The programme for the 21st London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has been released
and once again it's an exciting mix of gay cinema from around the world. OutUK's
Mike Gray has been looking through the Festival programme which opens on Wednesday March 21st.
Based at the BFI National Film Theatre on London's South Bank, this is now one of the UK's
largest film festivals and regularly attracts audiences of over 250,000.
This year's programme is bristling with new talent and among this year's highlights is the
first Centrepiece Screening Adaora Nwandu’s Rag Tag. This is a life affirming love story starring Danny Parsons and Damola Adelaja.
The spotlight stays in the UK for the Queer Britannia strand, where Neil Hunter and Tom
Hunsinger (Lawless Heart, Boyfriends) return with Sparkle.
This is not a gay film,
but a warm and funny drama about the complexities of city life starring Stockard Channing,
Shaun Evans and Bob Hoskins. Directors Mark James and Phil O’Shea bring us Vampire Diary, a slickly shot horror set
in the pulsating world of the London Goth scene and Ian Poitier’s assured first feature,
Oh Happy Day, is a fun, sexy and beautifully shot British romantic comedy.
The Closing Night Gala on 4 April will be Duncan Roy’s third
feature, The Picture of Dorian Gray, starring David Gallagher. Like his earlier AKA, the film uses split-screens and sharp
art direction to create a cool and beautiful work, swapping Oscar Wilde's 1890's decadence for
the 21st century drug-fuelled promiscuity.
Looking further afield, Singapore filmmaker, Royston Tan returns to the festival with
his new film 4:30. Told almost without dialogue, it is the remarkable depiction of a young
boy’s isolation and his desperate attempts to connect. With Young-jun Kim and Xiao Li Yuan.
Sam Feder and Julie Hollar delve into the heated debates between transgender and queer
communities telling the stories of three young transmen from New York. This riveting
documentary attempts to open a dialogue about transgender identity and queer feminism.
Kirk Shannon-Butts brings his avant-garde sensibilities to African-America cinema with
his first feature Blueprint a New York set drama about the fragility of youth and the
first flushes of love, with mesmerising performances by the two leads Blake Young-Fountain and
Damion Lee, Shannon-Butts is a name to watch. Eytan Fox, the talented Israeli director responsible
for Yossi and Jagger, returns to the festival with The Bubble, a beautiful funny and tragic love story
set amidst the relentless nightmare of the Palestine-Israeli conflict with Ohad Knoller and Yousef ‘Joe’ Sweid.
Phillip J Bartell brings festival favourite Q Allen Brocka’s fast-talking screwball comedy script to
life in Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds with high-octane sexual intrigue and plenty of eye candy provided
by Jim Verraros, Emily Brooke Hands, Marco Dapper and Brett Chukerman. South Korean director Leeson Hee-il
brings No Regret to our screens a film of bold sexuality where unexpected passion, desire and
misunderstandings wreak havoc of an operatic intensity as redundant factory worker Sumin is seduced into a
world of prostitution. With Lee Han, Lee Young Hoon, Jo Hyeon-Cheol and Kim Dong-wook.
Julián Hernández (A Thousand Clouds of Peace) envisions a bold new direction for
queer cinema in Broken Sky which charts the break-up of university students Jonás and Gerardo.
It is a hypnotic dance of stolen looks, tender caresses and lustful sex that is both innovative and
exquisitely romantic. With Fernando Arroyo, Miguel Ángel Hoppe Canto and Ignacio Pereda.
Art Of The Erotic Imagination
The Art of the Erotic Imagination strand contains films exploring gay desire, here you will find t
he recently restored Pink Narcissus.
James Bidgood’s complex, beautiful and very stylish
film starring Bobby Kendall which will be screening with the world premier of an interview with
the director and Brian Robinson, filmed in Manhattan in December 2006.
Following a recent
donation of Super8 originals to the BFI National Archive there will be a screening of The Erotic
Films of Peter de Rome, a legendary pioneering figure in gay pornography. We are delighted that
the director will be at BFI Southbank for an interview following the screening.
Generations Of Love
The year-long LLGFF project Generations of Love, supported by the Mayor of London and in association
with Mediatheque, is designed to provide a space for older members of our community to share experiences
through film, discussion and reminiscence.
You can get full details of the Festival in the free brochure or on the website