LONDON has its own film festival showcasing the best of this year’s festival circuit and premiering British films and World premieres that are new or recent to the party
O F F I C I A L C O M P E T I T I O N
BPM BEATS PER MINUTE Robin Campillo’s relates his own story of campaigning during the 1980s AIDS crisis in this vivacious, fast-moving docudrama that premiered at Cannes 2017 going on to win the Queer Palm, FIPRESCI and Grand Jury Prize. Starring Adele Haneel and Arnaud Valois
ANGELS WEAR WHITE this poignant story (image above) explores the of plight of young women in contemporary China told through tiny and vulnerable Wen and her schoolfriend who are led astray in a local hotel. Touching performances and luminous camerawork make this feel like a viable contender for a ‘Cute Noir’ subgenre.
BEYOND THE CLOUDS (World Premiere) The Colour of Paradise director Majid Majidi’s latest, a family drama, is set in Mumbai
THE BREADWINNER (European Premiere) An Afghani girl disguises herself as a boy to experience life as the breadwinner in this delightful animated drama from Irish director Nora Twomey (The Secret of Kells).
GOOD MANNERS this beautifully crafted fantasy drama won the Special Jury Award at Locarno 2017 for its female-centric tale that unfolds in the rich and poor neighbourhoods of Sao Paolo where a pregnant woman and her live-in nanny experience extraordinary events with the arrival of a baby son. Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra direct. Xavier Beauvoi
THE GUARDIANS Xavier Beauvois leads us to surprising places with his First World War story about the women who are left behind to manage the land (European Premiere)
LEAN ON PETE three interweaving stories follow a boy and his horse in Andrew Haigh affecting but flawed film that won its star Best Newcomer at Venice 2017
LOVELESS Contemporary Russia is dismally drawn by Andrey Zvyagintsev as a place for the greedy, acquisitive and self-seeking in a tale of divorce and child abuse, winning him the Jury Prize at Cannes 2017
THE LOVERS (European Premiere) Azazel Jacob casts Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as a long-married couple whose love is put to the test despite the odds.
SWEET COUNTRY – this good-looking Aussie Western is predictably politically correct but eminently enjoyable thanks to its cast of Sam Neill and Bryan Brown who play frontier overlords in the wilds of Alice Springs. Warwick Thornton directs with the style and panache of his previous outings Samson & Delilah an The Turning.
THOROUGHBRED (International Premiere) In Connecticut a friendship is rekindled between two teenagers in Cory Finley’s startling thriller that was the final film for Anton Yelchin.
WAJIB another buzzworthy title from Locarno is this rousing Paletinian family drama from Annemarie Jacir, winning her the Youth Award and the Special Prize at this year’s festival.
F I R S T F E A T U R E C O M P E T I T I O N
The Sutherland Award goes to outstanding first features recognising imagination and craft in the making
APOSTASY Daniel Kokotajl shows how, once again, religious beliefs can divide rather than unite in this unsettling story of sisterhood.
BEAST UK filmmaker Michael Pearce explores the ties that bind and those that tempt us away when a woman is forced. to choose between her family and a enticing stranger in their small, remote community.
THE CAKEMAKER is a debut that has already garnered awards since its release earlier this year. Ofir Raul Grazier portrays a journey towards acceptance in this evergreen story of love and its healing and transformative powers.
CARGO Martin Freeman is the star of this post-apocolyptic thriller that combines elements of fantasy and horror as a father tries to save his son the Australian outback.
COLUMBUS strangers find themselves drawn together in Kogonada’s debut comedy romance set in the Indiana city.
I AM NOT A WITCH Rungano Nyoni’s drifting debut as director and writer explores an incident which finds a little girl accused of witchcraft in Lusaka, Zambia.
JEUNE FEMME Paris is far from the city of dreams for a young woman struggling to keep mind and body together when her boyfriend ditches her, in this astonishing debut from Léonor Serraille.
MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND Spanish filmmaker Ana Asensio won the Grand Jury Award at SXSW for this extraordinary and chilling tale about a woman who tries to survive her tortured past by means of a dangerous game.
SUMMER 1993 Little Ana joins her uncle and his family in the Catalan countryside but finds it hard to adapt to her new life and get over her mother’s sudden death.
THE WOUND John Trengrove’s Berlinale standout slowly generates tension in a male initiation story set in the mountains behind Cape Town.
D O C U M E N T A R Y C O M P E T I T I O N
The Grierson Award in the Documentary Competition category recognises cinematic documentaries withintegrity, originality, and social or cultural significance. This year the Festival is screening:
BEFORE SUMMER ENDS Maryam Goormaghtigh | Comedy doc that debuted at ACID, Cannes 2017
BOBBI JENE Elvira Lind | Tribeca Winning story about the competitive world of dance
CHAUKA, PLEASE TELL US THE TIME Arash Kamali Sarvestani,
THE DEAD NATION Radu Jude | Highly recommended doc about racism in wartime Romania
DISTANT CONSTELLATION Shevaun Mizrahi’s tenderly comic care home documentary
EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, Fred Wiseman’s exploration of a city and its books
GRAY HOUSE, Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth | a minimalist portrait of the contempo American malaise
JANE (European Premiere) Brett Morgan looks at the life of chimpanzee expert Jane van Lawick
KINGDOM OF US (World Premiere), Lucy Cohen |
MAKALA, Emmanuel Gras | Congo-set farming story
THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD, Sonia Kronlund | a film about an Afghan filmmaker
OTHER WORLD PREMIERES/REMASTERS
THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS; HERE TO BE HEARD: THE STORY OF THE SLITS; ARCADIA; ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX, FASHION & DISCO; FAITHFULL; GHOST STORIES; ABRACADABRA; THE CLIMB, THE ISLAND; THE FORGIVEN; A MOTHER BRINGS HER SON TO BE SHOT; DEAD THE ENDS; LEK AND THE DOGS; TRIPOLI CANCELLED; A BLEMISHED CODE; JOURNEY’S END; PICKUPS; THE WHITE GIRL; FUNNY COW; JABBERWOCKY; A MOMENT IN THE REEDS; A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH; ANCHOR AND HOPE; GOING WEST; SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA; DARLING; WRATH OF SILENCE; FRANZ FANON: BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASK
BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 4 – 15 OCTOBER 2017