Tag Archives: Cameroon

36th BFI Flare LGBTQIA+ film festival 2022

The 36th BFI Flare film festival. Twelve days of screenings, 52 feature films, and 78 free short films, from 42 countries. All films are available online on the BFI Player from the 16th-27th March. There will also be panel discussions and club nights, including The Batty Mama.

Our 2022 selection of Feature and Short films to see at the festival, includes films from Brazil, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Germany, Canada, Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, the USA and more. Tickets can be purchased on the BFI website.

 

FEATURE FILMS


HEARTS includes films about love, romance and friendship

Dakan
Dubbed West Africa’s first film about homosexuality, this film details a tricky love affair between two high schoolers from different sides of the tracks.

“The scene opens with a bright red sports car and two boys furiously kissing on the front seat. Immediately there are complications. Although Manga faces pressure from his middle-class father to ditch working-class Sory, the relationship between the two boys is known to many. There is even playful reverence for them among the female students. Both attempt to lead new lives, with Sory courting an unusual new lover in a different town and Manga joining his father’s business. But youthful infatuation is difficult to forget. Defunded by the Guinean government and the target of protests during its production, Dakan is a heartfelt, lo-fi first in the canon of queer African cinema.”

Director-Screenwriter: Mohamed Camara
Featuring: Mohamed Camara, Cécile Bois, Mamady Mory Camara
Guinea-France 1997 | 87min


BODIES includes stories of sex, identity and transformation.

Being BeBe
Heartfelt and fun, this documentary charts the life of BeBe Zahara Benet, the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“Marshall Ngwa began life as a kid from Cameroon – the only boy in his home economics class and a beloved member of a tight-knit family. Longing for sexual and artistic freedom, he emigrated to the US and won Drag Race as BeBe in 2009 – an encouraging sign for his worried parents. But being the first is not always easy. As the show’s popularity skyrocketed, later winners were rewarded with commensurate wealth, opportunities and exposure. Left behind, BeBe has had to find new ways to reinvent herself in the face of economic and social turmoil, and she does so with bucket loads of grit. Being BeBe is a fascinating portrait of a performance artist who is truly dedicated to the craft.”

Director: Emily Branham
Featuring: BeBe Zahara Benet (aka Marshall Kudi Ngwa)
USA-Cameroon 2021 | 93min

Boy Culture: The Series
Q. Allan Brocka’s comedy Boy Culture had its world premiere at our Festival in 2006. This six-part sequel finds popular escort X adapting to a very different world.

“Returning from the original Boy Culture, 40-ish escort, X (Derek Magyar) still needs to pay the rent and is catapulted into the world after his boyfriend Andrew (Darryl Stephens of Noah’s Arc) decides to leave him. Sassy young hustler Chayce takes the older man under his wing and helps him navigate a world he left 15 years ago. It’s a real treat to revisit these characters and see how they’ve changed, but the series also works as a standalone drama. From negotiating sex work and the internet, personal branding and an ever-expanding range of clients, there’s a lesson for X in every episode. In fact, there’s something we can all learn from this series, about sex and ageing, the value of relationships, the variety of human sexual experience and much, much more.”

Director: Q. Allan Brocka
Featuring: Derek Magyar, Darryl Stephens, Jason Caceres

USA 2021 | 86min (6 episodes)

I Am the Tigress
A bodybuilder pushes herself to the limit to defy expectations, both physically and socially.

Tischa Thomas cuts a beguiling figure in a tight dress, with strawberry blonde wig and enormous biceps. She is about to leave the US to compete in a bodybuilding competition in Romania, accompanied by her jaded but loyal coach. Her extraordinary transformation from overweight mother-of-three to disciplined athlete and dominatrix speaks volumes about the relationship between gender and race, not least because Tischa is neither trans nor queer. Yet everything about her experience is a pointed commentary on how transphobia, racism and gendered violence are intimately linked. This is a highly unusual film about black womanhood that undercuts and destabilises our perceptions at every turn.

Director-Screenwriters: Philipp Fussenegger, Dino Osmanović
Featuring: Tischa Thomas, Steve Scibelli, Edward Zahler
Germany-Austria-USA 2021. 80min

Screening with: The Glorious Ones

Queer black women and non-binary people share their best moments in this upbeat intergenerational discussion.

Director-Producer: Somina Fombo
UK 2021 | 23min

Madame Satã
On its 20th anniversary, it’s a perfect time to revisit this bold, beautiful and epic tale of an extraordinary Brazilian nightlife legend, criminal, queen and hero.

Karim Aïnouz’s extraordinary tale of the larger-than-life Madame Satã premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. As vivid as the most exaggerated fiction, the film recounts the real life of a notorious figure in Rio de Janeiro’s bohemian underworld. Satã was a hustler, transvestite, gangster, chef, homosexual and father; a queen who became something of a folk hero, despite spending 27 years in prison. A born rebel, he also stood up to anyone who tried to get in his way. Dominating the film is Lázaro Ramos’ astounding, energetic performance as the indefatigable and stylish Satã, who confounds his enemies and stands as a symbol against the endemic racism that has traditionally endured in Brazilian society.

Director: Karim Aïnouz
Featuring: Lázaro Ramos, Marcélia Cartaxo, Flavio Bauraqui
France-Brazil 2002 | 105min

 

Manscaping
An Afrofuturist, a naked fetishist and a community activist walk into a barbershop.

Anyone who has entered the highly masculinised environment of a barbershop knows that it can be an intimidating space. This is doubly true for queer and gender non-conforming people, and triply so if you’re from a racialised background. Enter three individuals tackling the problem head on. Devan Shimoyama is an Afrofuturist painter who focuses on the barbershop as a social space, Jessie Anderson runs a queer barbershop in Vancouver, and Australian Richard Savvy gets his kit off as The Naked Barber. All three speak with warmth and candour about their attempts to make people look and feel good, and how the simple act of getting a cut is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Director: Broderick Fox
Featuring: Devan Shimoyama, Jessie Anderson, Richard Savvy
USA 2022 | 62min


MINDS features reflections on art, politics and community.

Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music
The biggest secret in Country music is coming out of the closet, in this moving and triumphant documentary.

Taking centre stage in TJ Parsell’s excellent film are the unsung heroes behind some of Country music’s biggest hits of the last four decades. These lesbian and bisexual women (and one trans man) have been silent for too long and are finally ready to speak out about the industry that kept them in the closet. Through heartfelt interviews, we hear about the homophobia that put an end to careers that were starting out and about gigs that dried up when a brave few dared to come out. Most movingly of all are the stories of friendship and support these performers found in each other as they fought for their music to be heard. Ensuring that these Country music pioneers are hidden no more, Invisible is a joyous and entertaining documentary for all music lovers.

Director-Screenwriter: TJ Parsell
Featuring: Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis
USA 2021 | 106min

It Runs in the Family (Lo que se hereda)
It’s finally here! After a rabble-rousing preview at Flare 2016, Rebel Dykes returns in all its ass-kicking, leather-wearing glory. The film follows a tight-knit group of friends who met at Greenham Common peace camp and went on to become artists, performers, musicians and activists in London. A heady mash-up of animation, archive footage and interviews tells the story of a radical scene: squatters, BDSM nightclubs, anti-Thatcher rallies, protests demanding action around AIDS and the fierce ties of chosen family. This is an extraordinarily privileged glimpse into a bygone world by those who not only lived out their politics with heartfelt conviction but lived to tell the tale.

Director-Screenwriter: Victoria Linares
Featuring: Victoria Linares
Dominican Republic-USA 2022 | 83min

 


Other films worth seeing:

Charli XCX: Alone Together – Acclaimed pop star Charli XCX teams up with her legions of queer fans across the globe to create a new album, in this warmhearted DIY documentary.

Flee (Flugt) – Amin’s engagement to Kasper motivates him to disclose for the first time his experiences as a teenage refugee in this stirring animated documentary.

The Divide (La fracture) – A lesbian relationship in crisis and a city in political turmoil are deftly explored in Catherine Corsini’s powerful political satire.


SHORT FILMS

Family Affairs
Whether it’s births, deaths and marriages, coming out or finding your own tribe, family in its many forms is at the centre of this shorts programme.

Pink & Blue – A trans couple of colour decide to try and raise their baby without an assigned gender.
Dir. Carmen LoBue, USA 2021, 13min

How to Raise a Black Boy – In this modern and surreal modern fairytale, a group of young black boys form a chosen family.
Dir-Scrwrit. Justice Jamal Jones, USA 2020, 13min.

Once More, With Feeling
Lose yourself in the possibilities of love with these charming and engaging short films.
Strictly over 18s only.

the beginning & the middle – Will two high school friends take a chance on each other when they reconnect at a party?
Dir-Scrwrit. Alexis G. Zall, USA 2021, 11min.

Minutes – From nervous first dates to late night arguments, a relationship in microcosm and a chance for something new?
Dir-Scrwrits. Alix Eve, Olivia Dowd, Ella Dacres, Ell Potter, UK 2021, 14min.

Noor & Layla – Drawn to each other by their shared Muslim faith, is it the beginning of the end for Noor and Layla?
Dir-Scrwrit. Fawzia Mirza, Canada 2021, 13min.

A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here – An elder dyke connects with the younger generation of queer women in this sexy short film.
Dir-Scrwrit. Érica Sarmet, Brazil 2021, 26min.

Where Do We Go From Here?
Sometimes, the decisions we make can shape the rest of our lives. This collection of shorts explores the choices, the moments, the encounters that might just change everything.
Contains scenes of graphic sex. Strictly over 18s only.

Successful Thawing of Mr. Moro – After 43 years in cryopreservation, Adrian is due to be defrosted. But ex-partner Milo might not be ready for his former lover’s return
Dir-Scrwrit. Jerry Carlsson, Sweden 2021, 14min.

Everything Changes
Whether processing new feelings, or coming to terms with the past, all of the men in this poignant shorts collection are trying to make sense of where they are now.

Freed (Baltringue) – As he nears the end of his prison sentence, Issa forms an unexpected connection with a new inmate.
Dir. Josza Anjembe, France 2019, 20min.

Parallel Lives: UK Shorts Programme
Take an unpredictable journey through multiple genres with this selection of shorts showcasing the breadth of queer filmmaking in the UK.

Still We Thrive – A rich tapestry of image, music and poetry is interwoven in this powerful meditation on Black resilience.
Dir-Scrwrit. Campbell X, UK 2021, 6min.

 

The Meaning of Daisey – Daisey has the hots for Owens, a customer at her florist. Owens feels the same. But who will make the first move?
Dir. Max’ed Deeq, UK 2020. 5min

Queer Rural Connections – A short documentary offering a rare glimpse into LGBTQIA+ life outside of the big city.
Dirs. Timothy Allsop, Kira Allmann, Suzy Shepherd, UK 2021, 21min.

Losing Joy – On the anniversary of her sister’s death, a young woman is visited by her ex-girlfriend.
Dir. Juliana Kasumu, UK 2021, 15min.

Strength in Vulnerability
These POC shorts show that in a complex situation, self-knowledge is often the answer.

FEVER – A family birthday party is not what it seems in this modern parable of race and relationships.
Dir. Angele Cooper, USA 2021, 20min.

There Is No Place Like Home
Trans and gender diverse tales of home and belonging, interlaced with wonder in nature and the call of the wild.

Prayers for Sweet Waters – Three trans sex workers in Cape Town find support within their communities over the pandemic.
Dir. Elijah Ndoumbe, South Africa-UK 2021, 16min.

Out Here Livin’
Black queer stories told with humour, insight and love.

Taffeta – A poisonous comment during phone sex results in profound self-enquiry.
Dir. Lovell Holder, USA 2021, 11min.

For Love – Against all odds, two women try to resist being torn apart by the UK’s brutal immigration system.
Dir-Scrwrit. Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, UK 2021, 13min.

A Fox in the Night – A South London story in which opposites attract, appearances deceive and bravery reaps rewards.
Dir-Scrwrit. Keeran Anwar Blessie, UK 2021, 11min.

F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K – A delightful existential comedy about work, weed and keeping the dream.
Dir. Harris Doran, USA 2021, 13min.

Egúngún (Masquerade) – The power of the past spans the divide between Nigeria and the UK in this beautiful tale of intersecting lives.
Dir-Scrwrit. Olive Nwosu, Nigeria-UK 2021, 15min.

Hundefreund (Dogfriend) – A casual hook-up takes an unexpected turn in this meditation on race, politics and history.
Dir. Maissa Lihedheb, Germany 2021, 18min.

Sweet Melodies
It’s all bangers, all the time in these films focused on music as a tool for healing, rebellion and embracing queer identity.

Nasir – A transgender musician comes out to several family members over the phone and composes a new song.
Dirs. Jackson Kroopf, Nasir Bailey, USA 2021, 17min.


The Batty Mama Hosted by Lasana Shabazz with DJ TrYb.
Friday 18 March, 21:00 to 01:00
BFI Bar & Kitchen

65th BFI London Film Festival 2021 – Shorts

The 65th BFI London Film Festival builds on the online only festival of 2020’s ‘year of the pandemic’ and continues to include the newer streams of augmented reality, and AI-driven Virtual Reality content in LFF Expanded, plus TV Series’ reflecting on the changes and developments in the way we consume content. PLUS, loads of Short Films to see for Free.

The festival is on from 6 to 17 October 2021, with films available in cinemas with screenings around the UK, available virtually, and with access to free events and films.

Also see our selection of FEATURE FILMS.


Here are our 2021 selection of SHORT FILMS: Small but perfectly formed.

6-17 Oct: Watch for free on BFI Player


Find Me Here | Thu 7

Local community lies at the heart of this programme. From a late-night Ugandan town, New Orleans hair salon and musically-oriented Brazilian delivery culture to the bricks and mortar of British housing and the cruel nature of unbridled capitalism, we witness everyday lives.

Nsenene: Late at night in the Ugandan town of Masaka, grasshoppers descend, alien-like, into the community, in this lyrical and visually stunning documentary.

Director-Producer: Michelle Coomber, Countries: Uganda-UK

BABYBANGZ: In a New Orleans’ natural hair salon where self-care and communal reflection intertwine, Anastasia Ebel hosts dynamic and enjoyable discussions. A stylish window into the heart of the bayou.

Director-Producer: Juliana Kasumu. Countries: USA-UK


Short Film Award Nominee

Fantasma Neon: (See LFF Awards) An all-singing, all-dancing musical fantasy set in the busy urban world of Brazil’s takeaway food delivery bike community.

Director-Screenwriter: Leonardo Martinelli. Producers: Ayssa Yamaguti Norek, Rafael Teixeira, Leonardo Martinelli. Country: Brazil


It’s Not That Easy | Fri 8

Life isn’t always a well-choreographed montage and the stumbles are often why we reflect on it. It’s how personalities are made and that makes for the richest of dramas.

Kabibi: A schoolgirl in the DRC is resembling the woman she wants to become, in a tale that explores the solace we find in the clothes we wear and the shoes we walk in.

Director-Screenwriter: Elaisha Stokes. Producer: Horeb Bulambo Shindano. Countries: DR Congo-USA-Canada

The Right Words (Haut les coeurs): If you’re looking for some sweet romance you’ve come to the right place, as we follow 13-year-old Mahdi and his undeclared love for Jada while on the school bus run.

Director-Screenwriter: Adrian Moyse Dullin. Producer: Lucas Tothe. Country: France

Sunshine City: Three best friends are racing across town to get to a rap gig where they’re meant to perform, but numerous obstacles delay their journey.

Director: Evan LaMagna. Producers: Dylon Peven, Evan LaMagna, Dal LaMagna, Aaron Jones. Screenwriters: Evan LaMagna, Dylon Peven. Country: USA


Weird and Wonderful World | Fri 8

Filmmakers showcase the strange in this selection that veers between the weirdness of folk horror to a wonderful celebration of Afro-futurism.

Earthbound (Jordbundna): At the end of the world, Max is desperate to be with the woman he loves. But his destiny lies less in some dystopian space odyssey than an Afrofuturist dream.

Director-Screenwriter: Baker Karim. Producers: Olivier Guerpillon, Frida Hallberg. Country: Sweden


For Better or Worse | Sun 10

Marriage as an institution can be suffocating and the works here explore the more negative side to the vows taken between two people, particularly around how individuals can control and bully.

Imuhira (Home): Kanama’s dream-like journey back to her family does not offer the homecoming she hoped for. The initial solace of familiar surroundings and presence of friends is no comfort when she still feels tormented. (This film contains scenes of domestic violence.)

Director-Screenwriter: Myriam Uwiragiye Birara. Producers: Myriam Uwiragiye Birara, Shema Deve, Remy Ry, Moise Ganza. Country: Rwanda


My Identity, No Crisis | Tue 12

From home to the back of a taxi and back again, these stories encompass self-exploration and negotiating the importance of identity, while choosing a path to be proud of.

Play It Safe: Suffocating in the whiteness of drama school, Jonathan realises others’ discomfort is a trivial consequence of momentary cogency.

Director-Screenwriter: Mitch Kalisa. Producer: Chris Toumazou. Country: UK

Nasir: Musician Nasir calls several family members by phone to discuss the decision to transition.

Directors: Jackson Kroopf, Nasir Bailey. Producer: Jackson Kroopf. Country: USA

Egúngún (Masquerade): When Salewa has to return home, she finds herself back in a place where she once had to hide herself. But now she goes in search of her own peace.

Director-Screenwriter: Olive Nwosu. Producer: Alex Polunin. Countries: Nigeria-UK


Your UK or Mine? | Sat 16
This selection of shorts shows how varied and impressive new British filmmaking is, through stories of community, love and personal acceptance.

Short Film Award Nominee

Precious Hair & Beauty: With observant commentary on the changing landscape of London communities, this is a witty and energetic snapshot of an odd day at a Black hair dressers.

Director-Screenwriter: John Ogunmuyiwa. Producers: Sophia Gibber, Tony Longe, Lene Bausager. Country: UK


Short Film Award Nominee

Femme: In a tense late-night journey, Jordan encounters a drug-dealer in a dangerous den populated by a gang of men and stifling with toxic masculinity. (This film contains scenes of drug use and strong violence.)

Directors-Screenwriters: Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping. Producers: Sam Ritzenberg, Hayley Williams, Rienkje Attoh. Country: UK


The Other End: Shona’s boyfriend hasn’t come home. She fears the worst, so ventures out into the sodium-orange glow of London’s streets at night to find him.

Director-Screenwriter: Nia Childs. Producer: Alexandra Da Silva. Country: UK

We’re Too Good for This: Stereotypes are overturned in this story of physical disability, where a group of friends on a council estate find a way to assert their independence using the gifts others see as flaws.

Director-Screenwriter: Missy Malek. Producers: Sam Barnham, Camilla Arnold. Country: UK


Short Film Award Nominee

For Love: In this beautiful drama, a couple battle for a future where they can find a home and freedom that is not determined by where they’re from.

Director-Screenwriter: Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor. Producer: Emily Morgan. Country: UK


LFF FOR FREE

London Calling
A selection of shorts from some of London’s most exciting new voices, weaving bold cinematic narratives in surprising, sometimes playful, but above all honest ways. Funded by BFI NETWORK and delivered by Film London.

London Calling: Speaking Your Truth | Sat 9 | Sat 16 | Sun 17
Stories of people confronting injustice and pain, and finding their voice –

Born Again

A British Nigerian woman tormented by her inability to have children experiences a transformative baptism, leading her on a journey of healing and rebirth.
Writer-Director: Candice Onyeama


London Calling: Hopes and Visions | Sun 10 | Sat 16 | Sun 17
Stories of people – and objects – holding onto hope of something better.

Colby: 22-year-old Colby rebels against feeling stifled by everybody because of her pregnancy. But then she meets a guy at a diner.
Writer-Director: Rashida Seriki

Canvas 5: When gallery director Ruth is accused of using her position to exploit people of colour, she protests her innocence. But her doubt turns to paranoia when anonymous portrait Canvas 5 starts to exert a power of its own.
Writer-Director: Karla Crome


Film4 and Fruit Tree Media present: Foresight | Sat 9 | Sun 10
Five short films that explore alternative realities for Black and Brown people in the UK.

Foresight is a compilation of short films, set in the UK, which imagine the future for Black and Brown characters. They are written, directed and produced by culturally diverse filmmakers who call the UK home. Foresight is an urgent anthology that explores alternate realities through the lens of five Black British directors. This time capsule collection contributes to a perspective and point of view continually missing from our screens – a future where people of colour exist!

They Heard Him Shout Allahu Akbah: Zaid, recently released from prison for an unknown crime, tries to reintegrate into his previous life only to find that the arms of the state extend to controlling what he says and does.
Director: Nadia Latif. Screenwriter: Omar El-Khairy

X US: Two unaccompanied brothers embark on a journey to a new settlement on moon planet Titan. Their interactions reflect the subtle naivety and anxious fear this huge moment means for each of them, amidst an industrial-sized group of migrants.
Director: Akinola Davies. Screenwriters: Akinola Davies, Wale Davies

The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be: By the year 2080, climate change has forced human beings from the Earth, with the last vestiges that remain forced into an isolated nomadic existence. In the desolate landscape, Dez forages for survival until they unearth a morsel of the past that leads them on an unexpected mission.
Director: Adeyemi Michael. Screenwriter: Courttia Newland

Twice As Good: The night before her son Dee Dee’s seventh birthday, Grace receives an unexpected intruder in her kitchen. As she discovers who the intruder is, she must decide how to protect her son while navigating the complexities of Black parenthood in modern Britain.
Director-Screenwriter: Jeremy Ngatho Cole

Digging: Ziba, Ché, Neela and Kofi use their devices to take trips through their memories to settle an argument.
Director: Elliot Barnes-Worrell. Screenwriters: Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Hasti Crowther


NETWORK@LFF Shorts Programme 2 | Sun 10 | Sat 16
NETWORK@LFF is our flagship talent development programme based at the very heart of the BFI London Film Festival, and delivered by BFI NETWORK.

Vacant Bass: This short charts the impact of Black culture and clubbing on British multiculturalism, and the sense of loss as club culture has come under threat in recent times and was then wiped out entirely by the Covid crisis.
Writer-Director: Isaac Tomiczek


AFRO-FUTURES

A visual artist, sound artist, writer and editor come together to create a short Afrofuturist film, layered with their singular talents. Join us as we screen this short film and then host a panel discussion with its creators.

Sun 17

Panellists: Xana, Simisolaoluwa Akande, Nse Asuquo
Host: Ramatoulie Bobb
BFI Film Academy Young Programmer Commission artists: Xana, Simisolaoluwa Akande, Keisha Thompson, Nse Asuquo
BFI Film Academy Young Programmer Curators: Ramatoulie Bobb, Ruby Murphy and Hazel George.


LFF AWARDS

SHORT FILM COMPETITION
The Short Film Award recognises short-form works with a unique cinematic voice and a confident handling of chosen theme and content..

6-17 Oct: Watch on BFI Player for Free

Fantasma Neon: An all-singing, all-dancing musical fantasy set in the busy urban world of Brazil’s takeaway food delivery bike community.

Director-Screenwriter: Leonardo Martinelli. Producers: Ayssa Yamaguti Norek, Rafael Teixeira, Leonardo Martinelli. Country: Brazil

Femme: In a tense late-night journey, Jordan encounters a drug-dealer in a dangerous den populated by a gang of men and stifling with toxic masculinity. (This film contains scenes of drug use and strong violence.)

Directors-Screenwriters: Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping. Producers: Sam Ritzenberg, Hayley Williams, Rienkje Attoh. Country: UK

For Love: In this beautiful drama, a couple battle for a future where they can find a home and freedom that is not determined by where they’re from.

Director-Screenwriter: Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor. Producer: Emily Morgan. Country: UK

Precious Hair & Beauty: With observant commentary on the changing landscape of London communities, this is a witty and energetic snapshot of an odd day at a Black hair dressers.

Director-Screenwriter: John Ogunmuyiwa. Producers: Sophia Gibber, Tony Longe, Lene Bausager. Country: UK


Immersive Art and XR CompetitioN
The Best Immersive Art and XR Award recognises the most innovative work from artists and creators who are boldly exploring the intersection of art, film and extended reality to fully immerse audiences in the moment.

(All part of the EXPANDED Strand: Step into a new dimension of storytelling with Immersive Art and Extended reality.)

6-17 Oct, 11am-9pm. Book a slot at 26 Leake Street, London SE1 7NN.

Container: This immersive film project makes us aware of how closely modern forms of economic enslavement compare with earlier forms that ‘civilised’ society claims to have cast aside.

Lead Artists: Meghna Singh, Simon Wood. Country: South Africa

Noah’s Raft: Acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker Joel Kachi Benson’s VR documentary shows how one person with a vision can transform a whole community by means of education.

Lead Artists: Joel Kachi Benson & Tal Michael Haring. Country: Nigeria.

Virtually There: Leon Oldstrong’s first VR film shines a light on a violent knife crime from multiple perspectives in an attempt to empathise with all parties involved.

Lead Artist: Leon Oldstrong. Production Company: Solaris2 Media. Country: UK


STRANDS

EXPERIMENTA: Films by artists that revolutionise and reshape our vision of cinema.

Screening with: Lago Gatún in te Experimenta Strand (Fri 15)

The I and S of Lives: In Black Lives Matter Plaza, Washington DC, the camera follows a lone skater’s graceful moves. His clothes match the colours of the mural he skates on.

Director: Kevin Jerome Everson. Producers: Kevin Jerome Everson, Madeleine Molyneaux

Country: USA

Memorials of Meaning (Short Film Collection)

Mudança: A dreamlike territory of imagery sensations in music, painting, poetry, and dance – inspired by the people of the Bijagó archipelago in Guinea-Bissau – speak of revolution.

Sun 17 (Also watch this short for free on the BFI Player)

Director-Producer-Screenwriter: Welket Bungué

Country: Portugal, Guinea Bissau, Germany

FAMILY: Films for the young… and young at heart.

The Wonderful Story of Aisha, Ali and Flipflopi the Multicoloured Dhow Boat – Short film in Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences

Sun 17


TREASURES: Revived and restored from the world’s archives.

Four short films in From the Caribbean to West Africa: Edric Connor’s Travelogues

Jamaica – Third Test: Connor’s coverage of the first-ever test won by England in the Caribbean, from an overcrowded Sabina Park, features authoritative narration by British-Guyanese commentator Ernest Eytle.

Caribbean Honeymoon No.1: ‘My People!’ Connor returns to his birthplace of Mayaro to celebrate his homeland’s natural beauty and manufacturing, capturing pre-independence Caribbean islands in all their glorious warmth.

Caribbean Honeymoon No.2: Shown at the 1960 Edinburgh international Film Festival, this dazzling travelogue records Guyana’s idyllic flora and the industries that supplied raw materials for British homes.

Bound for Lagos: Commissioned in 1960 to mark Nigeria’s independence, Connor directs and stars in this troubled production about shifting social relations in an emergent West African middle-class.


FAMILY: Films for the young… and young at heart.

Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences (Short Film Collection)

The Wonderful Story of Aisha, Ali and Flipflopi the Multicoloured Dhow Boat: Aisha and Ali must decide what to do about abandoned plastic, in this film from Kenya that deals with a global problem.

Sun 17

Director: Kwame Nyong’o. Producers: Wanzilu Maingi, Dipesh Pabari. Screenwriter: John Sibi-Okumu. Country: Kenya

Films to see at the 63rd London Film Festival 2019

It’s arrived! The 63rd BFI London Film Festival runs from the 2-13 October 2019, with a bumper selection of films to choose from around the world, including: Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, France, Haiti, Italy, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, UK, USA, Vietnam, and Zambia.

Here is our selection of 42 feature films and 4 events. Highlights include Mati Diop‘s Atlantics, Burning Cane with Wendell Pierce, Alfre Woodard in Clemency, the long awaited, Harriet, starring Cynthia Erivo. Michael Jordan will be in attendance giving a screen talk, and starring in Just Mercy, and Lupita Nyong’o stars in Little Monsters. We’re also looking forward to UK films, Rocks and White Riot.

You can find out more information and book tickets for the films by clicking the links below or heading to the BFI London Film Festival Website.

FEATURE FILMS

First Feature Competition

Atlantics
Atlantique

Atlantics (Atlantique)
Friday 04 October 2019 | 18:00 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 20:40 | Cine Lumiere
Monday 07 October 2019 | 12:10 | BFI Southbank, NFT1

Ada and Souleiman are in love. But Souleiman is tired of labouring without pay on the gleaming towers of Dakar. He sets out across the sea with friends, leaving Ada to face impending marriage to another man. But as the women gather in the bar where the men used to drink, it seems that something has returned after all.

Dir Mati Diop; With Mama Sané, Amadou Mbow, Ibrahima Traoré
France-Senegal-Belgium, 2019

Thrill Gala

Bacurau

Bacurau
Friday 04 October 2019 | 21:15 | ODEON Luxe Leicester Square

A young woman named Teresa travels home for the funeral of her grandmother, who was the matriarch of Bacurau, a village that happily embraces its misfits, mixed-heritage outsiders, whores, hippies and queers. On arrival, Teresa discovers that the dusty little town has been wiped clean off the map by the middle-class elite from the north, who are busy ingratiating themselves, selling their country and its people (quite literally, it turns out) to rich European and American interests.

Dir-Scr Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles; With Bárbara Colen, Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Thomás Aquino
Brazil-France, 2019

Dare

Burning Cane

Burning Cane
Friday 11 October 2019 | 20:50 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 16:30 | Vue West End, Screen 6

Helen stalks through her farm with a cleaver in one hand, cigarette in the other, running through the various treatments she’s tried for her dog’s mange. Her recently unemployed son Daniel pushes beer and whiskey on his own child. And the local preacher (Wendell Pierce) remains in denial about the malice forming an increasingly powerful undertow to his sermons. As alcohol and melancholy suffuse this Louisiana family and their pastor, a woozy portrait emerges – one of characters living in lows they cannot transcend.

Dir-Scr Phillip Youmans; With Wendell Pierce, Karen Kaia Livers, Dominique McClellan
USA 2019

Journey

Burning Night
Breve Miragem de Sol

Burning Night (Breve Miragem de Sol)
Thursday 03 October 2019 | 18:20 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 20:30 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Down on his luck and recently divorced, Paulo (Boliveira) has begun driving a cab around Rio, hoping he’ll make enough to send his ex money to support their ten-year-old son. He mostly works nights, so in addition to his encounters with a colourful variety of customers, colleagues, cops and others, he must cope with loneliness, fatigue and new faces in his life.

Dir Eryk Rocha; With Fabricio Boliveira, Bárbara Colen, Cadu N Jay
Brazil-France-Argentina 2019

Debate

Clemency

Clemency
Wednesday 02 October 2019 | 18:00 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Friday 04 October 2019 | 15:00 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Friday 11 October 2019 | 20:30 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Clemency opens with experienced prison warden Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard) overseeing a lethal injection that goes agonisingly wrong. Botching ‘the procedure’ heightens scrutiny over her next execution, of convicted cop killer Anthony Woods (Aldis Hodge) who maintains his innocence. Woodard delivers a stunning performance as methodical authority figure Bernadine, whose necessary professionalism has made her emotionally unavailable to husband Jonathan (The Wire’s Wendell Pierce). No amount of after-work drinking will make the nightmares stop.

Dir-Scr Chinonye Chukwu; With Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Richard Schiff, Wendell Pierce
USA, 2018

Debate

Desrances

Desrances
Thursday 03 October 2019 | 18:10 | Vue West End, Screen 4
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 12:20 | Vue West End, Screen 4

After the brutal massacre of his family in Haiti, Francis Desrances resettles in the Ivory Coast. Years later Francis, his wife Aissey and 12-year-old daughter Haila await the birth of a son, who to Francis’ excitement and Haila’s irritation is immediately regarded as the worthy heir to the Desrances name. As the birth looms, civil war erupts in Abidjan and amidst the melee Aissey goes missing. Haila courageously steps forward in ways that challenge her father’s notion of what constitutes a rightful heir.

Dir-Scr Apolline Traoré; With Jimmy Jean-Louis, Naomi Nemlin, Evelyne Ily
Burkina Faso, 2019

Journey

Give Me Liberty

Give Me Liberty
Friday 11 October 2019 | 18:00 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 19:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT3

American-Russian Vic drives a van transporting disabled passengers around Milwaukee. He needs this job and today he’s running dangerously late. Tracy, an African-American woman with ALS, is not impressed. But there’s also Vic’s eccentric Russian grandfather’s neighbours, who all need a lift to a funeral, plus a livewire dude called Dima, who claims to be the deceased’s nephew and is coming along for the ride. From these chaotic beginnings, the film zooms through a day and a night, creating a turbulent tapestry of working-class lives that touches on issues of race, disability and poverty in America’s most segregated city.

Dir Kirill Mikhanovsky; With Chris Galust, Lauren ‘Lolo’ Spencer, Maksim Stoyanov
USA, 2019

Journey

Harriet

Harriet
Friday 11 October 2019 | 18:00 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 14:15 | Embankment Garden Cinema

Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman nonetheless escaped the South of the US and travelled alone over 100 miles on foot to the first free state, Philadelphia. But finding it impossible to enjoy her freedom while others were enslaved, she returned as a fugitive over 13 times to dangerous Confederate states, helping more than 70 people escape in the years before the Civil War.

Dir Kasi Lemmons; With Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Clarke Peters, Leslie Odom Jr
USA, 2019

Debate

Just Mercy

Just Mercy
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 14:45 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 14:15 | ODEON Luxe Leicester Square

Fresh from Harvard Law School, fledgling attorney Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) defies the wishes of his parents, who are concerned about the notoriously racist South, when he ventures to Alabama to open a law practice to support death row inmates routinely denied proper legal counsel. Meeting with a variety of prisoners, Stevenson soon encounters Walter “Johnny D” McMillan (Foxx), a black man accused of the brutal murder of a white teenage girl, an allegation he vehemently denies, with numerous factors clearly supporting innocence. Despite Johnny D’s scepticism that he will be afforded due diligence by a corrupt system, Stevenson hires local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson), and mounts an urgent case for a retrial, uncovering a chain of injustices and crucial oversights as they search for the truth.

Dir Destin Daniel Cretton; With Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Rafe Spall, O’Shea Jackson Jr
USA, 2019

First Feature Competition

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Friday 04 October 2019 | 18:00 | Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 15:15 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Friday 11 October 2019 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) dreams of reclaiming the beautiful late 19th century home his grandfather built in the heart of the city, before harder times and changing demographics forced his family out. He and best friend Mont (Jonathan Majors) scheme to make this happen while Jimmie annoys the sitting tenants with guerrilla gardening on the beloved Fillmore house. A skateboarder and dreamy, suit-wearing playwright, the pair are at odds with the tough guys around the neighbourhood, and spend their time working to deliver Jimmie’s dream while living with Mont’s grandfather (Danny Glover).

Dir Joe Talbot; With Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan
USA, 2019

Thrill

Little Monsters

Little Monsters
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 18:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Monday 07 October 2019 | 15:30 | Vue West End, Screen 5
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 18:15 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Dave is at a crossroads in his life. Recently dumped and with his aspirations of heavy metal stardom fading away, the eternal man-child is forced to crash on his sister’s sofa. However, things look up when he meets the effervescent Miss Caroline, his 5-year-old nephew’s favourite teacher. Desperate to spend time with the object of his affection, Dave signs up to chaperone a school trip to the local petting zoo. But when the neighbouring military base accidentally unleashes a hoard of zombies upon the unsuspecting farmyard, Dave, Miss Caroline and their miniature posse must join forces to keep the flesh-eating army at bay.

Dir-Scr Abe Forsythe; With Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Gad, Alexander England
Australia-USA-UK, 2019

Laugh

The Lost Okoroshi

The Lost Okoroshi
Thursday 03 October 2019 | 20:40 | Vue West End, Screen 4
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 15:30 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Fed up with the soulless city and how its dwellers have lost touch with their ancestral traditions, Raymond Obinwa yearns for reconnection between man, spirit and traditional society. He awakens one morning to find he has transformed into a traditional Igbo masquerade Okoroshi. In his new form, Raymond/Okoroshi sets off on a quest to find a new home in the city. Along the way, he encounters brassy sex-worker Doris, street hustler Willy-Willy – who is convinced of Okoroshi’s earning potential – and witnesses the idle chit-chat of conspicuous pseudo-spiritual authority the IPSSHRR (The Igbo People’s Secret Society for Heritage, Restoration and Reclamation).

Dir-Prod Abba Makama; With Seun Ajayi, Judith Audu, Tope Tedela
Nigeria, 2019

Debate

Luce

Luce
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 17:30 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 18:00 | Vue West End, Screen 5
Monday 07 October 2019 | 20:30 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr) is a former refugee, a child soldier from a war-torn African country. Seemingly recovered from his childhood trauma, he now lives in his adoptive country as the son of white liberal middle-class parents (Tim Roth and Naomi Watts). His high school’s brightest hope – a fiercely intelligent debater and star athlete – Luce seems destined to achieve great things. But after he chooses Franz Fanon as an assignment to deliver a paper in the voice of a historical figure, Luce’s English teacher (Octavia Spencer) becomes suspicious that something darker may lurk beneath his highly-controlled exterior.

Dir Julius Onah; With Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr
USA, 2019

Dare

The Man Who Cuts Tattoos

The Man Who Cuts Tattoos
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 18:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 18:40 | Vue West End, Screen 6

To mark the beginning of adulthood and prepare for marriage, a young girl in an Edo village must undergo a painful rite of passage through scarification. The agony she endures for a loving union finds her questioning the process. Sometime in the future, unencumbered by the traditions that exist in present day Lagos, Michelle questions her tumultuous relationship with boyfriend America. Having recently found out she’s pregnant, with America pushing her towards an abortion and with her job on the line, Michelle also considers the sacrifices that are made for love.

Dir-Scr Michael Omonua; With Valerie Dish, Omowunmi Dada, Duke Elvis
Nigeria, 2019

Create

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
Thursday 10 October 2019 | 20:30 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 12:30 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen

This detailed, textured chronology offers something for all, from jazz newbies to viewers who’ve long been drowning in the ocean of genre-expanding music that poured from the musician’s magically muted trumpet. Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool swings through five decades of sonic innovation: from hard bop to heavenly orchestrations, the ambient acoustics of Kind of Blue to the funky fusion of Bitches Brew. It’s a treasure trove of electrifying archive and authoritative interviewees (including several collaborators and ex-lovers), which smartly deploys extracts from Miles’s searing autobiography. The film also explores his impact on black cultural identity and doesn’t flinch from discussing the violent, drug-fuelled ravages of a troubled and troubling icon.

Dir Stanley Nelson
USA-UK, 2019

Treasures

Muna Moto

Muna Moto
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 15:10 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, Studio

Ngando (David Endéné) and Ndomé (Arlette Din Belle) are deeply in love. Ngando wishes to marry Ndomé. But he is poor and cannot afford a dowry, making him unable to fulfil the tradition. And according to the village tradition, she must take a husband. After a meeting, the villagers decide that Ndomé should marry Ngando’s childless uncle, Mbongo (Philippe Abia), who already has three wives. In despair, Ngando decides to something unthinkable on the day of the wedding.

Dir-Scr Jean-Pierre Dikongué-Pipa; With Philippe Abia, Arlette Din Bell, David Endéné
Cameroon, 1975

Create

My Friend Fela
Friday 04 October 2019 | 20:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 12:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 14:45 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Fela Kuti inspired a generation of Africans and African Americans with his own unique style of music, known as Afrobeat. A combination of Afropop, jazz, highlife, juju and funk, it was infused with social and political criticism of the military dictatorship in Nigeria. With an expertly assembled mix of interviews and archive footage, director Joel Zito Araújo presents a complex portrait of an enigmatic and often troubled man.

Dir-Scr Joel Zito Araújo
Brazil, 2019

Experimenta

Ouvertures

Ouvertures
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 17:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 15:00 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1

The Living and the Dead Ensemble, an artist collective from Haiti, France and the UK, bring an embodied and contemporary perspective to the history of the only uprising of enslaved peoples that led to the creation of a state. Shot in Haiti and France, through complex conversations and performances, Ouvertures considers ideas around language and translation as well as major themes of colonialism, power, cultural memory, generational trauma, knowledge and resistance.

Dir Louis Henderson, Olivier Marboeuf with The Living and The Dead Ensemble
France-Haiti-UK, 2019

Love

Premature

Premature
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 21:00 | Vue West End, Screen 6
Monday 07 October 2019 | 15:45 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Temperatures are rising in Harlem as Ayanna (Zora Howard) prepares to depart for a college writing programme. Then Isaiah appears on the scene. Echoing John Singleton’s Poetic Justice, Ayanna’s arresting poetry charts the rocky terrain of first love. If the couple find themselves tethered to the reality of urban life, at incisive moments they manage to soar within the love-scape of their own making.

Dir Rashaad Ernesto Green; With Zora Howard, Joshua Boone
USA, 2019

Love

Real

Real
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 18:15 | Vue West End, Screen 6
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 15:45 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

Young couple Jamie (Pippa Bennett-Warner) and Kyle (Omoshaybi) struggle to manage personal hardship at the start of their blossoming relationship. Jamie leads the charge with quiet tenacity as a mother determined to create a stable environment for her young son. In tandem, Kyle puts the need to battle his own demons on hold and is willing to beg, steal or borrow to impress his new love.

Dir-Prod-Scr Aki Omoshaybi; With Aki Omoshaybi, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Karen Bryson
UK, 2019

Create

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project
Wednesday 02 October 2019 | 21:10 | Vue West End, Screen 5
Friday 04 October 2019 | 12:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Everyone’s an amateur archivist these days, but few match the pre-internet dedication of public access TV producer Marion Stokes. Philadelphia’s visionary hoarder recorded 70,000 VHS tapes filled with news broadcasts, from 1979’s Iranian hostage crisis to the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project shows how this librarian, computer collector and Star Trek-loving civil rights activist quickly perceived the ways 24-hour cable television was rewiring viewers’ minds.

Dir Matt Wolf
USA, 2019

Special presentations

Rocks

Rocks
Friday 11 October 2019 | 18:30 | ODEON Luxe Leicester Square
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 14:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema

Olushola Joy Omotoso, ‘Rocks’ to her mates, is a London teenager with ordinary teenage cares; hanging with her crew and helping to look after her little brother keeps her grounded. But on returning from an ordinary day at secondary school, she discovers her mother isn’t home. There’s just a little cash and an apology note. Fearing that she and her brother will be separated if the authorities find out, Rocks decides not to tell anyone and instead copes with her brother alone.

Dir Sarah Gavron; With Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, D’angelou Osei Kissiedu, Shaneigha-Monik Greyson, Ruby Stokes
UK, 2019

Treasures

Say Amen, Somebody

Say Amen, Somebody
Monday 07 October 2019 | 18:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, Studio

In this masterful and beautifully restored observational music documentary, George T Nierenberg captures show-stopping musical performances interwoven with fascinating intimate, behind-the-scenes personal moments. With unrivalled access, the film pays tribute to the lives and careers of the movement’s luminaries. These include ‘Mother’ Willie Mae Ford Smith, gospel’s diva and earth mother – a skilful singer and preacher who championed equality for women – and ‘Professor’ Thomas A Dorsey, a blues player who turned to the church and also became a prolific composer, songbook publisher and concert organiser. Spotlighting the work of other artists such as Sallie Martin, the Barrett Sisters and the O’Neal Twins, this extraordinarily infectious and deeply emotional concert film is a truly uplifting experience.

Dir George T Nierenberg
USA, 1982

Debate

Staff Only
El viatge de la Marta

Staff Only (El viatge de la Marta)
Friday 04 October 2019 | 18:10 | Cine Lumiere
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 17:45 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Is it possible to avoid being problematic when you’re a middle-class white tourist prone to sunburn and entitlement? It’s what Spanish teenager Marta (a quietly intense Elena Andrada) wonders as she eye-rolls her way through a painful Christmas holiday in Senegal, staying with her estranged dad and annoying little brother in a resort full of white sunburnt pensioners. Turning her nose up at her dad’s timetable of culturally-appropriative tourism, she rejects family bonding time, choosing instead to make some local alliances, first with the hotel maid Aissatou and then a romance with aspiring filmmaker Khouma.

Dir Neus Ballús; With Elena Andrada, Sergi López, Diomaye A.Ngom
Spain-France, 2019

Cult

Synchronic

Synchronic
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 20:50 | Empire Haymarket, Screen 1
Monday 07 October 2019 | 15:30 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 12:50 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan star as a pair of paramedics traversing the nocturnal streets of New Orleans. More than just colleagues, the duo enjoy a long-standing friendship, supporting each other through the difficulties they face in their increasingly complicated personal lives. But when they encounter a series of bizarre deaths which all appear to lead back to a new designer drug called Synchronic, the two men find their bond put to the test as their worlds are unexpectedly thrown into chaos.

Dir Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson; With Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton
USA, 2019

Create

Talking About Trees

Talking About Trees
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 20:45 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 15:40 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Suliman and three further members of the ‘Sudanese Film Club’ have decided to revive an old cinema. They are united not only by their love of cinema and their passionate desire to restore old film stock and draw attention to Sudanese film history once more, but also by the fact that they have all enjoyed a film education in exile. Tirelessly, they try to get the cinema’s owners on their side and make the place operational again, but repeatedly find themselves up against considerable resistance. In the meantime, they sit together and talk about the past – including their experiences of persecution and even torture as oppositional artists. They also read out old letters written while in exile and dream of a Sudan in which art and intellectual thought can be free. ‘We are smarter than them, but not as strong,’ is how they unanimously summarise their situation.

Dir-Scr Suhaib Gasmelbari
France-Sudan-Germany-Chad-Qatar 2019

Debate

The Valley

The Valley
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 20:45 | Vue West End, Screen 6
Monday 07 October 2019 | 13:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Sometimes help comes from the most unexpected places. The valleys of the French Alps experienced enforced displacement during Second World War, so perhaps it’s no surprise that many residents feel moved to help refugees whose homes have also become battlefields. In a climate of mistrust and rising prejudice, it’s refreshing to witness everyday people get savvy about the laws of these lands, especially when political engagement is fickle. As one man quips, ‘Increase the retirement age by six months and you’ll have three million people protesting, but nothing for this’.

Dir Nuno Escudeiro
Italy-France 2019

Dare

Vitalina Varela

Vitalina Varela
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 17:45 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 15:30 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

In Pedro Costa’s 2014 drama Horse Money, Vitalina Varela made a memorable appearance, effectively playing herself. In this follow-up – less a sequel than a deeper pursuit of its themes and motifs – Varela steps into the foreground as a woman who, after years waiting for a plane ticket, arrives in Portugal three days after her husband’s funeral. A mesmerising contemplation of race, grief and exile…

Dir Pedro Costa; With Vitalina Varela, Manuel Tavares Almeida, Francisco Brito
Portugal 2019

Love

Walking with Shadows

Walking with Shadows
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 20:45 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Thursday 10 October 2019 | 20:40 | Vue West End, Screen 4

Ebele Njoko (Ozzy Agu) has been running all his life. A search for acceptance and love from his family has led him to recreate himself as Adrian – respected father, husband and brother. In coming to terms with his sexuality, Adrian is forced to choose between a compromised existence and the life that he would like to lead. When his mask is cruelly stripped away, Adrian’s world rapidly unravels.

Dir-Scr Aoife O’Kell; With Ozzy Agu, Zainab Balogun, Funlola Aofiyebi Raimi
UK-Nigeria 2019

Dare

Waves

Waves
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 21:15 | ODEON Luxe Leicester Square
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 20:30 | Vue West End, Screen 6

Popular high-school athlete Tyler (an astonishing Kelvin Harrison Jr. who also shines in Luce) lives a seemingly privileged life. An all-star wrestler with a loving girlfriend and a supportive, affluent family, he spends his days training, and his nights partying. But beneath the fragile veneer of perfection, cracks are beginning to show. Under constant scrutiny from his overbearing father, ignoring the reality of a potentially serious shoulder injury and reeling from an unexpected development in his romantic relationship, Tyler’s world looks set to implode. As the pressures around him steadily mount, a series of events are put in motion which threaten not only Tyler’s happiness, but also the lives of the people he loves the most.

Dir-Scr Trey Edward Shults; With Kelvin Harrison Jr, Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell
USA 2019

Documentary Competition

White Riot

White Riot
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 20:50 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 18:15 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen

Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in 1976, prompted by ‘music’s biggest colonialist’ Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch Powell. White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches. As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs provided rallying points for resistance. As founder Red Saunders explains: ‘We peeled away the Union Jack to reveal the swastika’. The campaign grew from Hoxton fanzine roots to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park, featuring X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and of course The Clash, whose rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses.

Dir Rubika Shah; With Red Saunders, Roger Huddle, Kate Webb
UK 2019

Dare

Zombi Child

Zombi Child
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 18:20 | Empire Haymarket, Screen 1
Monday 07 October 2019 | 20:40 | Cine Lumiere
Friday 11 October 2019 | 15:30 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen

Haiti, 1962. A man is resurrected from the dead. Forced to work on a sugar cane plantation, Clairvius Narcisse is trapped in perpetual night. Fast forward to contemporary Paris. Haitian teen Mélissa is the new girl at a prestigious school, where cerebral lectures on liberalism are de rigeur. Mélissa makes her first friend in dreamer Fanny when they discover a shared passion for Stephen King. Fanny invites Mélissa to join a secret ‘literary sorority’. But while presentations on Rihanna keep their story firmly 21st-century, something more ancient is at play, with Mélissa harbouring an incendiary family secret.

Dir-Scr Bertrand Bonello; With Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Katiana Milfort
France 2019

 

Other films and events of interest:

Feature:

Documentary Competition

Cold Case Hammarskjöld

Cold Case Hammarskjöld
Friday 04 October 2019 | 18:00 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 17:50 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Mads Brügger’s investigation, attempts to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld, who served as the second Secretary General of the United Nations. In 1961, while attempting to negotiate a ceasefire in the Congo, his plane crashed in Zambia, killing all on board. The reason for the crash is a mystery. A number of conspiracy theories exist, particularly as Hammarskjöld was outspoken in his opposition to colonialism and appeared on the black list of many powerful mining companies.

Dir-Scr Mads Brügger; With Göran Björkdahl, Mads Brügger
Denmark-Norway-Sweden-Belgium, 2019

Debate

County Lines

County Lines
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 18:30 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 20:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 20:30 | Vue West End, Screen 7

The term ‘county lines’ describes the practice of using children to traffic drugs from cities to coastal towns and rural areas, an underreported fact of modern British life. Inspired by the stories he heard while mentoring kids at an East London pupil referral unit, writer-director Henry Blake’s powerful feature debut boasts a compelling central performance by Conrad Khan as 14-year-old Tyler, whose mum Toni (Ashley Madekwe) is struggling to provide for him and his sister. Excluded from school, Tyler becomes a train-bound narcotics courier for local criminal Simon.

Dir-Scr Henry Blake; With Conrad Khan, Ashley Madekwe, Harris Dickinson
UK, 2019

Dare

Divine Love, Divino amor

Divine Love (Divino amor)
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 20:45 | Empire Haymarket, Screen 1
Thursday 10 October 2019 | 18:10 | Vue West End, Screen 4
Friday 11 October 2019 | 15:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Brazil, 2027. Joana is a civil servant working with clients seeking a divorce. A devout believer in the institution of marriage, she does what she can to persuade quarrelling couples to give it another go, turning to the unorthodox methods of her religious group Divino Amor. But things are not plain sailing at home. Try as they may, Joana and her husband Danilo remain childless, despite their staunch efforts to conceive. Becoming increasingly reliant on her local 24-hour drive-through priest service, Joana is fast giving up hope, until one day a miracle happens.

Dir Gabriel Mascaro; With Dia Praes, Julio Machado
Brazil-Uruguay-Chile-Denmark-Norway-Sweden, 2019

Headline gala

Knives Out

Knives Out
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 19:30 | ODEON Luxe Leicester Square
Tuesday 08 October 2019 | 20:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 11:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Friday 11 October 2019 | 11:00 | ODEON Luxe Leicester Square
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 14:45 | Empire Haymarket, Screen 1

Murder mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is a veritable one-man crime-fiction industry and his adult children – and their children – have been living off him for years. When he turns up dead, the apparent victim of a murder, it seems that no-one has a motive for killing the golden goose. At least, that’s what the detectives assigned to the case think. But Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) – the debonair ‘Kentucky-fried’ private investigator mysteriously hired by an anonymous source – has other ideas. With a superb cast at their arch best (Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langford, Ana de Armas and Don Johnson, to name a few), this is impeccably written and designed, full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.

Dir-Scr Rian Johnson; With Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Lakeith Stanfield
USA, 2019

Official Competition

Moffie

Moffie
Thursday 10 October 2019 | 20:40 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Thursday 10 October 2019 | 21:10 | Vue West End, Screen 5
Friday 11 October 2019 | 12:30 | Vue West End, Screen 7
Friday 11 October 2019 | 13:00 | Vue West End, Screen 5

1981, South Africa. Nicholas (Kai Luke Brummer) has long known he is different, that there is something shameful and unacceptable in him that must stay hidden, denied even. But South Africa’s minority government are embroiled in conflict at the Angolian border and all white young men over 16 must serve two years of compulsory military service to defend the Apartheid regime and its culture of toxic racist machismo. The ‘black danger’ is the real and present threat; what is wrong with Nicholas and others like him can be rooted out, treated and cured like a cancer. But just when fear pushes Nicholas to accept unspeakable horrors in the hopes of staying invisible, a tender relationship with another recruit becomes as dangerous for them both as any enemy fire.

Dir Oliver Hermanus; With Kai Luke Brummer, Ryan de Villiers, Matthew Vey
South Africa-UK, 2019

Journey

Monsoon

Monsoon
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 18:15 | Empire Haymarket, Screen 1
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 15:45 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Monday 07 October 2019 | 15:00 | Vue West End, Screen 7

Londoner Kit (Henry Golding, Crazy Rich Asians) has come to Vietnam to scatter his mother’s ashes and to connect with the place he departed from as a child. But everything has changed and he finds little to anchor him. That is, until he meets Lewis, a black American living in Saigon whose father served in the war that still underscores many of Kit’s interactions. Monsoon builds an atmosphere that will likely resonate with anyone who has felt that unique sense of loneliness at being somewhere they once belonged.

Dir-Scr Hong Khaou; With Henry Golding, Parker Sawyers
UK, 2018

Love

On a Magical Night, Chambre 212

On a Magical Night (Chambre 212)
Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 21:00 | Cine Lumiere
Friday 11 October 2019 | 16:00 | Vue West End Cinema, Screen 9
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 15:45 | Vue West End, Screen 7

After yet another bitter row, Maria (Chiara Mastroianni) finds herself staying in a hotel overlooking the apartment she shares with husband Richard (Benjamin Biolay). As she debates what to do next, the ghosts of past lovers begin to fill the room, forcing Maria to confront her romantic triumphs and failures. Shot through with the director’s customary eroticism and wit, this gorgeous and often funny film returns to similar territory as break out films Dans Paris (LFF 2006) and Les Chansons D’Amour. The same vivid evocation of Paris is found here, along with a healthy preoccupation with beautiful people and their love affairs. But a refreshing romantic pessimism feels new, lending this apparently small-scale drama an unsentimental and perceptive insight and wisdom.

Dir-Scr Christophe Honoré; With Chiara Mastroianni, Vincent Lacoste, Camille Cottin, Anthony Fulrad
France-Luxembourg-Belgium, 2019

Debate

Seberg

Seberg
Friday 04 October 2019 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Saturday 05 October 2019 | 15:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT1

Returning to the US as Europe’s ‘It’ girl after her breakout success – including Godard’s Breathless – Seberg (Stewart) finds herself a target of J Edgar Hoover’s FBI when she becomes romantically involved with Black Panther Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie) and flaunts her disregard for America’s misogynistic and racist institutions. Stewart dazzles as the starlet who was all-but-destroyed by an archly conservative FBI – then a nefarious organisation with virtually unchecked power – and dismayed as she unwittingly took others down with her.

Dir Benedict Andrews; With Kristen Stewart, Jack O’Connell, Anthony Mackie, Colm Meaney, Zazie Beetz
USA, 2019

Debate

The Street

The Street
Friday 11 October 2019 | 18:15 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 12:30 | ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

Some of the businesses on Hoxton Street have been around for over a hundred years. But recent times have witnessed an explosion of coffee shops, art spaces and property development. Sound familiar? The locals feel the exclusion of being priced out, and wonder who’s to blame, while Cameron’s EU referendum looms in the background. Xenophobia is tangible; and with a new working space offering colourful ball-pit baths, the disconnect between the new creatives and the local community seems irreconcilable. From 82-year-old Colleen, to the couple who met as teens working in the pie shop they now run, everyone is feeling a storm coming.

Dir-Prod Zed Nelson
UK, 2019

Treasures

Sweet Charity

Sweet Charity
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 12:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT1

Heralding the start of BFI Musicals!, a major UK-wide celebration of the genre, this 50th anniversary screening of Bob Fosse’s directorial debut is a high-energy paean to love, the 1960s and a showcase of his remarkable talent. Fosse’s distinctive choreography, appetite for irony and bold editing ensure that his films are among the most vital in the musical canon, with ‘Big Spender’ and ‘Rich Man’s Frug’ – the inspiration for Beyoncé’s ‘Get Me Bodied’ video – among the stand-out numbers. MacLaine replaced Broadway star Gwen Verdon, but she lights up the screen with Charity’s boundless joie de vivre. She’s brilliantly matched by Chita Rivera and the underrated Paula Kelly as her co-workers at the Fandango Ballroom. When they perform the breathless ‘There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This’ it’s hard not to think, no, there really isn’t. We will also be showing the rarely seen ten-minute alternative ending after the film.

Dir Bob Fosse; With Shirley MacLaine, John McMartin, Ricardo Montalban, Paula Kelly
USA, 1969

 

Events

Screen Talk

Screen Talk: Michael B. Jordan

Screen Talk: Michael B. Jordan
Sunday 06 October 2019 | 11:30 | ODEON Luxe Leicester Square

With a career trajectory that parallels frequent creative collaborator Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan’s rise has been meteoric. From a stunning, acclaimed performance in Coogler’s Sundance-winning Fruitvale Station in 2013, he went on to global megastar status with an intense, soulful turn as titular pugilist Adonis Creed in the Creed series of films and, as Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, he became the ‘baddie’ that everyone loathed to hate. Pre-Fruitvale, Jordan impressed in television with roles in acclaimed shows The Wire when he was still in his teens and, just a few years later, Friday Night Lights. Moving into producing, he started his own company Outlier Society, which has a first look deal with Warner Brothers. A powerful advocate for inclusion in the industry, Outlier was one of the first in 2018 to publicly adopt the Inclusion Rider – a contractual stipulation which requires the hiring of a diverse cast and crew on projects. Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, is one of the first projects the company have produced with the Rider in place. The film stars Jordan in a lead role which garnered rave reviews on its recent World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival.

Screen Talk

Screen Talk: Kasi Lemmons

Screen Talk: Kasi Lemmons
Saturday 12 October 2019 | 11:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT3

A late addition to the festival, Kasi Lemmons will be talking about her trailblazing career and the making of Harriet, portrayed by Cynthia Erivo.

Starting out as a child actor, the St Louis, Missouri-born Lemmons subsequently appeared in such US television staples as Murder, She Wrote and ER, while also scoring big screen supporting roles in Spike Lee’s collegiate musical School Daze (1988), the cult Nicolas Cage black comedy Vampire’s Kiss (1988), multiple Academy Award winner The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and horror classic Candyman (1992). Having enrolled in the film program at New York’s renowned New School for Social Research, she made an unforgettable directorial debut with the hugely acclaimed Eve’s Bayou: a lyrical, multi-layered and avowedly feminist family saga set in early ’60s Louisiana. Hailed as the best film of 1997 by Roger Ebert, Lemmons’ landmark first outing behind the camera was recently selected by America’s Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. She reunited with Eve’s Bayou star/producer Samuel L. Jackson for twisted mystery The Caveman’s Valentine (2001); won both the African-American Film Critics and NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Director prizes for second feature Talk to Me (2007, starring the equally garlanded Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor); and most recently directed Angela Bassett to an NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress prize with 2013’s Langston Hughes adaptation Black Nativity.

Experimenta

The Experimenta Debate – Fi Dem II

The Experimenta Debate
Friday 04 October 2019 | 13:00 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Inspired by the ‘Strategies of Refusal’ Experimenta 2019 programme, this year’s Experimenta Debate invites artists working with the moving image to explore the resistive strategies they employ in their engagement with visual culture. This year’s presenters include Judah Attille, Tanoa Sasraku-Ansah, Adam Farah (free.yard), and Experimenta artists Zinzi Minott and Louis Henderson with a contribution from The Living and the Dead Ensemble. With the lineage of artists moving image still largely stemming from a singular history of avant-garde and experimental cinema, this debate offers an alternative perspective on what innovation and radicality means for artists whose work foregrounds Black experience. What alternative lineages of experimental film practice are artists drawing from? To what extent are artists of marginalised identities able to privilege form over content in their engagement with the audio-visual? Beyond representation, what strategies are artists employing in their practices to address socio-political issues in their work? These provocations follow up on last year’s Debate in which Rabz Lansiquot, Taylor Le Melle & Experimenta 2018 artists Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Ayo Akingbade and Morgan Quaintance discussed their positions on representation in visual culture, considering the extent to which the visibility of subjects on screen correlates to those same subjects’ agency and sovereignty in praxis.

LFF for Free

Little White Lies Movie Quiz
Prizes to be won, glory to be claimed…
Tickets for this event are FREE but should be booked in advance Tickets available from Tue 24 Sep. Max team size 4. Max 4 tickets per person.

Wednesday 09 October 2019 | 19:00 | Blue Room BFI Southbank

From heroic heroines, famous final lines and award-winning directors, to Hollywood’s golden age, memorable movie flops and the film world’s biggest franchises – come and test your film knowledge. Prizes to be won, glory to be claimed…

Find out more about all of the films on the BFI London Film Festival Website, and remember, there are often standby tickets available for the Sold Out films – if you really want to see it, take a chance and head to the cinema early.

JAMMIE & EC FORDE
@jammiemedia
@ECForde