The two films are set to debut as part of this year’s 35th BFI Flare Festival, running from the 17th to the 28th March.

Firebird (UK/Estonia, director. Peeter Rebane)

Ahead of the main programme launch on the 23rd February, the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival has confirmed that Sian A. Williams and Harri Shanahan’s Rebel Dykes and Peeter Rebane’s Firdbird will premiere at this year’s festival.

The feature documentary, Rebel Dykes, brings a forgotten history firmly on the map, with a joyful and colourful story of post-punk dyke culture in the
UK as told by those artists, performers, musicians, sex workers and activists who lived it and together found their chosen family. The documentary is a combination of animation, unseen archive footage and interviews to explore the politically charged, artisticallyradical sub culture in 1980s London, and the individuals who helped shape and change their world. It will be shown as part of the Minds strand of the festival.

Meanwhile, being shown as part of the Hearts strand of the festival Firebird is a love story set at the heart of the Cold War, where a troubled soldier (Tom Prior) forms a forbidden love triangle with a daring fighter pilot (Oleg
Zagorodnii) and his female comrade (Diana Pozharskaya) amid the dangerous surroundings of a Soviet Air Force Base. This is the debut feature film from director Peeter Rebane, who co-wrote the script alongside Tom Prior.

Talking about the news of the inclusion of these two films, Michael Blyth, Senior Programmer, BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival, said: “Films don’t get much different than Firebird and Rebel Dykes, one a lavishly sweeping gay romance, the other a rousing documentation of anarchic
lesbian power, but both effortlessly demonstrate the breadth of new queer work emerging from the UK. BFI Flare truly is the perfect World Premiere home for these two extraordinary stories. Grab your tissues. Grab
your placards!”

Meanwhile, director of Firebird Peeter Rebane said: “We are grateful and humbled to have our world premiere at BFI Flare.  Firebird is a touching and personal film for me, having grown up in Soviet occupied Estonia, near the Air Force Base where this true story took place.  I was deeply fascinated at how such a forbidden love triangle formed in the Soviet Air Force at the height of the Cold War.  How they risked everything, even their lives, in order to be together with the one you love.  A story of this kind, in this setting, has rarely been explored in cinema before.  We hope you will join us in sharing this touching and universal story with the world.”

To find out more about the BFI Flare Festival visit: https://www.bfi.org.uk/flare