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 Minds category that we are most looking forward to seeing.
The Mind category focus on films and documentaries reflecting on art, politics and community.
Mapplethorpe - Dir. Ondi Timoner
This film is one that we are extremely excited to see. Matt Smith once again shows off his talents as an actor as he portrays real-life gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in this new biopic.
The film follows Mapplethorpe's career as one of the most feted photographers from his early days as the companion of Patti Smith to becoming the toast of the town.
Like his photographs - which brought gay, leather-fetish sex and bondage into the mainstream - Mapplethorpe never shied away and this biopic shows his passion to celebrate sex and sexuality as never before.
The Gospel of Eureka - Dir. Michael Palmieri
Having voted in a Non-Discrimination Ordinance to protect LGBTQ rights and stop the dreaded trans-exclusionary bathroom biil, the townsfolk of Eureka Springs, in Arkansas, are a lesson in togetherness.
Fundamentalists and drag queens get along just fine and scenes from this documentary are interspersed with another lip-sync show in town where local queens wow the crowds of cowgirls and boys with all the gay pride gospel and country hits.
Deep in Vogue - Dir. Amy Watson
In this compelling documentary, Manchester's Vogue ball scene is revealed and explores notions of love, community and creativity.
This film is a celebration of the queer heroes of this scene, which takes its inspiration from the US model of competing Houses that were developed in the black, gay ballrooms of 1980s New York.
Making Montgomery Clift - Dir. Robert Clift
For any fans of classic Hollywood movies, this is the documentary for them.
Using taped phone conversations, home videos and news clippings, this powerful documentary - directed by Montgomery's own brother - is a much broader expose of the history of tight control over Hollywood stars.
Dogged by the nauseatingly repetitive narrative of being a tragic closeted addict, the actor's lovers, friends and family tell a different story of acceptance, lusty exuberance and fierce independence.
Transmilitary - Dir. Gabriel Silverman
With Trump's trans ban coming into effect on April 12, this documentary explores this outrageous move by the president.
Forced to conform to strcit hair lengths and uniforms matching gender assigned at birth, the documentary one muscly trans male soldier who signs up for multiple tours in Afghanistan.
The ridiculousness of his official his official skirt uniform back home is one of the primary examples convincing the top brass to reconsider the rules.
You can find the full programme here but trust us, the tickets are selling out fast! Get your tickets while you can!