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BFI Flare: 5 Dazzling Films from the Festival

BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival is the world’s most significant and long-standing queer film event in the LGBTQIA+ calendar. It returns to BFI Southbank this year for the 38th edition, along with a brilliant programme. We are delighted to bring you a selection of movies to watch, including the opening night screening, Layla, which welcomes drag queen and filmmaker Amrou Al-Kadhi back to the festival with their debut feature. Look out for López Estrada and Zachary Manuel’s exuberant documentary about the iconic Lil Nas X and end your cinematic adventure with Luke Willis’ Lady Like, an intimate portrait of RuPaul’s Drag Race finalist Lady Camden and the journey to happiness and success.

Layla | Amrou Al-Kadhi

Layla tells the story of an Arab drag queen whose confident façade hides their desperate desire for love. When their performance at a belittling corporate Pride event turns into a transgressive takedown, they are surprised to catch the eye of marketing executive Max, whose attentions sweep Layla off their feet. But, in the messy negotiation of tradition, gender presentation and differing communities, who gains and who must leave a part of themselves behind?

Lady Like | Luke Willis

British-born professional ballet dancer-turned drag performer, Rex Wheeler, a.k.a Lady Camden, may have finished as a runner-up on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but they undoubtedly won the hearts of fans worldwide. Tracing their journey from local San Francisco queen to international celebrity, this inventive and heartfelt film explores how Lady Camden helped Rex deal with past traumas and embrace the joys of life. Lady Like is a celebration of a bold and tenacious artist.

Love Lies Bleeding | Rose Glass

Rose Glass’ gripping and gory follow-up to Saint Maud finds a lesbian couple drawn into a web of violence in 1980s small-town New Mexico. When bodybuilder Jackie walks into Lou’s gym, there’s instant attraction. Soon the pair are cohabitating and planning Jackie’s win at an upcoming contest. But, after an act of violence, the bodies start to pile up. Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian are mesmerising in this strange, sexy and darkly comic queer crime drama.

Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero | López Estrada & Zachary Manuel

Journey to the world of Montero in this exuberant documentary, which follows Lil Nas X as he embarks on his first live tour. In a world where being an openly gay Black rapper still feels like a rarity, Lil Nas X has faced more than his fair share of scrutiny. In this electrifying tour documentary, we see behind his witty – and occasionally controversial – online presence: a young gay man reconciling the price of fame and the musical prowess that got him there.

What A Feeling | Kat Rohrer

Two women hit it off in a lesbian bar in this heartfelt romantic comedy that explores migration, class and sexuality in Austria. Life was going well for Marie until her husband, in front of friends, asks for a divorce. She spends the night drowning her sorrows in a lesbian bar, where she encounters Fa, a charismatic heartbreaker who is running her business and caring for her elderly Iranian mother, whilst avoiding being pinned down by any woman. Well, until now…

13-24 March | BFI Southbank | Book Your Tickets