24th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 17-31 March 2010

BFI logoIf you’re in London between 17-31 March and find yourself with time to spare, the 24th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival may be worth checking out. The festival opens with the world premiere of the new British drama, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, and closes with the European premiere of Children of God. Centrepiece screenings include The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls and there are over 70 feature length films and documentaries scheduled for the festival.

Documentary is well-represented with Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar; Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement and Stonewall Uprising among the highlights.

The LGBT Africa strand includes three short films exploring the difficult situation for LGBT people in parts of Africa, and Short Films About Us: Lesbian Work at Cinenova showcases a range of archival material from the UK based non-profit women’s film organisation.

Legendary lesbian artist, filmmaker and activist Barbara Hammer will be performing Hammer! Making Movies out of Life and Sex, and there’s a retrospective of the work of Dorothy Arzner, a prolific director in Hollywood during the 1920s and 30s.

For me, the Wotever Shorts session – “a selection of sexy, funny, gender-fluid films with a DIY aesthetic” – looks most promising, and Trans Love, which includes Transproofed (starring Calpernia Adams and Andrea James) may also be worth a look.

With short films, club nights, late bars, events and networking opportunities over the course of two weeks, there’s a huge variety on offer; see the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival website for the full listing.