BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival 2020 cancelled as coronavirus pandemic continues

The UK's biggest queer film festival was due to kick off later this week.


BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival 2020 has been cancelled as the UK continues to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The LGBTQ film festival, which was due to show new and classic queer films at BFI: Southbank from this Wednesday 18 March until Sunday 29 March, will not take place this year, organisers announced on Monday (16 March).

"It’s with heavy hearts that the BFI announces that due to the scale and complexity of running a large international film festival with filmmakers set to travel to it from across the world, it has taken the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival (18-29th March) as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves", a statement read.

"BFI Flare is a very special and long standing festival with a loyal and dedicated following and we realise that this is a very disappointing situation for audiences, our staff and Festival teams and all of the incredibly talented and passionate filmmakers involved.

"We know this decision affects individuals in different ways and we respectfully ask people to please bear with us over the next days as we work through the impacts of cancellation and also look at ways of sharing some elements of BFI Flare digitally.

"This announcement is regarding BFI Flare programmes and events only. BFI Southbank remains open and operational, unless advice from the Government and Public Health England changes."

While the cancellation of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival 2020 will come as a major blow to the LGBTQ creators and fans involved in the festival, you can still find out more about the films that would have been screened this year in Parts One, Two and Three of our 'Ones to Watch' guide.

If you're experiencing anxiety and want to speak to someone in confidence call Switchboard, the LGBT Helpline, on 0300 330 0630.