Heads Up: BFI Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

It's simply Divine ... so big it up for alternative cinema

What are we talking about? The British Film Institute's 27th annual lesbian and gay film festival, taking place in London over 11 days, with more than 100 films on show.

Elevator pitch Drama to documentary, Divine to David Bowie: a celluloid celebration of all things queer.

Prime movers The festival programmers are Jason Barker, Michael Blyth, Nazmia Jamal, Brian Robinson and Emma Smart.

The stars The real stars are the films … the opening gala is I Am Divine, showing footage and accounts of the larger-than-life drag queen, while the closing film is a Canadian drama, Margarita, telling the story of a Mexican nanny's complicated lesbian love life. Other highlights include Beyond the Walls, a sexy and surprising debut feature, which deservedly won a prize at Critics' Week in Cannes last year; Four, the story of two simultaneous dates, starring The Wire's Wendell Pierce; Intersexion, a fascinating documentary about people born with no fixed gender; and Kylie Minogue continues her run of unlikely cameos in the unconventional love story, Jack & Diane. There's a chance to catch Mark Rydell's 1967 adaptation of D H Lawrence's The Fox, and My Brother the Devil, by Sally El Hosaini, who won Best British Newcomer at the London Film Festival.

The early buzz Londonist website writes that this "annual celebration of LGBT cinema from around the world … promises a diverse selection of talent from both well-known directors and emerging voices". A Gay Times blog says: "The programme is stuffed with treats. Divine, David Bowie, Spanish romps, Asian thrillers, Swedish boys sharing baths, black and white re-runs, cutting-edge documentaries, and, of course, the latest from James Franco's on-screen gay tourism endeavours."

Insider knowledge There's no escaping the thin white duke at the moment, and LGFF is no exception: a screening and Bowie-themed night celebrate him as a queer icon.

It's great that … there are also events and club nights – it's not just for high-minded cineastes, you know!

It's a shame that … they stuck with the name. There have been calls for it to reflect bisexuality, and the trans and queer communities. However, the subject is up for debate this year.

Hit potential Last year saw 21,000 people attending the reinvigorated event; this year should match that.

The details LGFF is at the BFI, London SE1 (bfi.org.uk), 14 to 24 March.

Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week