Queer Bible X BFI Flare

At the end of March, the Queer Bible collaborated with the BFI as part of the LGBTQ+ film festival Flare. We put on a day of screenings featuring a variety of exciting queer short films, a panel discussion and a workshop for young people aged 16-25 who are passionate about queer filmmaking.

We wanted to create a safe space where these young people would be inspired and gains practical skills and tools relevant to easing their way into the industry. Our goal was to develop these unique voices and empower them to tell their own stories through film.

The films screened were Children Alike (Lika Barn) by Julia Boström, Oneself Story (Recit de soi) by Géraldine Charpantier, Silvia in the Waves (Silvia dans les vagues) by Giovana Olmos, Diva by Adam Csoka Keller, Fuck the Boxes by Abel Rubinstein, and Anemone by Amrou Al-Kadhi. These films (all amazing, you should definitely check them out if you have the opportunity to do so!) truly showcased the amazing range of queer stories and aesthetics that currently shape the young queer film and art scene. Jack Guinness hosted a Q&A with director Abel Rubinstein and composer of Diva’s score V. R. Alevizos.

Our panel was hosted by Gal-Dem’s arts and culture editor Micha Frazer-Carroll, who is also the founder of Blueprint, a magazine that focuses on mental health. The other panellists were Bunny Kinney a filmmaker, director, and the editorial editorial director of Dazed Media Group, Jack Robinson a freelance producer working across commercial, branded and editorial video and the former head of video for i-D, and April Kelley an actor, producer and co founder of the production company Mini Productions.

After the panellists introduced themselves and their work, the panel was opened up for questions from the audience. A running theme throughout the Q&A was how to manage to get funding for explicitly queer projects while having to constantly navigate an industry and work environment mainly dominated by cis straight white men. This led to an interesting discussion about how to manage to carve out a space for yourself within a community network of people with similar concerns. There are more and more platforms run by and for a queer audience, and the panellists were able to direct the young filmmakers toward the right people that could help them make their projects a reality.

This panel was followed by a workshop where the participants were divided into groups and given a story from the Queer Bible to make into a film pitch to present to the panellists. They considered genre, aesthetics, intended audience, and distribution. The queer heroes we selected for the exercise were Pauli Murray, Peter Hujar, Pepper LaBeija, and Candy Darling. Two of the BFI’s script doctors from their Future Film program assisted the participants, and the pitches they came up with were as diverse, fun, and transgressive as the figures they were based on! The pitches were presented to the panel led by the Queer Bible’s own Jack Guinness and the ideas and feedback from the session was a thrilling preview of the ground-breaking work we can look forward to from the next generation of aspiring young queer filmmakers.

The workshop was followed by drinks and mingling, it was a lot of fun and enabled the formation of new connections. Participant feedback included: “opportunity to network,” “the discovery of new queer icons,” “understanding the production process,” and the “sense of community and encouragement.” This sense of inspiration and community truly reflects the ethos of the Queer Bible, and we so very happy to have been part of facilitating this and can’t wait to embark on more similar exciting projects in the future.