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Film and TV

The BFI Flare LGBT+ film festival has been cancelled due to the ‘rapid evolution’ of coronavirus

Lily Wakefield March 16, 2020
BFI FLARE

BFI FLARE Film Festival at BFI Southbank on March 23, 2019 in London, England. (Tim Francis/Getty)

Organisers of the LGBT+ international film festival BFI Flare have cancelled the 2020 event because of the “rapid evolution” of coronavirus.

BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, which was supposed to take place between March 18 and March 29, is the UK’s longest-running LGBT+ film festival and has been taking place since 1986.

It platforms diverse films, both fictional and documentary, covering sexuality and gender in all their forms.

Organisers said in a statement on Monday, March 16: “It’s with heavy hearts that we announce that, because of the scale and complexity of running a large international film festival with filmmakers due to travel from across the world, the BFI has taken the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves.

“BFI Flare is a very special and long standing festival with a loyal and dedicated following and we realise that this is a very disappointing situation for audiences, our staff and festival teams and all of the incredibly talented and passionate filmmakers involved.”

The statement explained that the cancellation was being announced at such short notice because organisers had been hoping that the festival would still be able to go ahead.

They said that rescheduling BFI Flare would be “impossible”, but that they are trying to make the films from the festival available online to ticket holders.

The statement continued: “We are hopeful that we will be able to offer an enticing programme digitally via BFI Player so that audience can enjoy BFI Flare at home as an alternative choice.”

At the time of writing, there are no restrictions on public gatherings in the UK, but countries around the world have implemented bans on large events to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Pride festivals across Europe are facing the prospect of cancellation due to the threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pride season, due to kick off in June, is likely to be impacted if measures are put in place to restrict large public gatherings amid the outbreak – which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation on Wednesday, March 11.

More: BFI Flare, Coronavirus, COVID-19, lgbt film festival, London, Southbank

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