BFI Flare: London 2023 Announce Opening And Closing Films

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The BFI have announced the opening and Closing galas for the 37th edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival.

This year’s programme is set to take place between 15th and 26th March. The annual LGBTIA+ festival’s Opening Night Gala will be Kristen Lovell and Zackary Drucker’s resonant Sundance award-winning documentary THE STROLL. The Closing Night Gala will be Hannes Hirsch’s debut feature DRIFTER.

In addition, Tünde Skovrán’s intimate documentary WHO I AM NOT will have its UK Premiere as the Centrepiece Presentation Screening. All filmmakers are expected to be in attendance.

The International Premiere of Kristen Lovell and Zackary Drucker’s THE STROLL, which won the U.S Documentary Special Jury Award: Clarity of Vision at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, opens the Festival on Wednesday 15th March.

THE STROLL, which won the U.S Documentary Special Jury Award: Clarity of Vision at last month’s Sundance Film Festival. This stirring and deeply personal film tells the history of New York City’s Meatpacking District from the point of view of the trans women of colour who lived and worked there. Comprised of intimate narration from Lovell, who worked “The Stroll” for a decade, she reunites with her sisters to recount the violence, policing, homelessness, and gentrification they overcame to build a movement for transgender rights.

The UK Premiere Hirsch’s debut feature DRIFTER is a coming-of-age story with a difference. Arriving fresh from its World Premiere at Berlin, the film tells the story of 22-year-old Moritz, who is excited to be moving to Berlin with his boyfriend. But when the relationship quickly falls apart, he begins an odyssey of new relationships in a city full of possibilities, discovering the joys of sexual abandon and with each new encounter – straight, gay and a flirtation with S&M – he understands more of himself and how to fulfil people’s desires.

The Closing Night gala on Saturday 25th March is the UK Premiere of Hannes Hirsch’s debut feature DRIFTER,

Tünde Skovrán’s documentary WHO I AM NOT will receive its UK Premiere as the Flare Centrepiece Presentation Screening on Tuesday 21st March. The film is an intimate portrait of the lives of two intersex South Africans and the challenges they face navigating binary sex and gender systems.

Zackary Drucker, THE STROLL director said: “In the words of one of our legendary film subjects Ceyenne Doroshow, “I’m a Black, trans, international WHORE baby” — The Stroll is going international! We are thrilled and honored to premiere The Stroll to UK audiences at the beloved BFI Flare festival.”

Hannes Hirsch, DRIFTER director also commented: “I’m thrilled and proud that my debut film DRIFTER will be shown as the closing film at BFI Flare. The film is my personal love-letter to Berlin’s queer scene, but it was also only possible with the broad support from the community. After its world premiere at Berlinale, I am honoured to present DRIFTER at the prestigious BFI Flare to the community.”

The full programme for BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival will be revealed on Wednesday 15th February.