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From 21st March to 1st April at BFI Southbank, Festival showcases the best in contemporary global LGBTQ+ features and short films, talks and archive screenings. And will open with the UK premiere of My Days of Mercy on Wednesday 21st March.  Powered by stirring performances from Ellen Page (JUNO, INCEPTION, FREEHELD) and Kate Mara (HOUSE OF CARDS, THE MARTIAN), Tali Shalom-Ezer’s follow up to PRINCESS is a poignant love story between two women from vastly different backgrounds and opposing political views.

The Festival’s Closing Gala is the European Premiere of Steve McLean’s stylish and sexy Postcards from London. The film tells the story of beautiful teenager Jim (Harris Dickinson, BEACH RATS) who, having travelled from the suburbs, finds himself in Soho where he falls in with a gang of unusual high class male escorts ‘The Raconteurs’.

Special Presentations include the World Premiere of Jason Barker’s debut documentary A Deal with the Universe, which tells the inspiring tale of a very different kind of pregnancy. Robin Campillo’s modern queer classic: 120 BPM is a rousing, heart-breaking account of AIDS activist group ACT-UP: Paris. The Special Event is Rise: QTIPOC Representation and Visibility in Film a special one-day series of talks and workshops, providing a platform to examine the importance of inclusion, both on and off the screen.

The Festival is further divided into three sections: HEARTS, BODIES AND MINDS. Highlights in the programme include:

HEARTS include films about love, romance and friendship. The Happy Prince,written, directed and starring Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde. The heartfelt and passionate biopic also stars Colin Firth and Emily Watson. Love, Simon (dir. Greg Berlanti) is a warm and witty coming out drama which tells the story of a closeted high-schooler who fears his best-kept secret might be revealed. The Festival’s Love, Simon premiere is supported by SKY. Mario (dir. Marcel Gisler) is a story of love and heartbreak on and off the pitch for two young football players.  The Wound(dir. John Trengove) tells the story of a lonely factory worker, who joins the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. The film won the BFI London Film Festival Sutherland Award.

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BODIES include stories of sex, identity and transformation. The diverse selection of films includes: Conversations with Gay Elders, directed by David Weissman (We Were Here) is a fascinating documentary conversation with a gay, older man about his life before and after Stonewall. Trudie Styler’s directorial debut Freak Show is this year’s Interbank LGBT Forum Special Screening and stars Alex Lawther as an unrepentant high school outsider. The Carmilla Movie (dir. Spencer Maybee) is a feature length to the hit web series which follows the exploits of Lesbian vampire Carmilla. The World Premiere of Scottish documentary filmmaker Tristan Aitchison’s Sidney & Friends is a candidly poignant account of intersex and trans life in Kenya.  T

MINDS feature reflections on art, politics and community. The 34th (dir. Linda Cullen, Vanessa Gildea) is a documentary about the battle to extend marriage equality to same sex couples in Ireland. James Crump directs Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion & Disco, a compelling and colourful documentary about the bisexual illustrator who forever changed the fashion world. The World Premiere of Southern Pride (dir. Malcolm Ingram) is a timely documentary about two towns in Mississippi organising Pride events in Trump’s America.

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