Are you ready for a cinematic experience that is sure to leave you inspired? The 37th edition of BFI Flare, London’s LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, is well underway and we’ve got the inside scoop on the must-see films for our beloved Queerly audience. This year’s festival boasts 28 World Premieres, 58 features, and 90 shorts from 41 countries – it’s an incredible lineup you won’t want to miss!

  1. Wolf and Dog

“Wolf and Dog,” directed by Cláudia Varejão, is a captivating drama that makes its debut at the BFI Flare. Set on the remote island of São Miguel in the Azores, the film follows Ana (Ana Cabral), a teenager growing up in a community deeply influenced by religion and tradition. This kaleidoscopic and poetic film, Varejão’s first fiction feature, beautifully explores queerness and tradition, while incorporating the talents of local, non-professional actors.

  1. Mel

“Mel” is a powerful film that delves into the life of one of Armenia’s most decorated athletes, who faces the difficult decision of leaving his country and career behind when his transition unexpectedly makes headlines. Don’t miss the chance to experience this timely story that showcases the resilience and courage of its protagonist.

  1. The Blue Caftan

Morocco’s official entry for the 2023 Academy Awards, is a stunning drama exploring love, queer yearning, and unconditional devotion. Directed by Maryam Touzani, the film follows Halim and Mina, a couple who run a traditional caftan store in Morocco’s oldest medina, and their talented young apprentice. With its heartfelt portrayal of Moroccan life, culture, and queer identity, “The Blue Caftan” is a beautiful and nuanced cinematic experience that is captivating audiences worldwide.

  1. The Fabulous Ones

This enchanting docudrama brings together five older trans women at a villa where they once shared clothes and dressed up during their coming out days. As they reunite, they’re swept up in nostalgia, sharing laughter, tears, and lively debates about their diverse and often wild lives. The discovery of an unopened letter from their glamorous friend Antonia, who was tragically murdered decades ago, unites them in purpose.

  1. JEWELLE: A Just Vision

A captivating tribute to the trailblazing Jewelle Gomez, celebrated for her groundbreaking vampire stories and engagement with Black and Indigenous histories. The film showcases Gomez’s remarkable achievements that were ahead of their time. Don’t miss this inspiring celebration of an iconic queer literary figure and immerse yourself in the world of Jewelle Gomez, a visionary writer who continues to leave her mark on LGBTQ+ literature and culture.

So, there you have it – our top five unmissable gems at BFI Flare 2023! Get ready to immerse yourself in these powerful and inspiring stories that celebrate the diverse spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ experience. Whether you’re a seasoned film buff or just looking for a night of captivating cinema, BFI Flare has something for everyone. Grab your popcorn, gather your friends, and let these unforgettable films transport you to a world of love, resilience, and self-discovery!