BFI Flare Festival – March 2014

I attended the BFI Flare Festival from the 20th-30th March 2014, and watched 11 Feature films as well as around 20 shorts. I attended various delegate events, a training programme and panel discussions.

Immediate benefits:

*I was able to network with my peers in the exhibition sector, promote the Eyes Wide Open strand and gain more interest in it.

*Around 3 or 4 of the titles watched are ones that I now intend to programme in Brighton as part of the Queer Cinema strand that I run through the Duke of York’s Picturehouse. I met with other cinema managers and agreed to share print transport and co-promote the films.

*Attending these screenings and meeting the filmmakers/distributors has been invaluable. On Saturday 22nd March I attended a symposium on LGBT programming that included 6 speakers from other international festivals – from the Czech Republic, Lisbon, Toronto and Cork. From this event I learnt much more surrounding the nature of LGBT festivals, the exhibition sector and networking.

Longer term:

*I met with Ana David, senior programmer at Queer Lisboa in Portugal – I will be attending this festival later on in the year. She gave me fantastic advice and introduced me to other programmers from the same festival. I know that when I go to that festival I’ll have aces to more events and have a foot in the door already.

*Through this meeting I also was invited to a week long workshop in Croatia in late July. –the ‘Developing Your Film Festival 2014’ event in Motovun. The purpose of this programme is to develop more festivals around Europe and for those attendees to gain valuable experience in the field – just what I am looking for at this stage in my career.

*I have new contacts with Pride organisations in the North of England and we are discussing how to combine our marketing – I will be running another mini-festival in July to coincide with Brighton & Hove Pride so there is opportunity to put some of these films ‘on tour’ as it were.

Specific to the region:

As with previous programming I have carried out in Brighton, I aim to bring some of the films from London to a regional audience who will have no other way of seeing them until released online or DVD – though most of these films won’t be.

Overall:

Being in regular, close proximity to other exhibition professionals meant that I could both network and follow up on these discussions quickly. That would not have been possible without attending the festival.

Jonathan Hyde, Duke of York’s, Picturehouse, 2014