BFI Flare film festival moves online

The BFI has moved its annual LGBTIQ+ film festival Flare online, days after the last-minute cancellation of the regular event, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And Then We Danced was nominated for the Queer Palm at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Rebranded BFI Flare at  Home, the online offering will include shorts and features that were due to screen at the festival, such as Levan Akin’s Georgian coming-of-age drama And Then We Danced.

Other films, available from today – 20th March – until the 29th, include Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau’s chamber piece, Don’t Look Down and Daniel Karslake’s documentary about four people’s experiences with organised religion, For They Know Not What They Do. Additional films will be added in the coming days.

The BFI will also host live Q&As with film-makers on its social media channels. The films will be available to subscribers of the BFI Player platform; people with festival tickets will receive a discounted subscription and there’ll also be a free two-week trial available.

The BFI’s Director of Festivals, Tricia Tuttle, said the Flare team wanted to share elements of the festival digitally with its loyal and dedicated following. “We want to bring some of the spirit of Flare into viewers’ living rooms,” she said.

With Cannes optimistically hoping to be able to stage its festival just six weeks late, the BFI could be offering the French organisers an alternative approach, although the BFI has the advantage of already having its own platform and Cannes generally tries to select films that would benefit from being seen on the biggest of screens.