24th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

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The BFI press launch presented the 24th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, set to take place on 17 - 31 March 2010 with the world premiere of The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister at the Odeon West End.

The Closing Night Gala screening on 31 Mar is Children of God, Kareem J Mortimer's gorgeously photographed first feature, which tells the classic tale of love, unfolding against a backdrop of violent homophobia and social unease in the Bahamas.

The first of the Centrepiece screenings is I Killed My Mother. Written, produced, directed by and starring 20-year-old Xavier Dolan, this witty and articulate film cleverly exposes the vulnerabilities and self-doubts of being a teenager.

The festival's second Centrepiece screening is Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, Leanne Pooley's award-winning documentary about Jools and Lynda Topp, folk-singing lesbian twins and national celebrities in New Zealand.

Festival calendar (PDF)

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Of the 75 feature length films and documentaries screening at the LLGFF, an impressive number have won awards at other international festivals, including Brotherhood, Nicolo Donatto's gripping tale of gays in the neo-Nazi movement and Ander, Roberto Castón's portrayal of gay rural life in the Basque country.

LGBT Africa explores the difficult situation LGBT people face in parts of Africa, where homosexuality is outlawed and in many instances carries the death penalty.

We dip into the archives of non-profit women's film organisation Cinenova for Short Films About Us: Lesbian Work at Cinenova, offering a rare opportunity to see short films from the likes of Barbara Hammer and Cheryl Farthing.

Of Heaven and Earth: the Films of Tom Chomont explores the work of the avant-garde master, leather fetishist and HIV survivor and includes nine 16mm films restored by the Outfest Legacy Project.

Legendary lesbian artist, filmmaker and activist Barbara Hammer returns to the festival to perform Hammer! Making Movies out of Life and Sex, an event combining readings, archival images, costumes and rare film clips.

With a retrospective of some of her most successful and critically acclaimed films including Working Girls, Dance, Girl, Dance, Craig's Wife and The Wild Party, we celebrate Dorothy Arzner, a prolific director in Hollywood during the 1920s and 30s.

Returning for a second year, The Campaign for Homosexual Equality present CHE Film Prize, which offers a £2,000 prize to the film which best reflects the values and objectives of CHE in its fight for social justice.

All this plus short films, club nights, events and networking opportunities over the course of two weeks make the 24th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival an indispensable highlight in the queer cultural calendar.



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