entertainment

BFI Flare to open with UK premiere of 'VITA & VIRGINIA'

The new film tells the story of the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

2019-02-12

BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival will open with the UK premiere of Chanya Button’s VITA & VIRGINIA.

To mark the 33rd edition of the annual LGBT+ film festival, the new movie will open the 10-day film festival on March 21 at BFI Southbank.

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 film – which also stars Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones and Peter Ferdinando – follows their encounters which inspired Woolf’s famous novel ‘Orlando’ and is a love story about two women who smashed through social barriers to find solace in their forbidden connection.

Chanya Button says: “I’m beyond thrilled that VITA & VIRGINIA will be opening BFI Flare.

“Tricia Tuttle’s support has been invaluable, and I’m so grateful that this film that celebrates love and creativity in all its forms will have a platform at such a vivid and forward-thinking festival.”

Michael Blyth, BFI Flare’s Senior Programmer, added: “With the exquisite VITA & VIRGINIA, director Chanya Button has crafted a rich and sensuous account of the relationship between two extraordinary women.

“Boasting superb performances by Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki in the title roles, Button's refreshingly feminist period piece offers a bold and contemporary exploration of sexual fluidity, gender and literature itself, and we can't wait to share it with BFI Flare audiences.”

Tricia Tuttle, Director of BFI Festivals, continued: “We’re delighted to have such a strong new British film opening BFI Flare – and from a wonderfully talented female filmmaker to boot! BFI Flare goes from strength to strength, which is the result of increased investment in LGBTQ+ filmmaking globally, and also a reflection of support from key partners.

“This is particularly true of our main supporter, The Pureland Foundation, who share our belief that BFI Flare has a very real positive social and cultural benefit.”

Tickets for the UK’s longest running LGBTQ+ film event will go on sale at the end of February.

Watch the trailer for VITA & VIRGINIA below: