The BFI London Film Festival (LFF), one of the world’s leading film festivals, returns to the capital to celebrate the newest innovations in international cinema. Each year, it introduces the latest British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience, and annually attracts significant film industry participation from across the world. A compelling combination of red carpet glamour, friendly audiences and vibrant exchange, LFF provides a showcase opportunity and dynamic platform for new works seeking national and worldwide success.
Following its Opening Gala on Wednesday, which welcomed the European Premiere of director Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, LFF continues to promote a varied programme of film up until its Closing Night on Sunday 16 October. Headlining the final event will be Ben Wheatley’s high octane production Free Fire featuring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley.
This year, LFF celebrates its 60th anniversary in partnership with American Express. At the helm of the 12-day event is Festival Director Clare Stewart, who, along with her team, have drawn together a diverse programme of 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, including 18 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 39 European Premieres. There will also be screenings of 144 short films, including documentary, live action and animated works.
Headline Galas in 2016 include the American Express Gala with Garth Davis’ feature debut Lion, starring BAFTA nominee Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman. Adapted from Saroo Brierley’s engrossing memoir A Long Way Home, Lion tells the true story of how a wrong train takes a five-year-old Indian boy hundreds of miles from home and family. Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, which won the Sundance Jury and Audience Awards, receives its European Premiere providing audiences with a gruelling account of the life of an enslaved African-American who led a slave revolt in Virginia in 1831.
The Special Presentations section sees four films take the spotlight. Leading the pack is American Honey, Andrea Arnold’s sun-soaked and tune-filled epic about door-to-door teenage magazine sellers travelling America’s highways. Also featured is Ava DuVernay’s far-reaching and powerful documentary The 13th, a searing look at a century of race relations in America; Fiona Tan’s dazzling Ascent, exploring the beautiful and mysterious Mount Fuji using imagery from across the history of still photography; and the BFI Flare Special Presentation, Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World.
Screenings take place at venues across the city of London, from the West End cinemas – Vue West End and the iconic Odeon Leicester Square; central London venues – BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Picturehouse Central, the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Haymarket, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – the Ritzy in Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse and Curzon Chelsea.
The BFI London Film Festival, until 16 October, venues across London.Explore the full programme here.
For more, visit www.bfi.org.uk.
1. A United Kingdom, 2016.