After two years of online-only action, the UK’s biggest festival of LGBTQ+ films is back IRL for its 36th edition this March, and we’re really, reeeeally looking forward to it.
This year’s packed programme features six world premieres, 56 features and 84 shorts hailing from 42 different countries, most of which will be screened in-person at the BFI Southbank, with a small selection available to view online for free. As usual, to help you navigate your way round the epic list of flicks, the programme has been split into a few different strands. There’s the Hearts strand, which features films about love, romance and relationships of all kinds. There’s Bodies, exploring sex, identity and physical transformation. And there’s Mind, reflecting on art, politics and community.
But that ain’t all! On top of that you’ve got the opening and closing night galas, several different collections of short films and a host of cracking events ranging from panel discussions to DJ nights. There’ll also be another chance to catch some of the best queer cinema released in the last year, including Pedro Almodóvar’s latest masterpiece Parallel Mothers and Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s stirring animated documentary Flee.
With such a massive wealth of brilliant movies to see during the ten-day festival, you may well be at a loss as to what you should be booking. So here five excellent picks that you can still nab tickets for in case you need some inspiration:
This Is Not Me
Two young Iranian trans men begin the laborious legal processes required to begin their transition in this heartrending documentary by Saeed Gholipour.
Mar 19-20 and on BFI Player throughout the festival. Book here.
Boulevard! A Hollywood Story
Emmy-winning director Jeffrey Schwarz uncovers Hollywood’s queer history in this documentary about Gloria Swanson’s endeavours to turn Sunset Boulevard into a musical.
Mar 17-18 and on BFI Player throughout the festival. Book here.
A death in a tiny coastal village reveals hidden secrets and uncomfortable truths in Elene Naveriani’s slow-burning drama exploring small town homophobia.
Mar 23 and 25. Book here.
It Runs In The Family
Queer Caribbean filmmaker Victoria Linares discovers that she is related to a long-forgotten pioneer of Caribbean cinema in this deeply personal documentary.
Mar 25-26. Book here.
Kevin Hegge’s documentary shines a light on the oft-overlooked queer stories behind the New Romantics movement of 1980s London via interviews with some of its key figures.
Mar 26. Book here.
You can check out the full programme for this year’s festival here - and be quick about booking, as these are all bound to sell out sooner or later!