The 31st BFI London LGBT Film Festival came to a close on March 26.
Over the ten days of the Festival, BFI Flare screened 58 features and 80 short films and reached UK audiences of over 27,000 at BFI Southbank and through BFI Player. 187 filmmakers represented 13 countries covering global LGBT cultures, including Iraq, India, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Highlights of the festival included the Opening Night World Premiere of Against the Law by Fergus O’Brien. The BBC Two film production is a sensitive adaptation of Peter Wildeblood’s bestselling memoir, telling the story of his affair with a handsome serviceman, and the subsequent court case which led to his imprisonment and eventually influenced the 1967 Sexual Reforms Act.
The Closing Night Gala was the International Premiere of Signature Move by director Jennifer Reeder. The film is a cross-cultural romance about a Pakistani Muslim lesbian living in Chicago with her recently widowed mother.
Other films presented at the festival included: Handsome Devil by John Butler; Torrey Pines, the semi-autobiographical animated road trip feature by Clyde Peterson, and; the World Premiere of Vincent Gagliostro’s After Louis, starring Zachary Booth and Alan Cumming.
Also marking the 50th anniversary of 1967 Sexual Offences Act, the Festival hosted a day of free presentations and discussions on “Fifty Years of Queer History through the Moving Image and Beyond,” a unique afternoon of illustrated talks, screenings and storytelling from a wide range of historians, archivists and individuals who had lived through the period.