London Gay And Lesbian Film Festival Is Truly “Divine”

More than 100 features, docs and short films are screening next month at the 27th annual London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, one of the biggest queer-cinema events in the world.

Among the more anticipated entries in the festival, sponsored by the British Film Institute, are  I Am Divine, Jeffrey Schwartz’s documentary about Glenn Milstead’s transformation into the outrageous drag icon Divine, as well as Michael Mayer’s Out in the Dark, which sets love story against the backdrop of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert’s Margarita, in which a Mexican nanny faces both deportation and the loss of her girlfriend.

four-2012-001Screenings are divided into three categories this year—“Hearts”, “Bodies” and “Minds”: In the first category are films dealing with romance and friendship, including the docudrama Thick Relations, the lesbian werewolf flick Jack & Diane, and Four (left), Joshua Sanchez’s adaptation of Christopher Shinn’s play  dissecting  class, race, gender and sexuality through the prism of two clandestine encounters.

“Bodies” includes the trans documentary I am a Woman Now, Chantal Akerman’s La Captive, and James Franco’s Interior. Leather Bar, inspired by 40 minutes allegedly cut from the 1980 gaysploitation film Cruising.

“Minds”, meanwhile, includes Taboo Yardies, about queer Jamaicans, and documentaries about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, drag performer Bette Bourne and maverick director Pier Paolo Pasolini.

hold-my-hand-and-were-halfway-there-001The festival also includes lots of non-screening events, including a David Bowie party, club nights, panels on global queer space and screen activism, and “Hold My Hand And We’re Halfway There,” (right) performance artist Brian Lobel’s site installation celebrating movie musicals and singing in your bedroom.

Interestingly, as the festival approaches its fourth decade, the producers producers are considering changing its name—and have invited the public to join the debate.

The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival runs March 14 to 24 at the BFI Southbank.