Words: Steve Brown
BFI Flare: London LGBTQ Film Festival is kicking off this week (March 21) and we honestly cannot wait to get into the thick of it.
Hosting more than 50 feature films, shorts and documentaries, the 10-day festival is split into three categories, Hearts, Bodies and Minds and is anything short of exciting.
With a great roster of fantastic films ahead, it's hard to narrow down just which films to see but we have compiled a list of the five films from the Hearts category that we are most looking forward to seeing.
Consequences - Dir. Darko Stante
This film follows 17-year-old delinquent Andrej whose antisocial behaviour lands him in a youth correction facility, where he quickly falls in with the wrong crowd, led by unpredictable Zeljko.
As their friendship blossoms, Andrej senses a strong physical attraction but is Zeljko feeling the same or is he using Andrej as a pawn in a dangerous game?
Papi Chulo - Dir. John Butler
Matt Bomer stars in this unexpected buddy movie as heartbroken weatherman Sean who suffers a public breakdown following the end of his relationship with an older Latino boyfriend.
After being urged to take time away, Sean decides to make some home improvements and hires Ernesto - played by Alejandro Patino - a straight migrant worker.
Ernesto quietly gets on with his work, but Sean begins to open to him despite a language barrier and it becomes clear that Sean needs far more than a tradesman.
Tucked - Dir. Jamie Patterson
Jackie is a gender non-conforming 80+ drag queen who is determined to go out with a bang after being diagnosed with cancer.
But while they live an exciting life, at home Jackie is confronted by solitude and regrets. But then a young, non-binary performer Faith appears in the dressing room and Jackie is forced to show them the ropes.
Despite differences, the two realise they have a lot in common and become other's support.
Socrates - Dir. Alex Moratto
Following his mother's sudden death, Socrates, 15, must learn how to fend for himself in Sao Paulo.
After being unable to collect his mother's ashes and afford the rent of his mother's flat, he gets a job a small construction company where he meets a young man.
As the two form an unlikely connection, Socrates continually faces financial pressures and as they mount, so does his feelings leading him to confront the harsh reality of his situation.
Rafiki - Dir. Wanuri Kahiu
The film, a love story about two women, was banned in the country for promoting "gayism" but was screened at various festivals around the world where it earned critical acclaim.
Based on Monica Arac de Nyeko's short story, the film follows Kena and Ziki, who find love despite mounting political and family pressures.
The two women face violence but their story unfolds as an utterly contemporary affirmation for LGBTQ people everywhere.
You can find the full programme here but trust us, the tickets are selling out fast! Get your tickets while you can!