Magazine article Screen International

LLGFF Renamed BFI Flare

Magazine article Screen International

LLGFF Renamed BFI Flare

Article excerpt

London LGBT film festival reveals full programme; Sundance/Berlin winner 52 Tuesdays booked as closing film; VoD plans.Scroll down for programme highlights

The long-running London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (LLGFF) is to be renamed BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival in a bid to "reflect the increasing diversity of the programme".

The British Film Institute (BFI) will also launch a BFI Flare collection on its VoD platform, BFI Player, as well as a monthly screening programme at its BFI Southbank base in London.

The announcements were made last night (Feb 19) at the launch of the 28th edition of the festival, where the full programme was also unveiled. This year's festival runs March 20-30.

Speaking to ScreenDaily about the name change, BFI deputy head of festivals Tricia Tuttle said: "The festival had outgrown the name. Following an audience consultation last year, 70% came back saying it was time for a change.

"Options considered included literal LGBT titles and something more like Out or Queer. But there were many who didn't identify with those words.

"We think what we have come up with is colourful, illustrative and evocative. Flare represents the light of a cinema projector but also a guiding light to follow. It can also mean 'firestarter' - the spark of an idea that can grow."

Speaking about the new BFI Flare channel on VoD platform BFI Player, featuring contemporary and archive LGBT cinema, Tuttle said: "This festival has long been bursting at the seams. We were at 86% capacity last year and want to offer greater access to more people in London and across the UK."Opening / Closing films

As previously announced, the opening night film will be the European Premiere of Hong Khaou's Lilting, which opened the World Dramatic Competition at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Starring Ben Whishaw, Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Peter Bowles, the film is a cross-generation, cross-cultural story set in London.

It was revealed last night that Sophie Hyde's 52 Tuesdays will close the festival.

The film won a Best Director Award at Sundance last month and also screened as part of the official selection at the Berlin Film Festival where it was awarded a Crystal Bear at the weekend.

Shot on 52 consecutive Tuesdays over the course of a year, the film follows a teenager's struggle to come to terms with her mother's transition from female to male.

The Accenture Gala is The Last Match, the story of two young men in Havana, Cuba, in a tale of economic desperation and sexual awakening.

The festival will include more than 50 features from across Europe, North America, South America and Asia.Industry events

Additionally, this year's festival includes an expanded programme of industry events to help develop and support LGBT filmmaking talent, with support from Creative Skillset and other partners.

Tuttle added that BFI Flare will play an important role in developing LGBT talent in the same way that festivals in London, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Glasgow connect the industry with upcoming talent.

"We are expanding our programme to include at least one industry event every day," said Tuttle.

She also revealed that an announcement was due at the end of the month about a major new talent development project that would be organised with the BFI Film Fund and Creative Skillset.Themed sections

This year's festival will group films into sections: Hearts, films about love and friendship; Bodies, focussing on sex, identity and transformation; and Minds, reflecting on art, politics and community. …

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