Submissions are now open for the UK’s largest queer event for screen buffs


The BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival has announced that the 37th edition of the UK’s largest queer film event will be presented from 15-26 March 2023 at BFI Southbank. Submissions for the festival are now officially open and the final deadline for both UK and international feature and short films is 21 December 2022 at 5pm. 

Created in 1986, BFI Flare is the UK’s longest running queer film event. Originally called Gay’s Own Pictures, the name was changed to BFI Flare in 2014 to encompass the diversity of its films, filmmakers and audiences. 

The festival will see the return of #FiveFilmsForFreedom in partnership with the British Council in the new year. This initiative will mean that audiences globally can watch five films for free as an act of solidarity with LGBTQIA+ communities in countries that do not support gay and equal rights. As well as this, BFI will be showing a selection of free shorts on BFI Player for audiences within the UK. 

A landmark new addition to next year’s festival will be the introduction of Immersive and XR work programmed by Ulrich Schrauth. It will involve showcasing interactive virtual reality, screen-based installations, immersive audio experiences and live performances. 

Nine years into their BFI Flare x BAFTA Mentoring programme in partnership with BFI NETWORK, BFI Flare are offering another six emerging LGBTQIA+ filmmakers a position on their mentoring scheme to help with networking and learning industry realities. Previous mentors on this programme include Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino and Lion producer Iain Canning. Alumni of this scheme are made up of directors such as Georgia Oakley – whose 2022 release, Blue Jean, won the Giornate Degli Autori People’s Choice award at Venice Film Festival this year. 

The 2023 festival will be programmed by Grace Barber-Plentie, Jay Bernard, Michael Blyth, Zorian Clayton and Brian Robinson. As a new Film Programmer, Rhianna Ilube will be focused on curating films by and about queer women. More details about submissions can be found at

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