The British Film Institute (BFI) Flare: London LGBT Film Festival started at the Southbank Centre on 19 March. The 11-day event will show more than 50 movies and 100 shorts from around the world that focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
IBTimes UK met with Brian Robinson, communications archive and heritage manager at BFI, who believes the movie industry can help tackle discrimination against LGBT people and can provide members of the community with role models who can help them feel accepted by society.
Robinson and the BFI are pleased LGBT people are starting to be represented in movies but they think more has to be done to tackle prejudice and help people get a sense of their own identity.
As part of a project with the British Council, the BFI made five movies on LGBT themes available free of charge on the BFI Player. Chance, Code Academy, Morning Is Broken, True Wheel and An Afternoon will be available to watch online in more than 70 countries.
In an interview with the Guardian, British Council director Alan Gemmell said the aim of the project – named FiveFilms4Freedom – is to send the message that love "is a basic human right".
He said: "What we've really done is select a bunch of films I think are about love – young love, older love, unrequited love and learning what love is. We're saying that love is a basic human right and it is something we all share."