BFI Flare is divided into three thematic strands: HEARTS, BODIES and MINDS. The full programme is detailed below.
HEARTS includes films about love, romance and friendship.
Two young men fall for each other over the course of a single day in BOY MEETS BOY, a disarmingly tender debut from director Daniel Sánchez López.
Jonathan Wysocki’s 90s-set teen dramedy DRAMARAMA is a delightful throwback to those most awkward of years, while in Thomas Wilson-White’s THE GREENHOUSE, a woman discovers that traveling back in time may help her come to terms with her present.
Cultures clash and family secrets are revealed when Shira brings home her new girlfriend in the delightful first feature KISS ME BEFORE IT BLOWS UP, from director Shirel Peleg; and amidst the grief of losing her mother, sheltered teen Claudia discovers friendship and love for the first time in Katie Found’s beautiful and sublime debut, MY FIRST SUMMER.
RŪRANGI, the hit New Zealand episodic drama from Max Currie is a moving and entertaining account of a trans man’s attempts to reconnect with his Māori roots and to rebuild the relationships he had left behind.
BFI Flare favourite Eytan Fox returns with SUBLET, an entertaining and heart-warming film about the encounter of a middle-aged gay man (The Normal Heart’s John Benjamin Hickey) with a young, aspiring filmmaker (stunning newcomer Niv Nissim); and AJ discovers it’s not so bad being on a family holiday when she meets flirtatious lifeguard Isla in SWEETHEART, a smart and funny first feature from director Marley Morrison.
Peeter Rebane’s FIREBIRD will also screen in the HEARTS strand.
BODIES includes stories of sex, identity and transformation.
A mesmerising portrait of a family grappling with teenage gender dysphoria, Alexa Bakony’s COLORS OF TOBI is an uplifting documentary that exudes the defiant message that love is all you need.
In Anna Kerrigan’s gripping thriller COWBOYS, a father (Steve Zahn) and son attempt to escape a mother who is unwilling to accept her child’s gender dysphoria; while a nurse questions the intentions of his handsome new colleague in THE DOSE, a taut and chilling psychological thriller from Martín Kraut.
Having screened to great success at last year’s BFI London Film Festival, I AM SAMUEL, Pete Murimi’s moving documentary portrait of a Kenyan gay couple facing danger and hardship, will be co-presented with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.
Young trans activist and Brazilian YouTube star Thiessa Woinbackk leads a superb cast in VALENTINA, the impressive debut feature from Cássio Pereira dos Santos that sees a tough transgender teen demand her rights; and body positivity, race, activism and queerness harmonise with full fat ferocity in Shana Myara’s documentary WELL ROUNDED.
Phil Connell’s JUMP, DARLING and Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt’s NO ORDINARY MAN will also screen in the BODIES strand.
MINDS features reflections on art, politics and community.
The life and loves of celebrated filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder are laid bare in Oskar Roehler’s ENFANT TERRIBLE, an engrossing, unconventional biopic starring Oliver Masucci (Look Who’s Back).
Recommended viewing, the Rainer Werner Fassbinder collection is available to subscribers on BFI Player featuring eight films including the recent inclusion of his final film Querelle.
Based on a true story, POPPY FIELD, Eugen Jebeleanu’s probing Bucharest-set drama, weighs up the professional demands on a closeted police officer when his work clashes with his personal life.