Five globe-trotting LGBT films

With this year's BFI Flare Film Festival soon upon us we look at the films that'll take you round the world

BFI Flare is the UK’s biggest LGBT film festival, bringing exciting new LGBT cinema from across the at BFI Southbank in London. This year the festival is celebrating its 30th year with twelve days of queer films and fun.

Here are five of our festival picks, each giving a unique window into LGBT lives across the globe. Explore the full programme over at the BFI website.

Loev – India

Two men reconnect in this emotionally raw and politically radical gay love story from India. Whilst in Mumbai on a short business trip, confident young hotshot Jai hooks up with his old friend Sahil for a jaunt through the Western Ghats. Shot in complete secrecy in a country where homosexuality is still punishable by law, Sudhanshu ‘Suds’ Saria’s debut is a bold and important film “” as politically radical as it is emotionally raw.

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Barash – Israel

When new girl Dana arrives at school, Naama Barash is smitten, but will Dana love her back? A lesbian coming-of-age drama is told from a fresh perspective in this assured debut. The act of falling in love is beautifully laid bare in Michal Vinik’s assured and authentic debut. Artfully shot and crisply edited, Barash presents the lesbian coming-of-age story from a fresh perspective, drawing out a mesmerising and heartfelt performance by Shimon in the title role.

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Naz & Maalik, USA

Naz and Maalik are cheeky Muslim high-school students who spend their summer days arguing with their family, selling fortune cards and deciding whose bed they will sneak into at night.When their secret relationship puts them in the crosshairs of the FBI, their relationship and their religion is forced into sharp relief.

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Via a curiously unusual route, an obsessive-compulsive young cleaner meets an enigmatic sex worker who changes her world. An intense examination of desire that will take you to the edge, The Chambermaid Lynn follows a woman recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital. Employed by a plush hotel, she develops a fetishistic fascination with the hotel’s guests, particularly those whose rooms leave tantalising traces of their lives..She is soon drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful Chiara, a sex-worker who introduces her to the twin notions of endurance and ecstasy.

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The Girl King – Sweden

All that you thought you knew about Queen Christina of Sweden and then some in this lush retelling of the lesbian monarch’s story. The Girl King is both an historical drama about a kingdom on the brink of modernisation and religious change, and a deeply personal love story between the young and wilful queen and her treasured lady-in-waiting, Countess Ebba. Queen Christina of Sweden was a queen who would not compromise her beliefs or values, and certainly not her heart.

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