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What’s in a name?

Why BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival?

Connoting the light of a cinema projector and also a beacon, ‘Flare’ suggests the spark of an idea, moving forward and growing outward – we feel it is inclusive and welcoming to all audiences. Under its umbrella, it now encompasses our regular LGBT BFI Southbank programme (formerly Out at the Pictures), as well as a new channel on the BFI Player. This new identity helps brings even greater visibility to queer cinema and expanding the access for LGBT-interested audiences.

Why change?

Festival audiences have been debating the name for years – does it represent and include all? Is it too long? Having survived a period of uncertainty and looking forward to the future, we thought it was time last year to ask the question of our audiences, and two thirds of you indicated you wanted a change.

Who did you ask, why wasn't I asked for my feedback?

We ran an extensive campaign at the 2013 festival inviting audiences to join the debate through email, social media and a suggestion board at BFI Southbank.

How many people responded?

While some responses were anonymous, we estimate around 9% of the audience joined the debate.

Who came up with the name?

It was no one person’s suggestion or decision, but was discussed as part of the consultation process, and was the name we liked best.

How does the name BFI Flare relate to LGBT issues or content?

The LGBT community and culture is itself so wide and varied it quickly became clear that no one word or saying is inclusive to us all. ‘Flare’ feels right as a positive, light-filled name, and ‘London LGBT Film Festival’ says it all really!

I don’t like it/ I like the old name better/ why change?

We felt, and audiences have been telling us for years, that the LLGFF was no longer inclusive enough, or representative of the broad LGBTQ programme the Festival offers, hence the change. Having consulted audiences, it was clear that the majority agreed it was time to change.

Why not queer?

Although ‘queer’ is used often as a genre term and it’s something a huge number of our audience and wider LGBT community identify with, it was equally clear from audience feedback that a significant number don’t.

Why not just LGBT Film Festival?

It was clear that everyone felt committed to the heritage of the Festival and wanted to see that reflected in the name, but the overwhelming response was for a bold and inspiring name that would be welcoming and inspiring for new generations.

Is the Festival changing?

No, we remain committed to the best new LGBT cinema from around the world, by turns adventurous, playful, political, sexy, provocative and inspiring.

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