Queer Cinema at its Global Best

Posted on March 20, 2011

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By: Saravanan Sugumaran

London Lesbian Gay Film Festival Logo

The 25th BFI (British Film Institute) London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, which is to take place between March 31st and April 6, is expected to further cement is reputation as the UK’s largest LGBT film event. The event explores and reflects the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cultures aiming to deliver the best in queer cinema from around the globe.

The festival took flight 25 years ago in 1986 with ten screenings over a five-day period. However, the festival has spread its wings and has ascended to newer heights over the years. This year’s festival is scheduled for over 35 features and dozens of related events taking place simultaneously. Though this year’s event is to have a shorter time period as compared to last year’s festival, the organizers predict the that budget cuts would not have done much to hamper the rich avalanche of queer entertainment.

“We do this at a moment when public sector cuts have brought a reduction in funding for the BFI and hence for the LLGFF” said Sandra Hebron, Artistic Director of the BFI Festivals. “Despite the difficult decision to reduce its length, we believe that the Festival will continue to be an important cultural event and a significant community celebration,” added Hebron who believes that the LLGFF’s programmers have curated a truly world class show despite the current economic climate.

The festival, which is due to take place at London’s BFI Southbank, will begin with acclaimed director, Gregg Araki’s new surreal sci-fi end-of-the-world drama, ‘KABOOM’. This much anticipated presentation would be followed by a wide array of talks, discussions and various other activities, which are open to just about anyone. “This is not a niched event and is actually very relevant to a very varied audience,” said Oliver Coleman, member of the BFI Junior Reporter Scheme.

His views were further enhanced by Jason Barker, one of the key organizers of the Festival who said, “the wider world is not always so accepting in LGBT lives and lifestyles” citing the murder of a Ugandan activist as an example. “Lets hope this festival continues to fulfill a valuable social function.”

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Posted in: Film