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Five brilliant films you won’t want to miss at London’s biggest LGBT+ festival BFI Flare

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Time Out Film

Tickets for London's numero uno festival of LGBT+ films, BFI Flare (March 16-26), have just gone on sale. Not sure what to see? We asked BFI programmer Tricia Tuttle for her inside picks of five unmissable films.  

1. The Untamed

This is a strange and darkly wonderful film by Amat Escalante – a hybrid of Mexican social realist drama and quasi-science fiction, with an unusual queer element running through. It’s surreal and really hard to explain without giving it away. But I can say an alien may be involved. It pushes our understanding of what queer cinema is.



2. Different for Girls

This is a really sexy and dramatic web series by Campbell X and based on a hit indie lesbian novel by Jacquie Lawrence. Set in west London, it’s the perfect soap, with characters you love to love, and characters you love to hate. We’ll be world premiering the whole first series, five 12-minute episodes, with actors and crew in attendance. The cast features many lesbian icons – Rachel Shelley from ‘The L Word’ and Guinevere Turner who was in ‘Go Fish’.  

Different for Girls

3. Being 17

‘Being 17’ is André Téchiné’s latest, written by Céline Sciamma, who made ‘Girlhood’ and ‘Tomboy’. It’s a beautiful coming-of-age drama about two 17-year-olds in the French countryside who end up thrown together and develop conflicted feelings for each other. It’s just incredibly truthful about the fears and passions of being a teenager.  

Being 17

4. A Date for Mad Mary

I adore this Irish comedy directed by Darren Thornton and adapted from a one-woman play. Actress Seána Kerslake gives a brilliant performance as the title character Mary, who’s just been released from a stint in prison and comes back to rekindle her relationship with her childhood best friend. But, the friend has moved on with her life while Mary’s still struggling with some of the self-defeating yobbish behaviour that got her into trouble. It’s funny, touching and one of the loveliest films I’ve seen in a while.

A Date for Mad Mary

5. Torrey Pines

This is an absolute must-see – a stop-motion animated feature film by trans artist Clyde Petersen, which will be accompanied by a live score. Based on a semi-autobiographical journey that he took with his schizophrenic mother at 12, it’s a beautifully animated American road movie. Clyde and his queercore band Your Heart Breaks will join us to create a live soundtrack.

Torrey Pines

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival runs March 16-26. Get tickets at the BFI.

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