BFI to Flare with I Am Michael
by Naman Ramachandran
- Festival also launches mentorship programme for LGBT filmmakers
Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael, starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto, will open BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (March 19-29). The film had its European premiere at the ongoing Berlin Film Festival. Adapted from Benoit Denizet-Lewis’ New York Times Magazine article ‘My Ex-Gay Friend’, the film tells the real-life story of Michael Glatze, formerly a leading US journalist for prominent gay magazine XY, and also an activist working for LGBT rights. After an epiphany, Glatze renounced his homosexuality and turned to Christianity, becoming outspokenly opposed to queer lifestyles.
BFI Head of Cinemas and Festivals Clare Stewart said, “We’re thrilled to be opening BFI Flare with such strong new work from Justin Kelly straight from its highly applauded and hotly discussed debut in Sundance. This is provocative, probing cinema that avoids easy assumptions and judgements and it’s sure to be a major talking point at the Festival.”
In partnership with Creative Skillset, BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival is also launching a mentorship pilot that will offer five emerging LGBT filmmakers from the UK the opportunity to develop industry knowledge, professional connections, and an overview of LGBT features entering the marketplace. From March to December 2015, selected filmmakers will have one-to-one support from a senior industry figure that will act as a mentor over the nine-month programme. The programme is open to writer/directors/producers who have previously screened a short or a feature film in any of BAFTA’s qualifying film festivals or in BFI Flare. The deadline for receipt of applications for the 2015 scheme is 23rd February 2015.