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BFI Flare LGBTQIA+

Here are the pioneers, the iconoclasts, the brave - from landmark LGBTQIA+ portraits to the next generation of queer classics from the BFI Flare festival.

This collection offers a chance to look back, to revisit and discover - not just the icons of queer cinema but the lesser-known treasures.

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JoylandJoyland

Drama2022128 minsDirector: Saim Sadiq

A conservative family in Pakistan is torn apart when a son falls in love with a transgender erotic dancer, in Saim Sadiq’s riveting queer drama.

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The OrnithologistThe Ornithologist

Drama2016118 minsDirector: João Pedro Rodrigues

A lone scientist in Portugal’s Douro region embarks on an unexpected transcendental journey. Beautiful, erotic and baffling.

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Floating SkyscrapersFloating Skyscrapers

Drama201389 minsDirector: Tomasz Wasilewski

Hailed as ‘Poland’s first LGBT film’, Tomasz Wasilewski’s striking drama follows a champion swimmer whose gay relationship causes ripples.

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Silver HazeSilver Haze

Drama2023103 minsDirector: Sacha Polak

Dirty God director Sacha Polak and star Vicky Knight reunite for this daring drama about love, family and forgiveness, loosely inspired by Knight’s life.

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20,000 Species of Bees20,000 Species of Bees

Drama2023128 minsDirector: Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren

Sofía Otero ignites this warm, rich Spanish drama woven from a child’s probing question: who am I?

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Tiger OrangeTiger Orange

Drama201476 minsDirector: Wade Gasque

Big city morality and sex culture clash with small town values in this sweet tale of two gay brothers.

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Beautiful ThingBeautiful Thing

Comedy199691 minsDirector: Hettie Macdonald

Hettie MacDonald’s 1996 comedy tells the story of two classmates and neighbours (Glen Berry, Scott Neal) who fall in love over one summer in South East London.

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UndertowUndertow

Drama2009101 minsDirector: Javier Fuentes-León

Miguel, a young married fisherman with a baby on the way, struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town’s rigid traditions.

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Everything at OnceEverything at Once

Documentary2021103 minsDirector: Alberto Fuguet

A peek behind the scenes at the homoerotic photography zine Kink, which has cultivated an intimate style employing non-professional models.

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LonesomeLonesome

Drama202299 minsDirector: Craig Boreham

Fleeing a mysterious scandal in his hometown, rancher Casey heads to Sydney in search of shelter and connection. There he meets the similarly wounded Tib in this erotic Australian drama.

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Beach RatsBeach Rats

Drama201798 minsDirector: Eliza Hittman

Gripping account of repressed sexual desire in a hyper-masculine environment, with British newcomer Harris Dickinson as a virulently macho Brooklyn teen.

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The New GirlfriendThe New Girlfriend

Melodrama2014108 minsDirector: François Ozon

Ruth Rendell provides the source novel for this delicious tale of deception and identity, from the master of mischievous melodrama, François Ozon.

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Girls Girls GirlsGirls Girls Girls

Romance2021101 minsDirector: Alli Haapasalo

Three young Finnish women explore love and sex in this spirited coming-of-age drama, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance 2022.

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QuerelleQuerelle

Drama1982109 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Jeanne Moreau plays a jaded brothel madam caught up in the violent sexual awakening of Brad Davis' naïve young sailor in Fassbinder's fever dream of subversive eroticism.

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City of Lost SoulsCity of Lost Souls

Comedy198390 minsDirector: Rosa von Praunheim

Jayne County, Angie Stardust and Tara O'Hara star in Rosa von Praunheim's trans-punk groteskes-musical.

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Blue JeanBlue Jean

Drama202297 minsDirector: Georgia Oakley

A closeted PE teacher reckons with her identity during Thatcherite Britain in Georgia Oakley’s delicate yet gripping BAFTA-nominated debut.

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In from the SideIn from the Side

Drama2021135 minsDirector: Matt Carter

The lives of a London gay rugby team, both on and off the pitch, are explored in this assured feature which reveals the many different games that people play.

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What Can I Do with a Male Nude?What Can I Do with a Male Nude?

Comedy198524 minsDirector: Ron Peck

Ron Peck tests the thin line between pornography and art with his amusing rumination on the difficulties of showing the naked male form.

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The HandmaidenThe Handmaiden

Crime2016146 minsDirector: Park Chan-wook

Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Stoker) channels Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, to create a sumptuous twisty psychological thriller full of erotic intrigue.

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RelaxRelax

Drama199122 minsDirector: Christopher Newby

A gay man awaits the results of an HIV test, drifting into moments of fantasy as he copes with his fears and memories.

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Loving HighsmithLoving Highsmith

Documentary202287 minsDirector: Eva Vitija

A beautifully textured study revealing the rich and troubled private life of the writer behind Carol.

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Stud LifeStud Life

Drama201287 minsDirector: Campbell X

Campbell X's debut feature is a sexy, young and cool gay romance taking a unique look at a slice of British urban life.

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Young Soul RebelsYoung Soul Rebels

Drama1991105 minsDirector: Isaac Julien

The Queen's Silver Jubilee beats to the sounds of Funkadelic, Sylvester and the O'Jays in Isaac Julien’s feature debut.

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Vita & VirginiaVita & Virginia

Biopic2018110 minsDirector: Chanya Button

Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki relive a literary love affair, fiery and forbidden, with a remarkable legacy.

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The Bitter Tears of Petra von KantThe Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Drama1972124 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Fassbinder's visual and verbal extravaganza about a successful but lonely fashion designer who falls in love with a beautiful younger woman.

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Pink NarcissusPink Narcissus

Fantasy197165 minsDirector: James Bidgood

With its highly charged hallucinogenic quality, its atmosphere of lush decadence, and its explicit erotic power, Pink Narcissus is a landmark of gay cinema.

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Interior. Leather Bar.Interior. Leather Bar.

201360 minsDirector: James Franco and Travis Mathews

James Franco and Travis Mathews recreate explicit footage cut, rumoured to be lost, from one of the most notorious gay features ever made.

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WeekendWeekend

Drama201197 minsDirector: Andrew Haigh

Andrew Haigh's internationally acclaimed tale of a brief encounter between two gay men.

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ConsequencesConsequences

Drama201895 minsDirector: Darko Štante

A teenage tearaway is forced to face up to his actions and confront his burgeoning sexuality, in this provocative Slovenian coming-of-age tale.

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The UntamedThe Untamed

Fantasy201698 minsDirector: Amat Escalante

Amat Escalante follows Heli with a boundary-pushing, mind-blowing mix of sex, sci-fi and social drama.

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Girls LostGirls Lost

Fantasy2015106 minsDirector: Alexandra-Therese Keining

Teenage friends get the chance to be boys for a while in this supernatural, gender fluid fantasy from the director of Kiss Me.

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XXYXXY

Drama200791 minsDirector: Lucía Puenzo

A sensitive exploration of the sexual awakening and confusion of one intersex teenager.

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Stranger by the LakeStranger by the Lake

Drama2013100 minsDirector: Alain Guiraudie

A young man witnesses a violent crime at a gay cruising ground and becomes obsessed with the killer in Alain Guiraudie’s acclaimed mystery-thriller.

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Madonna and ChildMadonna and Child

Drama198028 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Autobiography as art: the centrepiece of Terence Davies' devastating Liverpool-set Trilogy focuses on his fictional alter-ego in middle age.

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ChildrenChildren

Drama197646 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The first part of Terence Davies' formidable Trilogy explores the effects of violence on a Liverpool schoolboy, told in a series of flashbacks.

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Death and TransfigurationDeath and Transfiguration

Drama198326 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The Terence Davies Trilogy reaches its astonishing climax as tortured Liverpool clerk Robert Tucker prepares to meet his maker.

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CaravaggioCaravaggio

Biopic198693 minsDirector: Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman’s unique biopic of the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio is a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art.

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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis BaconLove Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon

Biopic199887 minsDirector: John Maybury

Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.

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Théo and HugoThéo and Hugo

Romance201697 minsDirector: Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau

A brief encounter at a naked sex club in Paris seems to be going well for Theo and Hugo, but a sudden realisation changes everything.

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The Living EndThe Living End

Drama199285 minsDirector: Gregg Araki

In this cult piece of New Queer Cinema, two unlikely buddies hit the road with a nihilistic mission after they're both diagnosed with HIV.

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NighthawksNighthawks

Drama1978113 minsDirector: Ron Peck

A schoolteacher juggles everyday life with nights spent cruising for Mr Right in this fascinating landmark in British gay cinema

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Nighthawks 2: Strip Jack NakedNighthawks 2: Strip Jack Naked

Documentary199191 minsDirector: Ron Peck

Ron Peck’s experimental follow up to the groundbreaking Nighthawks is both a making-of documentary and a deeply personal film memoir.

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FirebirdFirebird

Drama2021107 minsDirector: Peeter Rebane

At the height of the Cold War, a love triangle between a junior officer, his best friend and a handsome fighter pilot enters dangerous territory.

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The Duke of BurgundyThe Duke of Burgundy

Drama2015104 minsDirector: Peter Strickland

Peter Strickland’s visually and aurally intoxicating tale of sadomasochistic power-play is a daringly erotic sensory feast.

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Love and Death on Long IslandLove and Death on Long Island

Comedy199889 minsDirector: Richard Kwietniowski

John Hurt stars in Richard Kwietniowski’s comedy of fame and obsession about an older man (Hurt) who becomes infatuated with a young Hollywood actor (Jason Priestley), and proceeds to track him down.

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A Moment in the ReedsA Moment in the Reeds

Drama2017107 minsDirector: Mikko Makela

The world’s troubles recede, at least for a moment, in this intimate drama about an affair between a Finnish man and a Syrian immigrant.

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End of the CenturyEnd of the Century

Drama201984 minsDirector: Lucio Castro

A chance encounter reconnects two men in this heart-breaking lament on love, lust and missed opportunities.

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El ÁngelEl Ángel

Crime2018115 minsDirector: Luis Ortega

The controversial exploits of baby-faced Argentine serial killer Carlos Robledo Puch are exhilaratingly reinterpreted in this stylish biopic.

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Kamikaze HeartsKamikaze Hearts

Drama198687 minsDirector: Juliet Bashore

Juliet Bashore’s queer docufiction, starring Tigr and real-life girlfriend porn star Sharon Mitchell, was shot in and celebrates the heady days of the San Francisco underground in the 1980s.

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You and the NightYou and the Night

Drama201389 minsDirector: Yann Gonzalez

Eric Cantona and Beatrice Dalle star in an outrageous erotic fever dream about a couple who invite four diverse guests to their midnight orgy.

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ChemsexChemsex

Documentary201580 minsDirector: William Fairman and Max Gogarty

A hard-hitting and often graphic documentary about the 'chemsex' sub-scene in London’s gay community.

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RosebudRosebud

Drama199114 minsDirector: Cheryl Farthing

A lesbian couple arouse the interest of their new neighbour in this erotic tale of voyeurism, power dressing and fantasy.

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The Man with the AnswersThe Man with the Answers

Romance202181 minsDirector: Stelios Kammitsis

Picturesque drama about the familial ties that bind us, the boys that catch our eye, and the twists and turns that lead us home.

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Tom of FinlandTom of Finland

Biopic2017116 minsDirector: Dome Karukoski

The story of a gay icon is brought to life in Dome Karukoski’s handsome biopic of Touko Laaksonen, the artist whose homoerotic drawings gave visual expression to a growing gay culture.

More BFI Flare films in our Rentals collection.