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The Best of The London BFI Flare Film Festival 2022

The Best Of The London BFI Flare Film Festival 2022

The London BFI Flare Film Festival wrapped up at the end of March and was a huge success, and attendees were very happy to attend in person after two years of watching it online; after all absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Besides the parties and talks, the other highlights included the following films:

Boulevard! A Hollywood Story

An incredible and unknown and untold story of two struggling songwriters (and couple) Richard Stapley and Dickson Hughes who were hired by Gloria Swanson’s to turn her iconic 1950’s film ‘Sunset Boulevard’ into a musical. While it sounded like a good idea at the time after the film garnered many awards and praise, it never came to frution (until many decades later) only because of Swanson fell in love with one of the men. Featuring rare archive footage of its subjects, alongside interviews with those who knew them, Director Jeffrey Schwarz expertly weaves the interviews with raw footage of Swanson and the men and charts the journey they’ve took, and how both men never really were as successful as they should’ve been. A must watch for fans of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ – truly fascinating.

Cop Secret

A satire, or at least it should be, of a sexually repressed muscular macho Icelandic city cop Bússi (Audunn Blöndal) who, against his wishes, is asked to partner with another muscular macho cop Hördur, (Egill Einarsson) who is proudly out and pansexual/ They are tasked to investigate a series of heists, but they do more than just investigate the heists in this movie is too silly and over the top to be believed. Just sit back and enjoy the hilarity of it all.

Cop Secret

Director Peter McDowell was just five years old when his brother Jimmy, a Vietnam veteran, died in Saigon at the age of 24. In the decades that followed Jimmy’s tragic passing, his name was rarely mentioned by his grief-stricken family, nor was his cause of death ever truly determined. Frustrated by the secrecy – and possible shame – of his parents and desperate to uncover the mysteries surrounding both Jimmy’s life and his death, Peter ventures on a quest for the truth in an effort to finally get to know the brother he barely remembers. Piecing together fragments of information from old photographs, letters and interviews with those closest to Jimmy, McDowell’s documentary is just beautiful and heartfelt.

Benediction

A great Jack Lowden plays an WWI army deserter who is sent to a mental hospital to get treatment for an illness he doesn’t have. He’s gay, and falls into a series of affairs, some serious and some not. Actual scenes of WWI are interspersed throughout the film hitting home the hard facts that millions of soldiers died during the war. Based on the life of poet Siegfried Sassoon, directed by Terence Davies. Peter Capaldi plays the unhappy, bitter Sassoon late in his life who ended up marrying a woman and having a child together.

The Swimmer

Talented swimmer Erez (Omer Perelman Striks) earns a spot on an Israeli training camp, and joins an all-male team exploding with good looks, lithe sexy and bodies and loads of testosterone. Erez subsequently forms a bon, and a crush, with handsome Nevo. But this sort of camaraderie is a no no and against the rules – the ethos of the training camp is every man for himself.
Director Adam Kalderon’s stylish tale is fraught with heady drama and smouldering sexual tension – until a silly and very camp ending brings the whole sexy and erotic film to a stunning halt.

Manscaping

An interesting documentary but not about what you think! Three men are profiled and discuss ritual of having to go to a barbershop to get their haircut.

It’s a highly masculine and intimidating environment, but even more so for people who are gay, queer, or non-conforming. Devan Shimoyama is an Afrofuturist painter who focuses on the barbershop as a social space, Jessie Anderson runs a queer barbershop in Vancouver, and Australian Richard Savvy gets his kit off as The Naked Barber. All three speak with warmth and candour about their attempts to make people look and feel good, and how the simple act of getting a cut is so much more than the sum of its parts.

This is Not Me

Iran is the only country in the region to recognise trans people (any other LGBQ+ identity is banned). Both Shervin and Samar offer a glimpse into what life is like for trans youth, who despite loving and supportive parents are forced to live covert lives, shy away from their neighbours and even consider emigration, in order to be who they truly are. One of the many heartrending scenes in this documentary features one of the boys, fully clothed on the beach and yearning to go swimming, while the other shouts at his parents, asking whether his father is also forced to wear a headscarf. This is Not Me is a detailed depiction of the legal and social labyrinth that promises a slim aperture of freedom.

The Law of Love

This compelling documentary follows a group of queer activists in the Czech Republic as they fight for same-sex marriage to be recognised in law. It starts off with a petition. If there are enough signatures in support of same-sex marriage, the Czech parliament will have to debate making it law.

Flee

This animated film/documentay tells about the struggles of Afghani Amin, who is about to marry a Danish man, while he struggles with the life he left behind back home – the struggles he endured growing up gay in a volatile and unaccepting society. The animation is amazing, and the story even more so. Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. ‘Flee’ was deservedly nominated for three Academy Awards.

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London

Full Line Up for inaugural The London Action Festival revealed

JULY 28 SPECIAL EVENT #1: LAUNCH EVENT WORLD’S BEST “DIE HARD” SCREENING EVER… (PROBABLY!) 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM – The Royal Geographical Society

Die Hard

Copyright: Die Hard © 1988 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

A Die Hard Screening like no other! Including a Q&A with iconic director John McTiernan who promises to settle the great ‘Is Die Hard a Christmas Film?’ debate once and for all.

Also including Robert Davi – Everyone’s favourite tough guy and Agent “Big” Johnson in the movie – Appearing and singing live! Plus other surprises.
(Approx. 2 hours, 30 mins / BBFC Cert 15)

JULY 29 SPECIAL EVENT #2: OFFICIAL OPENING NIGHT EVENT

7:30 PM – 9:30 PM – Royal Geographical Society ONE NIGHT ONLY – NOT TO BE MISSED – LIVE CELEBRATION OF ALL THINGS ACTION

The Friday Night Showdown on July 29, a live not to be missed, one night only celebration of action with incredible panellists including leading directors, music composer David Arnold (Casino Royale, Independence Day and Sherlock) will perform live, comedy, music, magic and even a game show. The event will also launch the Festival’s first ‘Moving Target’ Awards celebrating the careers of John McTiernan and Vic Armstrong (a leading figure in the world of stunt co-ordination and action direction). Patrick Savage’s McBain Quartet are going to be there too. It’s the night that has everything.

JULY 30

SCREENING: THE LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER

9:30 AM – 11:10 AM – Picturehouse Central

Selected by the British Film Institute (BFI) as one of the 10 best action movies of all time, this special presentation of one of Jackie Chan’s biggest hits is a rare screening of the original, uncut Hong Kong version in Cantonese with English subtitles in a new restoration from Warner Bros.
DRUNKEN MASTER The Legend Of The Drunken Master © 1994 WBEI A

DRUNKEN MASTER: The Legend of the Drunken Master © 1994 WBEI

(102 mins / BBFC Cert 15)
PANEL EVENT: THE WORLD IN ACTION — CELEBRATING ASIAN ACTION CINEMA
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
“The World in Action” looks at Asian Cinema with Hong Kong as its traditional epicentre and the huge influence it has had on global Action Cinema. With Special Guest Speakers including Joey Ansah (actor, director and martial artist); Mike Fury (journalist and author) and Jude Poyer (2nd unit director, action designer, and stunt coordinator).
(Approx. 1 hour)
PANEL EVENT: PUNCH ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT — HOW TO MAKE YOUR FIRST ACTION MASTERPIECE
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Picturehouse Central
If you’ve dreamed of making high octane action movies on a low budget – find out just what that’s like from the experts in “Punch Above Your Weight – How To Make Your First Action Masterpiece” with special guests to be announced.
(Approx. 1 hour)
PANEL EVENT: THE CAR CHASERS
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
“The Car Chasers” is a look at key moments of action design in Film and TV from some of the best stunt performers who specialize in being both fast and furious when it comes to cars and bikes on screen. The panel will include stunt drivers and performers Steph Carey (No Time To DieMorbius), Lloyd Bass (The King’s ManF9: The Fast Saga) and Rick English (The BatmanMission Impossible: Rogue Nation) who together have over 450 Film & TV credits between them.
(Approx. 1 hour)
BONUS PANEL EVENT: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! – HOW TO BECOME A STUNT PROFESSIONAL
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
A free to attendees bonus event from the London Action Festival presented in association with the British Stunt Register, the world’s leading and largest association of stunt professionals. Do you have what it takes? Come along and hear from the experts in one of the most exciting professions in the Entertainment industry.
(Approx. 45 mins)
PANEL EVENT: WHAT’S THE SCORE?
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Picturehouse Central
“What’s The Score?” explores just how significant the work of the Composer and Music Supervisor is in bringing action to life and the techniques of scoring for Film & TV including Special Guest Steven Price – Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning composer (GravityLast Night In SohoBaby Driver).
(Approx. 1 hour)
PANEL EVENT: GANGS OF LONDON
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
GANGS OF LONDON director Corin Hardy, will present exclusive new and unseen footage from the second series of the show, which will premiere on Sky in October, at the inaugural The London Action Festival.
SPECIAL EVENT: THE GREAT ACTION QUIZ NIGHT
8:30 PM – 10:30 PM – Venue TBC
Saturday night offers the London Action Festival’s Great Action Quiz Night. How much do you really know about the movies and TV shows you love? Here’s the chance to test your knowledge against our Grand In-Quiz-itor Dick Fiddy (Author and TV consultant for the BFI and Guinness Book of World Records). With Martin Cox and Marshall Julius (Journalist, film critic and author of Vintage Geek and Masters of Make-Up Effects) and a host of prizes.
(Approx. 2 hours)
JULY 31 PREDATOR SPECIAL 35TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING + Q&A WITH DIRECTOR JOHN MCTIERNAN
9:30 AM – 11:40 AM – Picturehouse Central
Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on an extra-terrestrial hunter in the first classic installment of the ongoing franchise. The screening is followed by a Q & A with the director John McTiernan.
(107 mins / BBFC Cert 15 + Q&A)
WATCH THIS SPACE
12:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
SPECIAL EVENT: TBA
PANEL EVENT: WRITE CLUB
1:45 PM – 3:00 PM – Picturehouse Central
Write Club assembles some of the leading writers in the industry who lay the blueprint for any action movie or TV show in the form of the script.
(Approx. 1 hour)
SPECIAL EVENT: ‘SCHOOL FIGHT’ EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE PREVIEW + Q&A WITH DIRECTOR DAMIEN WALTERS AND CAST
3:15 PM – 4:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
With the support of UK production powerhouse MARV – we will be hosting exclusive footage from their new action movie SCHOOL FIGHT marking the debut of Damien Walters as Director. Damien has a long association with Director Matthew Vaughn as his Stunt Coordinator. With Cast members Greg Townley and Bobby Holland Hanton.
(Approx. 75 mins)
PANEL EVENT: JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION MASTERCLASS WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Picturehouse Central
We take a look at the world of visual effects in JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION with a masterclass from some of the leading experts in the field of Visualization and VFX including Pawl Fulker (Partner + Creative Director, Proof London Ltd. / Senior Visualization Supervisor), Dave Vickery (ILM, Visual effects Supervisor) and with the involvement of Director Colin Trevorrow.
(Approx. 1 hour)
SCREENING: CON AIR SPECIAL 25TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING + Q&A WITH DIRECTOR SIMON WEST
CON AIR Images Courtesy Of Park CircusWalt Disney Studios
6:45 PM – 9:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
“Con Air” a Special 25th Anniversary Screening of the classic action thriller film directed by Simon West and starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich. A must see for all Nicolas Cage’s aficionados and devotees of action cinema as its best. The screening is followed by a Q&A with director Simon West.
(115 mins / BBFC Cert 15 + Q&A)
WATCH THIS SPACE
9:30 PM – 11:30 PM – Picturehouse Central
SPECIAL EVENT: TBA
The London Action Festival, which runs from 28-31 July, is a first-of-its-kind celebration of one of the most globally produced and commercially successful genres of Film and TV will launch in London with a major 4-day celebration this Summer. Ticketing and full information can be found at: www.londonactionfestival.com
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London

The London Action Festival announces spectacular second wave of events this July

CON AIR Images Courtesy Of Park CircusWalt Disney Studios
CON AIR Images Courtesy Of Park CircusWalt Disney Studios

Thursday 7th July London, UK: The London Action Festival, which runs from 28th-31st July, continues to add to an impressive array of unique events to its inaugural line up with a further six not-to-be-missed events announced today:

“Con Air” a Special 25th Anniversary Screening of the classic action thriller directed by Simon West and starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich. Written by Scott Rosenberg and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun Maverick), the film centers on a prison break aboard a Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System aircraft, nicknamed “Con Air”. It features Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Dave Chappelle, Rachel Ticotin, Danny Trejo, and Monica Potter. A must see for all Nicolas Cage’s aficionados and devotees of action cinema as its best. The screening is followed by a Q & A with Simon West.

“The Car Chasers” is a look at key moments of action design in Film and TV from some of the best stunt performers who specialize in being both fast and furious when it comes to cars on screen. We’ll look at the Top #5 Car Chases of all time as chosen by global followers of Den of Geek, the leading news service devoted to all things genre. The panel will include stunt drivers and performers Steph Carey (No Time To Die, Morbius), Lloyd Bass (The King’s Man, F9: The Fast Saga) and Rick English (The Batman, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) who together have over 450 Film & TV credits between them.

“Don’t Try This At Home!” – How To Become A Stunt Professional” is a free to attend bonus event from the London Action Festival presented in association with the British Stunt Register, the world’s leading and largest association of stunt professionals.

With over 45 years experience, they provide the Film & TV industry with Stunt Performers & Stunt Co-ordinators with all the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge that are demanded by stunt work in the 21st century and have established their own Career Grade Scheme. Do you have what it takes? Come along and hear from the professionals who are on and run the Register about how you can explore a career in one of the most exciting professions in the Entertainment industry.

“The World in Action” looks at Asian Cinema with Hong Kong as its traditional epicentre and the huge influence it has had on global Action Cinema. We assemble a group of experts to explore the films and filmmakers that have had the most impact and delighted audiences the world over.

Speakers include: Joey Ansah (actor, director and martial artist best known for his roles in The Old Guard, and The Bourne Ultimatum (where in the role of Desh Bouksani, his set-piece fight scene between himself and Matt Damon is regarded as one of the best ever filmed) and directing the hit YouTube short film Street Fighter: Legacy, followed by two acclaimed TV series, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist and Street Fighter: Resurrection.; Mike Fury (journalist and author of the acclaimed book series, “Life of Action” speaking to world-class actors, filmmakers and stunt people making some of the most highly regarded films of their kind); and Jude Poyer – whose passion for martial arts in cinema took him to Hong Kong aged 18 where had the chance to work with Jackie Chan & Jet Li. Back in London for more than a decade, Jude is now a sought after 2nd unit director, action designer, and stunt coordinator. In 2021 Jude worked as action designer & stunt coordinator for the forthcoming Netflix movie Havoc, starring Tom Hardy. This marked his third collaboration with noted action film director Gareth Evans (The Raid) following their acclaimed work on the SKY/HBO series Gangs of London.

“The Legend Of Drunken Master (aka Drunken Master II)” was selected by the British Film Institute (BFI) as one of the 10 best action movies of all time. This special presentation of one of Jackie Chan’s biggest hits is a rare screening of the original, uncut Hong Kong version in Cantonese with English subtitles in a new restoration from Warner Bros. The battles sequences incorporate five different fighting styles, including Shaolin Kung Fu, Taekwondo and Drunken boxing. The climactic seven-minute fight, directed by Chan himself took four months to film. This follow-up to one of his breakthrough roles set box-office records when it premiered in Asia…

DRUNKEN MASTER The Legend Of The Drunken Master © 1994 WBEI A

DRUNKEN MASTER: The Legend of the Drunken Master © 1994 WBEI

 

“What’s The Score?” explores just how significant the work of the Composer along with other music team members are in bringing action to life and the techniques of scoring for Film & TV. This unique workshop offers an insight on creativity in the field including Steven Price (Academy and Emmy Award-winning composer known for groundbreaking score for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, a key collaborator with Director Edgar Wright on Last Night In Soho, The World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Baby Driver and whose debut score was for Joe Cornish’s 2011 feature Attack The Block). Other details to be announced.

EVENT UPDATE: The London Action Festival is proud to be working with the Royal Geographical Society (1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR) located in the heart of South Kensington’s arts and science district where the “The World’s Greatest Screening of “Die Hard” Ever – Probably!” is taking place on July 28th. Q&A with the film’s legendary director John McTiernan will take place afterwards, as well as other surprises for the evening.

Copyright Die Hard © 1988 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Copyright Die Hard © 1988 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

The RGS is one of London’s most charming and iconic venues, it has long been associated with many historic real life action heroes such as Scott, Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary.

The London Action Festival, which runs from 28-31 July, is a first-of-its-kind celebration of one of the most globally produced and commercially successful genres of Film and TV will launch in London with a major 4-day celebration this Summer. Ticketing and full information can be found at: www.londonactionfestival.com

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London

London Indian Film Festival is starting next week in London, Birmingham and Manchester

London Indian Film Festival Is Starting Next Week In London, Birmingham And Manchester

World Premieres, In Conversations, Cutting edge documentaries, Acclaimed Directors, Retrospectives and Asian Music Events.

Supported by title sponsor Blue Orchid Hotels, Integrity International, the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding), Bagri Foundation and Arts Council of England, this year’s London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) spans 11 days from 23rd June – 3rd July. Selection of the programme will be available on BFI Player and the LoveLiffatHome Online Player/

LIFF opens on 23rd June with the World Premiere of DOBAARAA directed by the acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap and starring award winning actress Taapsee Pannu. The highly anticipated thriller is produced by Shobha Kapoor & Ektaa R Kapoor (Cult Movies, a new wing under Balaji Telefilms) and Sunir Kheterpal & Gaurav Bose (Athena). The Opening Night screening at BFI Southbank will be followed by a Q&A by Kashyap.

Female filmmakers are at the forefront of this year’s festival including the European premiere of THE RAPIST starring Konkana Sen Sharma and Arjun Rampal. The screening of the powerful, award winning film will be followed by a Q&A with its director Aparna Sen, India’s most prolific female filmmaker. Konkona Sen is also expected to be attending.

Rebana Liz John’s documentary LADIES ONLY explores feminist themes through observing the female only compartments of Mumbai’s hectic trains.   

Among other U.K. premieres are Pan Nalin’s uplifting homage to celluloid CHELLO SHOW and Anik Dutta’s APARAJITO – a tribute to legendary director Satyajit Ray’s journey of making his first film, the cult classic ‘Pather Panchali’. An intimate look at modern day Calcutta, ONCE UPON A TIME IN CALCUTTA by Aditya Vikram Sengupta also features in the festival line-up. Set against a score by Academy Award winning AR Rahman, who is also Executive Producer, NO LAND’S MAN stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a man dealing with the complexities of identity. Q&A by the film’s director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki follows the film’s premiere.

Under the festival’s ‘Save the Planet’ strand, ecological and climate themes are explored in THE ROAD TO KUTHRIYARNO GROUND BENEATH MY FEET and HATIBONDHU. Among the films in the ‘Extraordinary lives’ strand are DUG DUG and PAKA: THE RIVER OF BLOOD.

The ‘Young Rebels’ strand includes GIRLS FOR FUTURE and THE VERY FISHY TRIP.  

Cultures collide in selections from the diaspora including British Indian comedy LITTLE ENGLISH, the Pakistani American film AMERICANISH from the US. Archival screenings include classic 1990s music documentary ASIAN VIBES LONDON & MUMBAI, plus a special screening of Richard Attenborough’s GANDHI celebrating the 40th anniversary of this multi Oscar winner.

Additional shorts categories include hit LGBTQIA+ programme Too Desi Too Queer, the films of Mumbai queer pioneer filmmaker Riyad Vinci Wadia, new British Asian emerging filmmakers and shorts competing in the festival’s annual Satayjit Ray Short Film Competition.

Canadian Indian documentary SUPERFAN: THE NAV BHATIA STORY, uplifting tale on basketball team the Toronto Raptors greatest fan, closes the festival.

LIFF has announced a new title sponsor – the Blue Orchid Hotels. With its excellent locations, exceptional standards and commitment to making a difference within communities, the partnership positively demonstrates the support of the arts by private business. The company also pursues a number of charitable endeavours, including raising awareness of child trafficking and women’s rights which are complementary to themes and causes that the festival also platforms.

Participating Cinemas include: BFI Southbank, Barbican, Ciné Lumière, Rich Mix, Bertha DocHouse, Picturehouse Central, Picturehouse Stratford, Roof East Stratford, MAC Birmingham, Electric Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Everyman Manchester St John’s, Home Manchester & stream UK wide at www.LoveLIFFatHome.com

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