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7 LGBTI movies and docs to catch at London’s BFI Flare 2019

7 LGBTI movies and docs to catch at London’s BFI Flare 2019

Elizabeth Debicki and Gemma Arterton in Vita and Virginia.

The UK’s most popular LGBTI movie festival kicks off tomorrow (21 March) in London.

Movie lovers attending the BFI Flare should expect a diverse programme of international feature films, short movies, and documentaries catered to the whole community. It, in fact, features more than 50 films and 80 shorts from all over the world, including Kenyan sensation Rafiki.

Now in its 33rd year, the festival takes over the BFI Southbank until 31 March.

As usual, the festival is divided into three different sections, called Hearts, Bodies, and Minds, focused on a specific aspect of the LGBTI experience: love and friendship, gender identities, and politics respectively.

A few hours away from the festival, here are seven BFI Flare movies to be excited about.

1 Vita And Virginia

The opening gala will see the premiere of one of the most highly anticipated queer movies of the season, Vita And Virginia.

Directed by Chanya Button, the movie stars Elizabeth Debicki and Gemma Arterton as bi author Virginia Woolf and her aristocratic lover Vita Sackville-West respectively.

2 Nevrland

This Austrian feature is an interesting blend of a coming-of-age tale and a horror movie.

Nevrland is about 17-year-old Jakob, a teenager struggling to cope with his crippling anxiety. In an attempt to escape the real world, Jakob meets 26-year-old Kristjan in a cam chat.

3 Tell It To The Bees

Based on British author Fiona Shaw’s novel, Tell It To The Bees stars bisexual star Anna Paquin and English actress Holliday Grainger as Jean Markham and Lydia Weekes, two women living in 1950s Scotland.

After Lydia’s marriage comes to an end, the mother of one starts developing a close bond with the local new doctor Jean. British filmmaker Annabel Jankel directs.

4 Mapplethorpe

Starring The Crown’s Matt Smith as the controversial gay photographer, Mapplethorpe was shot in just 19 days in New York.

Despite the critical acclaim, the casting of straight actor Matt Smith in a gay role has reignited the neverending debate about straight stars playing LGBTI parts.

5 Giant Little Ones

Canadian movie Giant Little Ones explores crucial issues, such as coming out, homophobia and sexual assault.

Protagonist Franky has a hard time when his father (Twin Peaks’ Kyle MacLachlan) leaves his mother for a man.

The movie also focuses on the relationship between Franky and his closeted best friend Ballas.  When Ballas tries to force himself on Franky after a party, their relationship will change forever.

6 Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life

Israeli filmmaker Tomer Heymann directs this intimate portrait of one of the most successful adult film actors.

The documentary, premiering in the UK at Flare, captures the highs and lows of the life of gay porn star Jonathan Agassi, splitting his time between Berlin and Israel.

7 JT LeRoy

The European premiere of the movie boasting great performances by Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart will close the festival.

Adapted from Savannah Knoop’s memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy, the film tells the captivating real-life story of one of the most intriguing literary hoaxes of all times.

Dern stars as author Laura Albert, who rose to fame in the 1990s using the literary persona of JT LeRoy and convincing her sister-in-law Knoop to pose as LeRoy.

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