Wednesday 7 April 2021

BFI Flare 2021: The Stats

The 35th edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival (17-28 March), the UK’s leading LGBTIQ+ film event, closed on 28 March and celebrated reaching increased audiences across the UK and internationally. Overall, the Festival saw 37,516 attendances for the film programme of features and shorts on BFI Player, plus 8,808 views for BFI Flare events, bolstered by the BFI Flare Screen Talk with Russell Tovey, which drew an audience of 4.4k across BFI YouTube and BFI Flare Facebook. In addition, the BFI Flare programme launch received 8,202 views across BFI Flare Facebook and BFI YouTube channels. In a continued partnership between BFI Flare and British Council, the seventh edition of the global campaign #FiveFilmsForFreedom saw worldwide audiences of 1.7 million viewers engage with the five featured short films online. 

Over 12 days between 17th–28th March, BFI Flare was more accessible to audiences across the UK than ever before, with 26 virtual feature premieres and 38 free shorts screened from 23 countries on BFI Player. BFI Flare hosted 4 World Premieres, 6 International Premieres, 1 European Premiere and 10 UK Premieres from across the features programme. 

 In a first for BFI Flare, each film was available for ticket holders to watch at any time throughout the duration of the festival. Additional elements included exclusive intros and Q&A’s with filmmaking talent and programmers and discursive panels. The BFI Flare programme was made even more accessible to audiences through closed captioning (supported by Mishcon de Reya) and audio description on all English-language films. Over 40% of virtual attendance for films came from outside of London and included key cities with Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Sheffield seeing the biggest audiences for features. 

All films have been extremely popular this year with virtual feature attendances reaching 79% of total occupancy and 66% of ticket buyers new to BFI Flare. Particular favourites included Peeter Rebane’s lavishly told, cold war drama FIREBIRD, Phil Connell’s heartfelt family drama JUMP, DARLING, starring the late Hollywood legend Cloris Leachman, Harri Shanahan and Sian A. Williams’ joyful history of post-punk dyke culture REBEL DYKES, Eytan Fox’s entertaining SUBLET, Zaida Bergroth’s biopic of beloved Moomins creator Tove Jansson, TOVE, Eugen Jebeleanu’s probing Bucharest-set drama POPPY FIELD and Shirel Peleg’s culture clash comedy KISS ME BEFORE IT BLOWS UP.

Source/image: BFI