Sit tight, DIVAs! The full programme for BFI Flare: London’s LGBTQIA+ Film Festival arrives on Tuesday 15 February at 7pm


The UK’s most exciting LGBTQI film festival, BFI Flare returns from 16-27 March 2022 for its 36th edition. Today, it has announced that coming-of-age picture Girl Picture (Alli Haapasalo) will open the festival on the 16th, with documentary TRAMPS! (Kevin Hegge) closing the 2022 edition on the 27th.

Importantly, this marks the UK premiere of Girl Picture, which collected the accolade for World Cinema Dramatic Audience at the acclaimed Sundance Film Festival last month. Following a snapshot in the lives of Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö, the film explores the vital cusp between girlhood and womanhood. Reclaiming the teenage coming-of-age film and reforming it as almost an anti-coming-of-age sentiment, Alli remarked in an interview with DIVA that she perceives Girl Picture more as a human study than anything else. Over three consecutive Fridays, two of the girls fall in love, whilst the third embarks on a mission to find pleasure.

On Girl Picture’s premiere, Alli states: “I am ecstatic to show Girl Picture at the renowned BFI Flare, and it is a very special honour to open this year’s festival. I really look forward to having an inspiring and meaningful exchange about the film with the Flare audience.”

Closing on the 26th March, TRAMPS! analyses how the onslaught of art students arriving in London in the 1980s created a unique subculture combining British art, fashion, music and film. This group of people were known as “The New Romantics”, a charming sentiment on which to finish BFI Flare.

Kevin Hegge states: “TRAMPS! is a film many years in the making, and wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for BFI Flare programming my debut feature documentary in 2013. Having met musician Verity Susman (Electrelane) at that same festival, Verity has now collaborated on the original soundtrack for the film with Matt Simms (Wire). Working from Canada, during a pandemic with our amazing editor, Neil Cavalier, has proven both rewarding and challenging. In the end, I believe we’ve landed on what I think is a very special film that offers a new perspective on a major pop-cultural movement and we are both humbled and excited to share it with London audiences as BFI Flare’s closing night film.”

Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s senior programmer, states: “It’s hard to believe it has been three years since Flare last took over BFI Southbank, filling its screens with its unique queer magic. This year we return with a full live programme and a selection of online highlights for audiences around the UK, and we’re thrilled to be announcing the dazzling duo that will open and close this year’s BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Fest. Both are set to delight our audiences and steal their hearts!” 

Interested in the full programme? BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival’s full line-up will be revealed on Tuesday 15 February at 7pm. See you there! To keep up, follow BFI Flare on Facebook and Twitter or visit the BFI website.

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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