Wednesday saw the launch of BFI Flare 2018, the London LGBT Film Festival - introducing a jam packed line up of queer films including 7 world premieres and a selection of European and UK premieres. As well as screenings, there will also be talks, events and an extra chance to catch up on some of the biggest hits of the festival with a special day of repeat screenings on the final Sunday when all tickets will be just £8
I'm also looking forward to see how the BFI NETWORK FLARE Mentorships programme will develop, with three successful years under their belt, the BAFTA partnered programme offers five LGBTQ+ identified filmmakers the opportunity to develop industry knowledge, professional connections and insights through one-to-one meetings with senior figures in the UK film industry, as well as a roundtable with senior industry figures. There has been success in the past, and I'm optimistic for the future.
For the fourth year the BFI is partnering with the British Council to make five films from the festival freely available online worldwide for the duration of Flare. This is hot off the heels of 1.8 million people tuning in from 202 countries last year.
As someone with a special interest in Philanthropy and fundraising in the arts, it is worth noting that the BFI have a new main supporter in the form of the Pureland Foundation over the next three years. The foundation aims to support social, spiritual and emotional wellness through art and music - which makes it seem like a good fit, and I look forward to observing this collaboration over the coming years.
The Opening Night Gala presentation will be 'My Days of Mercy' by Director Tali Shalom-Ezer and starring Ellen Page and Kate Mara. And I'm excited about the Closing Night Gala which will be 'Postcards from London' by director Steve McLean - a sexy film about a young man’s journey into an unusual form of escort work, which requires a deep appreciation of the homoerotic in baroque art. I can't wait.
BFI Flare Programmer Brian Robinson reveals the full season here and I will be picking out my highlights over the coming days.