YES! It’s back! Every queer’s third favourite holiday (after Halloween and actual Christmas) is here and queer, so get used to it! It’s the BFI LGBTQI+ film festival (sorry, I’m not a fan of the name Flare) and it’s bigger than ever this year, celebrating its 30th birthday between 16 – 27th March.
To celebrate, we’re bringing you the top 10 films to look out for this year. It’s really hard as it’s the best lineup in a while, but I dutifully went through and picked my faves just for you, because I’m that nice. It’s not like I just rattled off 10 of the films I’m going to anyway. Nope, this list is curated especially for you. Promise.
Ok in no particular order…
This coming out/of age dreamy drama is really elevated by the presence of Isabella Rossellini as a talking hamster called Buffy. Feel free to re-read that sentence as many times as you like, it NEVER gets old.
Ok so this one has been out for a little while Stateside but I’ve been excited for this ever since the trailer got released. Kristen Wiig and her 2 GBFs talk about having a baby and then, according to the trailer, shit gets WEIRD. Like, really weird. There were quite a few negative reviews of this, but to be honest, they’re like fucking catnip to me. WATCH IT.
We Have Rather Been Invaded
Ok, so a serious documentary this time (though taking it’s name from the BBC quote when they were ‘’invaded’’ by lesbian activists, it’s fully aware of the humorous side too), this film documents 30 years since Section 28 came into force. Looking at activism and reactions at the time, alongside more recent LGBT+ movements and the impact it had on them, this promises to be an engaging look at an important event in LGBT+ history (and future).
Bennett is a 19-year-old trans man, estranged from his family, but thanks to social media, he meets a whole network of people who support him, but things are never perfect as an old demon returns to haunt him. Looks like a tearjerker. I’m just gonna go with the film festival blurb for the rest of this as it sums it up perfectly:
“Real Boy is often raw and breathtakingly honest, but it is to the film’s credit that it never judges its characters. It is impossible not to feel a sense of awe at the resilience, courage and maturity of young trans people. Bring tissues – you’ll need them.”
Sisters Of The Plague
So it’s a lo-fi horror-drama debut, set in New Orleans exploring familial secrets and the power of female friendships. S’ok, it ticks all our boxes too.
A previous festival film, resurrected this year, this film features a nearly all black gay cast searching for love and connections in all the right (and wrong) places. V excited for this one!
A documentary on 80s lesbian London herstory?! Political, musical, magical. Fuck yes please!! There really isn’t much more to say about it other than GO GO GO!
Another oldie but this amazing documentary explores genderqueers and non-binary folk in San Francisco at the end of the 90s. Total babes in the best place, what’s not to love?
Bloody love a coming of age lesbian drama, be ready for tears, laughs, middle fingers and some guaranteed heartbreak (much like all good love stories).
Finally! We know it’s a bigger film but we missed it in the 3 Cineworlds it screened in, PLUS it’s fucking Lily Tomlin and Julia Garner AND Marcia Gay Harden! It’s about a kickass grandma who doesn’t give two shits about anyone but her granddaughter who needs her help. Basically, it’s gonna be amazing!
So there you go! It’s only ten and we’re definitely seeing at least 15, but here is a good start to what’s gonna be the most magical, queer Christmas of the last… 3 months.