BFI Flare Shorts: Brown is the Warmest Colour

BFI Flare operates its festival under three strands; mind, body and heart. Each strand contains features and shorts.

In the Minds Shorts segment this year, is an insightful shorts section that features queer Asian experience and covers love, relationships and solidarity: Brown is the Warmest Colour.

Minds - Shorts: Brown is the Warmest Colour

Three awesome portraits of brown queers who take no shit.

  • UNITED KINGDOM - ENGLISH - LGBT - 25 minutes
  • Year of production: 2017

The strand has 6 films, we've highlighted three that we think you'll love:


  • A Young Woman and her maid transgress class and gender boundaries - but who risks more?
  • Directed by Karishma Dev Dube, India/USA 2017 (13 minutes)

The Streets are OursThe Streets are Ours: Two Lives Cross in Karachi

  • Fawzia Mirza's tribute to a Pakistani activist who created a space for queer people.
  • Directed by Michelle Fiodaliso, USA 2016 (16 minutes)

More Love, Less Pre-Packed Bullshit

  • It is easy to overlook the simple extension of love to other people.
  • Directed by Neelu Bhuman, Canada 2017 (1 minute)

Brown Queers

  • Three awesome portraits of brown queers who take no shit.
  • Directed by Michelle Williams Gamaker, UK 2017 (25 minutes)

Review of Brown Queers

Brown QueersBrown Queers is a documentary featuring three people of colour with varying identifications. Whilst the title focuses on colour, I found the content of the documentary covered presentation and identification to a far greater degree and colour was a very small part of the overall discussion. The discussion was extremely insightful, educational and interesting and will be of interest to anyone who is interested in gender presentation.

All three people are under 30 and clearly enjoy performance and playing with gender, and the freedom of not being fixed to one gender. Their insightful experiences certainly give insight into why so many young people choose to identify as non-binary and not be placed into one gender identification.

We first meet Krishna who is trans and gender queer and identifies as both masculine and feminine. They are current transitioning.

Katy is from Iran and identifies as a queer person of colour. With painted toe nails and unshaven legs, they talk about the way society makes assumptions and judges based on their race and colour. Their heritage definitely plays a part in how they are treated and it is clear that being able to change the presentation from female or male, or somewhere in between gives more freedom. They ultimately like to wear their queerness loud and proud.

Natasha is tired of labels but does acknowledge that sometimes they are necessary. Ultimately they decide on identifying as a tomboy who occasionally wears dresses.

I was really interested by the discussion around expectations and standards that are placed on women to look, act and be treated a certain way and how not presenting as female gives more freedoms.  All three have very different experiences and preferences.

It is interesting to hear how, through gender expression they experience being treated in different ways. 

Screenings of Brown is the Warmest Colour

  • Friday 23 March, 18:15 in NFT3
  • Saturday 24 March, 13:50 in the Studio


The full 2018 BFI Flare programme is available here(link is external), but highlights of additional activities to the film screenings include:

  • Talks with established film and television professionals who are leading the way in LGBTQ+ representation on screen.
  • Workshops and Labs focusing on creating LGBTQ+ media with specific sessions around challenges in development, funding and exhibition.
  • Networking opportunities throughout the Festival with a range of receptions with film and television professionals included in the Delegate Package. 

BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival 2018About BFI Flare

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival, formerly known as the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, is the biggest LGBT film festival in Europe. It takes place every spring in London, England