BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2019 announces full line-up

The festival is set to showcase more than 50 feature films and 100 shorts


The BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival has unveiled its 33rd edition’s full programme.

It was already reported that the annual 10-day film festival - which will kick off on March 21 at BFI Southbank, London - will open with the UK premiere of Chanya Button's VITA & VIRGINIA.

Adapted from Dame Eileen Atkins’ play of the same name, the film tells the true story of the passionate relationship between literary trailblazer Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki), and the enigmatic aristocrat Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton).

When their paths cross, the magnetic Vita decides the beguiling, stubborn and gifted Virginia will be her next conquest, no matter the cost.

The festival - which will showcase more than 50 feature films, 100 shorts and a range of other events guest appearances and workshops - will close on March 31 with the European Premiere of Justin Kelly’s JT LEROY. Starring Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart, the film is adapted from Savannah Knoop’s memoir 'Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy'.

It follows the captivating real-life story of the most compelling literary 'hoax' and also stars Diana Kruger and Jim Sturgess.

Director, Justin Kelly, said: “Having opened 2015's BFI Flare with my first film, I Am Michael, I am beyond honoured to return to close this year's festival with my new film, JT LEROY, the fascinating true story about two women whose lives forever change when they bring to life the fictional boy-wunderkind author JT LeRoy.”

Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s Senior Programmer, added: “With his previous accounts of ex-gay Christian pastor Michael Glatze (I Am Michael) and porn star Brent Corrigan (King Cobra), director Justin Kelly has proved himself one of contemporary queer cinema’s most fascinating and provocative storytellers.

"It is an absolute pleasure to continue supporting Kelly’s work by closing this year’s BFI Flare with his latest biopic, the extraordinary JT LEROY. ”

To add to the excitement, the Centrepiece Screening of the festival will be the UK premiere of Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life

The documentary is the latest work from acclaimed filmmaker Tomer Heymann who paints an illuminating portrait of Jonathan Agassi - one of the world's most successful gay porn stars.

Other highlights include the highly anticipated Mapplethorpe. Starring Matt Smith as the legendary gay photographer, the film - helmed by Ondi Timoner - tells the story of how Robert Mapplethorpe became one of the most iconic photographers.

Marco Berger's The Blonde One, which tells the story of a tentative friendship between two young men which blossoms into a beautiful bromance, will also make its debut at the festival.

Tell it to the Bees - by Annabel Jankel - is based on the beloved novel by Fiona Shaw and stars Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger as two women who fall in love in Scotland in the 1950s.

Like last year which showcased teen rom-com Love, Simon, there will be another classic high school coming-out story in the form of Giant Little Ones directed by Keith Behrman.

Other films include Laura Madalinski's bisexual rom-com Two in the Bush: A Love Story, Jamie Patterson's drag comedy Tucked and Canadian drama Splinters, which is based on the original stage play by Lee-Ann Poole.

You can find out more about BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2019 here.