London LGBT Film Festival Unveils Lineup

I am Michael
Courtesy of Sundance International Film Festival

BFI Flare will open with Justin Kelly's 'I Am Michael,' close with Malcolm Ingram's 'Out to Win' and feature a 40th anniversary screening of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.'

The European premiere of Malcolm Ingram's Out to Win will close the 2015 edition of BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival, organizers said Wednesday in unveiling the full lineup.

The festival, which will take place March 19-29, says it it the U.K.’s leading LGBT film event and one of the world’s longest established. It will screen more than 50 features, more than 100 shorts and a range of special events, guest appearances, discussions and workshops.

As previously announced, I Am Michael, which played well at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, will open the festival. The feature directorial debut for Gus Van Sant protege Justin Kelly, it stars James Franco and Zachary Quinto in the real-life story of Michael Glatze, who went from crusading gay journalist to anti-gay pastor.

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Meanwhile, Out to Win charts the experience of LGBT athletes with contributions from such pioneers as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, David Kopay, John Amaechi and Jason Collins.

Also part of the BFI Flare lineup are director David Thorpe's Do I Sound Gay?, a documentary exploring whether there is a "gay voice" that features contributions from the likes of Margaret Cho, David Sedaris and George Takei; Jim Chu Chu's Stories of Our Lives, a drama adapted from real testimonies of LGBT Kenyans; Stephen Belber's Match, starring Patrick Stewart as a dancer-turned-teacher who discovers more than he bargained for when he takes part in an interview about his career; Mark Christopher’s 54: The Director’s Cut, which had its world premiere in Berlin; Colin Rothbart's Dressed as a Girl, a celebration of a group of drag performers; and Frederic Tcheng's documentary Dior and I, about the arrival of new designer Raf Simons at fashion house Dior.

Special events at BFI Flare include a 40th anniversary screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and lecture series We Love… This year’s subject is Xena Warrior Princess. The fest will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show and "other glorious female role models, followed by a suitably themed Warrior Women after-party."

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Also, BFI Flare will reprise some of the year’s most popular, previously released LGBT films in its "Best of the Year" showcase. Among its screenings will be Brit hit Pride, Matthew Warchus' about a little-known chapter of U.K. history, but a major moment for the gay rights movement.

Twitter: @georgszalai