BFI Flare : British Council’s fiveFilms4freedom Available Online!

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The festival season is ready to kick off once again, and first on the BFI’s schedule is BFI Flare, the London LGBT Film Festival. From the 19th to the 29th of March, the BFI is playing host to some of the best and most talked about queer films from around the world along with special events, parties, debates, discussions and special events for the whole family and younger viewers.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, we bring good tidings! You can sample some films from BFI Flare right now for free and from the comfort of your own home! In partnership with the British Council’s fiveFilms4freedom project, five short films from BFI Flare are now available to watch online. And naturally, your friendly neighborhood film review site has got the lowdown on these little numbers… Here’s the verdict…

An Afternoon (Directed by Søren Green , Denmark)

High school… The backdrop for so many firsts but perhaps most importantly – and more often than not – for our first crush. This is a serious and complicated affair at the best of times, but even more so for Mathias, who fancies his mate Frederick… A charming tale of love’s first bloom…

Chance (Directed by Jake Graf, UK)

Amir is trying to leave a traumatic past behind and make a fresh start in the UK – but cannot escape the ghosts of his past. Trevor has lost the will to live after the death of his wife and is desperately searching for a way to carry on. But a chance encounter in the park may just prove the healing balm both men need…

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Code Academy (Directed by Nisha Ganatra, USA)

We are transported to the near future, to a specialist high tech girl’s academy for coders. While the technology may be new, the typical teenage problems and obsessions, cliques, best friends and crushes are still very much headline news in everyone’s minds. The thing to remember about an academy full of specialist coders however, is that in online life, not everything is quite as it seems…

Morning is Broken (Directed by Simon Anderson, UK)

It is the morning after the spectacular wedding of Roland and Rose. Everyone has retired to bed, everyone except Roland’s younger brother Sam and Nigel, one of the wedding guests. What starts as a midnight ramble however takes a traumatic turn and we are pushed to stop and think about how hard it is to achieve inner peace in a society that makes you feel as if you do not belong… A striking piece and my personal favourite in this selection…

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True Wheel (Directed Nora Mandray, France – USA)

The only documentary style film in this selection, True Wheel introduces Fender Bender, a bicycle workshop collective for queer, trans and women’s communities of Detroit. Give it a whirl, whether you are a bicycle enthusiast or not – it’s less about the cycles and more about the community…

Youth takes the spotlight in these films and of course this is of great importance of on a number of levels. Representations of the LGBT community in a normalised context are rare enough as it is, and films addressing the everyday fears and dilemmas of the young, learning about and coming to terms with their own sexual identity are a lot rarer…  The selection gives us the opportunity to see that first love, crushes and understanding our own desires are pretty much universal, no matter what the gender of your object of desire… But if youth is the star of the selection, it must be said that it is not the only player.  Films like Chance and True Wheel remind us that love, acceptance and community all cross barriers of gender, race and even language to bring us together. Because no matter who we are and where we come from, love truly is all we need…

And if you liked the sound of the fiveFilms4Freedom selection, why not head over to the BFI Flare website to watch all the films reviewed here for free and to check out the festival program?

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Sedef moved to London three years ago to get her MA in Film Studies and never quite got round to going back home. As she once worked in a DVD company and watched films for a living, she started a personal blog (essiespeaks.blogspot.com) as a short answer to being constantly asked “watched anything interesting recently?” and loved blogging so much she just kept typing . She is the biggest Tarantino fan she knows and would be unable to choose a single film of his as a favourite.