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This month, the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival returns for 2021.

As ever, the festival aims to celebrate and platform LGBTIQ+ stories and talent in cinema, from drama to comedy and documentaries.

Due to begin on March 17 and conclude on March 28 in an entirely digital format, BFI Flare has compiled a selection of diverse films and has separated its features into three strands.

The Hearts strand explores "films about love, romance and friendship", while the Bodies strand examines "stories of sex, identity and transformation", and finally, the Minds strand explores "reflections on art, politics and community".

Here are some of the films set to be shown at the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, but do be sure to check out the full programme here.

Boy Meets Boy

Directed by Daniel Sánchez López, Boy Meets Boy is a romance focused on a brief relationship in Berlin following a revelatory night of clubbing.

Boy Meets Boy stars Alexandros Koutsoulis and Matthew James Morrison
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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Harry (Matthew James Morrison) is heading back home imminently, but after kissing Johannes (Alexandros Koutsoulis) when partying, the pair spend time together before he catches his flight.

In a brief 75mins, this whirlwind encounter looks set to be a moving addition to the festival’s Hearts strand.

Colors of Tobi

In this documentary in the Bodies strand, director Alexa Bakony explores gender dysphoria faced by a teenager in a country fiercely restricting trans rights.

Documentary film Colors of Tobi follows a teen with gender dysphoria in Hungary
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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16-year-old teen Tobi is unsure of what path to take as school comes to a close and decisions on the future arrive.

As Tobi experiences two 'coming-out' experiences, we also follow the journey of Tobi’s mother as their family seeks to confront some home-truths.

This film from Hungary is sure to open up some questions about modern social mores and the harsh realities facing trans teens.

Cured

Directors Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon bring their documentary film Cured to he Minds strand.

Cured follows the story of how US activists sought to remove homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s definitions of mental illnesses.

Cured follows a period of LGBTQ+ activism in US history
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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It explores a formative slice of US history and examines the work of activists before and after the events of the era-defining Stonewall riots.

The documentary speaks directly to activists involved in these revolutionary changes and will no doubt offer food-for-thought to modern audiences.

Dramarama

Another film from the Hearts strand, Dramarama sees director Jonathan Wysocki follows a group of theatre-loving friends in the summer of 1994.

A group of theatre-obsessed teens face up to identity truths in Dramarama
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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This comedy-drama sees a theatrical group of teens looking to spend time together and enjoy what will be their last hurrah before they depart for college the next day.

However, Gene (Nick Pugliese) is preparing himself to share a major secret with his friends – but will his pals be willing to understand what he has to say?

This US film also stars Nico Greetham and Anna Grace Barlow.

Firebird

Set in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Firebird sees director Peeter Rebane bring a complicated love triangle to our screens.

It's a case of forbidden love in Cold War drama Firebird
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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In a society where being gay is illegal and the prospect of war is ever-present, childhood best friends Sergey (Tom Prior) and Luisa (Diana Pozharskaya) are now both working at a military base.

Sergey is a junior officer and Luisa is a secretary, but both find their close friendship threatened with the presence of a gorgeous new fighter pilot named Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii).

Will a forbidden romance tear Sergey and Luisa’s friendship apart?

Jump, Darling

Starring the recently deceased acting legend Cloris Leachman, this film from director Phil Connell is an addition in the festival’s Bodies strand.

The late acting legend Cloris Leachman (left) and Thomas Duplessie star in Jump, Darling
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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In Jump, Darling, Cloris plays Margaret, the sassy grandmother of a struggling actor in his late twenties named Russell (played by Thomas Duplessie), who pursues performances as a drag artist.

When this puts Russell on a collision course with his boyfriend, he spends more time with his grandmother, but she too has some life changes of her own to confront.

This drama looks set to be an emotional farewell to Cloris from our screens.

My First Summer

In this Australian lesbian love story from director Katie Found, My First Summer explores a sheltered teen finding love for the first time.

My First Summer explores finding romance in the midst of grief
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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After the heartbreaking loss of her mother, Claudia has locked herself up in her old country house with her dog.

However, her life changes forever when she meets Grace, prompting a wonderful summer to come.

Will their newfound love help Claudia to face up to her emotional issues or lead to further turmoil?

The film features performances from Markella Kavenagh and Maiah Stewardson.

Rebel Dykes

In this UK documentary from Harri Shanahan and Siân Williams for the Minds strand, we take a look inside a post-punk lesbian movement.

Returning after the 2016 festival preview is this documentary film about a post-punk lesbian movement
(Image: Courtesy of the BFI)

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Previously being shown in a preview at BFI Flare 2016, the film looks at a set of friends who crossed paths at the Greenham Common peace camp and became activists and artists in subsequent years.

Packed with interviews, animated sequences and archive footage, it explores everything from squatting to BDSM and protests against Margaret Thatcher’s government. 

*BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival 2021 takes place from March 17 to March 28, 2021, for more details on how to see the films, see here.