BFI Flare: 5 Film Highlights

The British Film Institute’s annual celebration of LGBTQIA+ filmmaking is back, bringing the best in queer cinema to London’s Southbank. Still to come is the festival’s closing film Tramps! and Kevin Hegge’s vibrant documentary exploring the fashions and music of the New Romantics era. Plus, there’s a chance to catch The Divide, Catherine Corsini’s film about a lesbian relationship set to the backdrop of political unrest. For lovers of short films, there are 12 separate programmes and plenty of ASFF alumni showcasing their latest works. We highlight five must-sees from the 2022 edition.

Silver and Gold

Included in Flare’s Once More With Feeling strand, Jack Pulford’s Silver and Gold has already enjoyed a fantastic festival ride. Part of the New Wave showcase at ASFF in 2021, this Charlie Chaplin-inspired short stars Nellie Svennson and Aisling Turner. Two street performers – one spray-painted silver, the other gold – find romance on the banks of the River Thames.

Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro

Swedish director Jerry Carlsson returns with the poignant vision of the future. Playing in the strand Where Do We Go From Here?, it tells the story of an elderly man who learns that his partner is about to reappear after being cryogenically frozen for 43 years. The short is from writer-director Carlsson, who brought Shadow Animals – an absurdist story – to ASFF.

Come

Another short that can be found in Where Do We Go From Here? is David McShane’s Come. The British-born animator took his earlier short Solar Plexus – about a young man facing the death of his astronaut mother – to ASFF in 2019, and this latest effort shows just what a unique filmmaker he is. In it, Finn finds a Grindr hook-up unexpectedly meaningful.

Bingo Queens

 Nicholas Finegan brings his new short, Bingo Queens, to Flare, appearing in the Parallel Lives strand. A tale of platonic love and queer romance, it follows Aleks and Luna, who take refuge in a bingo hall after a transphobic attack. Regular ASFF watchers will remember Finegan from Factory Talk, the spoken word short that won Best Artists’ Film at ASFF in 2020.

Losing Joy

British-Nigerian artist and filmmaker Juliana Kasumu’s short Losing Joy also plays in Flare’s Parallel Lives. At ASFF 2021, Kasumu showcased Babybangz, the story of Anastasia Ebel, owner of a natural hair salon in New Orleans, and also won the Aesthetica Art Prize winner 2021 for What Does The Water Taste Like? Losing Joy, follows a young woman struggling with grief.


BFI Flare runs from 16-27 March. Find out more here.

Words: James Mottram