a customer at her florist. Owens feels the same. But who will make the first move?  

Octopus (Dir. Ella Glendining) – Upon returning to her home town for a funeral, a young woman reconnects with the friends she left behind. 

Queer Rural Connections (Dirs. Timothy Allsop, Kira Allmann, Suzy Shepherd) – A short documentary offering a rare glimpse into LGBTQIA+ life outside of the big city.

Bingo Queens (Dir. Nicholas Finegan) – After a transphobic attack, Aleks and Luna take refuge in a bingo hall, in this charming celebration of platonic love.  

Losing Joy (Dir. Juliana Kasumu) – On the anniversary of her sister’s death, a young woman is visited by her ex-girlfriend. 

The Piss Witch (Dir. Jason Barker) Fed up with the constant judgements of those around her, Clare finds power in rebellion. 

Trinity directed by Hetain Patel, plays the Strength in Vulnerability shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.
Fever directed by Angele Cooper, plays the Strength in Vulnerability shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

Strength in Vulnerability – These POC shorts show that in a complex situation, self-knowledge is often the answer. 

The Floating World (Dirs. Fernando Souza, Pablo Curto) Step into the world of Korean host bars, where women buy sex from male companions.  

Muhafiz (Dir. Padipta Ray) – Against a backdrop of sectarian violence, can a gay Hindu man find the courage to help a Muslim?

Shams (Dir. Pauline Beugnies) – Old colonial tensions reach the surface when a Belgian woman’s Egyptian girlfriend disappears. 

Trinity (Dir. Hetain Patel) – The struggle between responsibility and duty plays out in this lyrical exploration of martial arts. 

Fever (Dir. Angele Cooper) – A family birthday party is not what it seems in this modern parable of race and relationships.  

Rosa directed by Ferran Navarro-Beltrán, plays in the There Is No Place Like Home shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.
Everyman directed by Jack Goessens, plays in the There Is No Place Like Home shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

There Is No Place Like Home – Trans and gender diverse tales of home and belonging, interlaced with wonder in nature and the call of the wild. 

Rosa (Dir. Ferran Navarro-Beltrán) A serene older woman comes out as trans in later life, but her 18-year-old daughter needs time to adjust.  

Between Us (Dir. Cailleah Scott-Grimes) – A trans man wants a quiet life in rural Japan, but his non-binary partner craves a queer urban crowd.  

Odehimin (Dir. Kijâtai-Alexandra Veillette-Cheezo) – A Two-Spirit Indigenous person uses three languages to explore the healing power of nature and self-acceptance.

Stories keep me awake at night (Dir. Jérémy van der Haegen) – A brooding gothic fiction about a dysfunctional family as wolves reinhabit the forests around them. 

Prayers for Sweet Waters (Dir. Elijah Ndoumbe) – Three sex workers in Cape Town find support through the Sistaazhood activist network for transgender rights.  

Everyman (Dir. Jack Goessens) – Delving into art and mythology to broach societal tropes around gendered behaviour and what it means to be a man. 

M(OTHER)HOOD (Dir. Bea Goddard) A transmasculine parent begins hormone treatment at 43 in a film that deftly explores the shifting perceptions of their four children.

All Those Sensations in My Belly (Dir. Marko Djeska) An innovative animation about growing up, coming out and ultimately learning not to take life too seriously. 

Saintmaking directed by Marco Alessi, plays the Drawn Together shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.
Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker directed by Ryan White, plays the Drawn Together shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

Drawn Together – A blend of mini-docs illuminating the lives of queer visual artists and animated shorts celebrating the  power of the pen. 

Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker (Dir. Ryan White) How J.C. Leyendecker’s  homoerotically charged advertisements took early American advertising by storm. 

Prosopagnosia (Dir. Steven Fraser) – A stop-motion animation about sketching, to deal with face blindness and the art of recognising lovers. 

Frozen Out (Dir. Hao Zhou) – A Chinese artist, in self-imposed exile in Iowa, is drawn to deserted places. 

There is a Paradise (Dir. Sorina Reiber) – Painter and high camp chanteuse Juwelia presents a love letter to life in Berlin since 1985.  

Ob Scene (Dir. Paloma Orlandini Castro) – Illustrating a peep show that explores sexology, pornography, and identity. 

Saintmaking (Dir. Marco Alessi) – The London chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence look back on canonising Derek Jarman in 1991.  

A Fox in the Night directed by Keeran Anwar Blessie. Plays BFI Flare’s Out Here Livin’ Shorts Programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.
F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K directed by Harris Doran. Plays BFI Flare’s Out Here Livin’ Shorts Programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare.

Out Here Livin’ – Black queer stories told with humour, insight, and love. 

Taffeta (Dir. Lovell Holder) A poisonous comment during phone sex results in profound self-enquiry. 

For Love (Dir. Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor) – Against all odds, two women try to resist being torn apart by the UK’s brutal immigration system. 

A Fox in the Night (Dir. Keeran Anwar Blessie) – A South London story in which opposites attract, appearances deceive and bravery reaps rewards.  

F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K (Dir. Harris Doran) – A delightful existential comedy about work, weed, and keeping the dream.  

Egúngún (Dir. Olive Nwosu) – The power of the past spans the divide between Nigeria and the UK in this beautiful tale of intersecting lives.  

Hundefreund (Dir. Maissa Lihedheb) – A casual hookup takes an unexpected turn in this meditation on race, politics and history.  

Yaha Waha directed Sarah Li, plays the Sweet Melodies shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.
Little Sky directed by Jess X. Snow, plays the Sweet Melodies shorts programme. Courtesy of BFI Flare 2022.

Sweet Melodies – It’s all bangers, all the time in these films focused on music as a tool for healing, rebellion, and embracing queer identity. 

Nasir (Dir. Jackson Kroopf, Nasir Bailey) A trans musician comes out to several family members over the phone and composes a new song.  

Yaha Waha (Dir. Sarah Li) – A South Asian DJ and a performance artist uses their platforms to celebrate their heritage.  

Foxglove (Dir. Michael-David McKernan) – Siobhán returns home for the first time in years to face her past and find her voice again.  

Beirut Dreams In Colour (Dir. Michael Collins) – Middle Eastern queer activists, including the band Mashrou’ Leila, fight repression with resistance. 

Little Sky (Dir. Jess X. Snow) – A Chinese-American pop star returns home for a gig and tries  to finally heal from their childhood. Watch our exclusive interview with Jess X. Snow.

BFI Flare runs March 16th – March 27th 2022. Book tickets at bfi.org.uk/Flare.  

BFI Flare 2022 | London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival trailer

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