It's one of our favourite times of the year for many reasons: we love films; we love films with gay characters; we love high lesbian and gay visibility in London; and we love the atmosphere that comes with the annual BFI's London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival on the Southbank.
There's always weeks of build up, scanning and highlighting the programme, becoming a BFI member or cosying up to your friends who already are, learning your credit card number off by heart awaiting the second that ticket sales become open... However it can often be disappointing as films sell out quickly (a good thing really) and obviously the festival isn't as long as it used to be.
Tickets (that were left) went on sale to non-members on 8 March (they went on sale to members on 1 March) and already a large number of films has sold out. The most popular films such as the opening and closing gala films were already sold out before 8 March. Thankfully the festival is more than just films.
The social side to the LLGFF
But what's great about the festival is that it is more than the sum of it's films. There's always a real buzz about the Southbank, the bars, cafes and restaurants are heaving with the LGBT community and there is also a social schedule incorporating established events on the Thurs - Sun evenings. From Club Kali to Bad Reputation, there is a good mix of events, and all with free entry! All of the events are listed on the Planet London events calendar.
If you can't get into a film, you can instead hang around the BFI Southbank. You'll find the whole area becomes a lesbian hotspot for the whole time, so it is a good place to meet up for a coffee or to sit and watch the world go by.
Last minute tickets
For some films tickets also become available 30 minutes before the film, so it is worth wandering around to the ticket desk and asking - you never know when you might get lucky!