A day after London’s COVID-19-canceled BFI Flare festival dedicated to LGBTIQ+ cinema was due to begin, organizers have outlined a plan for a digital edition, dubbed BFI Flare at Home, to run through the British Film Institute’s BFI Player application. Festivalgoers will be invited to screen a number of BFI Flare’s planned shorts and features from March 20th through March 29th, with those who had booked tickets offered a special deal on a subscription to the BFI Player service, and general audiences given a two-week trial.
“BFI Flare is a very special and long standing festival with a loyal and dedicated following,” the BFI’s director of festivals Tricia Tuttle said in a statement. “When the decision was made to cancel the ‘live’ festival the team knew that they wanted to share some elements of BFI Flare digitally to celebrate the spirit of BFI Flare and the incredible range of LGBTIQ+ stories from talented filmmakers being told in the UK and internationally. We want to bring some of the spirit of Flare into viewers’ living rooms.”
Titles announced today to be streamed online include Levan Akin’s Cannes-winner And Then We Danced; Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau’s Don’t Look Down and Daniel Karslake’s For They Know Not What They Do. More are expected to confirm in the coming days. Alongside the digital streams, the BFI will use social media channels to host live filmmaker Q&As, and offer curated programmer selections and Spotify playlists.
The enterprise to present the festival online echoes similar efforts from other canceled film festivals around the globe, as well as an industry contingency plan to ensure Cannes’ Marche du Film went ahead regardless of the running of the Cannes Film Festival. Deadline broke that news earlier this week.