I saw this superb film at the BFI London Film Festival 2019. You can watch it online for free this weekend as part of the Other Cinemas Weekender.
I saw this superb film at the BFI London Film Festival 2019. You can watch it online for free this weekend as part of the Other Cinemas Weekender.
30-31 August 2019
The BFI is the place to be this weekend! Four black British feature films, short films, and a symposium!
The inaugural SOUL Fest is a two-day celebration of black British talent in film, allowing audiences the opportunity to see a diverse representation of black Britain.
Full details of the festival can be found online: SOUL Fest .
Friday 30 August 2019
Farming + Q&A with director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Six-week-old Enitan is left in the care of a white working-class family in Tilbury, Essex, but his surrogate mother (Kate Beckinsale) makes for a complex foster parent. Unsure of his place in the world, teenage Enitan (Damson Idris) falls in with a skinhead gang. Based on his own life story, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Farming charts the extraordinary journey of a young fostered Nigerian boy in 1980s England.
UK 2018. Dir Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Damson Idris, Jaime Winstone. 107min
+ SOUL Fest Opening Night Party, 21:00-23:00 – Balcony Bar, BFI Riverfront Restaurant & Bar.
Saturday 31 August 2019
The unique SOUL Fest Symposium brings together a group of leading thinkers from Britain’s diverse communities to consider the role and responsibility of filmmakers with regards to the representation of diversity on screen. The symposium will also feature a presentation of some of the best short films by emerging BAME talent, exploring an eclectic range of tales touching on the Black British experience.
Nine Nights + Q&A with director Veronica McKenzie and actors Malcolm Atobrah and Mary Nyambura
Marcie and Mickey Haines are 16-year-old athletic twins. They’re inseparable, leaving their mother, Leonore, feeling excluded. On the day of an important race for Marcie, Michael is hit by a car and killed. The next morning she wakes to find the house full of mourners, talking about Michael in the past tense.
UK 2018. Dir Veronica McKenzie. Cast: Mary Nyambura, Malcolm Atobrah, Jo Martin, Elizabeth Brace. 99min
Preview: The Last Tree + Q&A with director Shola Amoo
Directed by Shola Amoo, The Last Tree is the semi-autobiographical story of Femi (played by young newcomer Tai Golding), a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after being fostered in rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner-city London to live with his birth mother. In his teens, Femi (Sam Adewunmi) struggles with the culture and values of his new environment. He must decide which path to adulthood he wants to take and find out what it means to be a young black man in London during the early 00s.
UK 2019. Dir Shola Amoo. Cast: Sam Adewunmi, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Denise Black, Tai Golding, Nicholas Pinnock. 99min
Rattlesnakes + Q&A with director Julius Amedume
Award-winning writer-director Julius Amedume’s neo-noir psychological thriller is based on a play by Graham Farrow. Robert McQueen’s typical day takes a turn for the worse when he’s ambushed by three masked men who accuse him of sleeping with their wives. Robert pleads his innocence, but reveals something that will change his captors’ lives forever – is it enough to save his own life, though?
UK-USA 2019. Dir Julius Amedume. Cast: Jimmy Jean-Louis, Jack Coleman, Kathleen McClellan. 85min
HAVE A FABULOUS SOUL Fest!
BFI Flare, London’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2019 begins today, Thursday 21st March 2019, and runs until the 31st March 2019. This year there are loads of films to see, and here are our choices, starting with the much anticipated Jordana Spiro film, Night Comes On.
Here are our selections. To find out more and to attend the festival, just click on the links to the BFI Flare Films.
Friday 22 March 2019
Night Comes On (also Sunday 24 March, 15:45)
After being released from prison, Angel visits her younger sister Abby, a bright, straight-talking pre-teen who struggles with being in foster care. The unspeakable circumstances that tore their family apart make being together incredibly difficult. Together, they gather enough money to get the bus to their father’s new place, but the tension between them is palpable.
+ The Orphan
Following his rejection by multiple foster parents, Jonathas hopes this new couple is ‘the one’.
Saturday 23 March 2019
The Gospel of Eureka (also Sunday 24 March, 14:00, Sunday 31 March 17:50)
Mx Justin Vivian Bond narrates the tale of a Passion Play and a Christian drag show happily co-existing in small-town Arkansas. With a population of just over 2,000, the Bible Belt town of Eureka Springs is not necessarily where you’d expect to find a thriving gay community. Having voted in a Non-Discrimination Ordinance to protect LGBTQ+ rights (a first in Arkansas) and stop the dreaded trans-exclusionary bathroom bill, the townsfolk are a lesson in togetherness.
Life in Transit (also Monday 25 March, 20:40)
Travelling through a rich slice of life, the films explore avenues of gender diversity, from determined paths to unexpected twists and turns.
Film 5 – Silvia in the Waves (Silvia dans les vagues)
A teenage son honours his trans parent’s wishes as they journey into the afterlife.
Socrates (Sócrates) (also Monday 25 March, 18:30)
After his mother’s sudden death, 15-year-old Socrates must learn how to fend for himself in São Paulo. Unable to collect her ashes without the consent of a legal guardian and with no income to cover the rent for his run-down apartment, Socrates sees no way out. Landing a small construction job, he meets a troubled young man with whom he forms an unlikely connection. But as financial pressures mount, so do Socrates’ burgeoning feelings, leading him to confront the harsh reality of his situation. Co-written, produced and acted by young people from low-income communities in Brazil.
Little Miss Westie (also Sunday 24 March, 16:15, Tuesday 26 March 20:45)
Screening with Little Miss Westie, a 5min short, + Gender
The beyond the binary rainbow is unpacked and embraced.
Vision Portraits (also Sunday 24 March, 14:10)
Hot from its World Premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Vision Portraits is the response of black, gay filmmaker Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother) to his deteriorating eyesight. In this deeply personal documentary, he explores what it means to be a blind or visually impaired creative artist. It’s a celebration of the possibilities of art created by a photographer (John Dugdale), dancer (Kayla Hamilton), writer (Ryan Knighton) and the filmmaker himself, who each experience varying degrees of visual impairment.
Sunday 24 March 2019
Labyrinths of Desire
Films about finding a connection, whether in the street, a bath-house, nightclub or on an app.
*Over 18s only
Film 3 – My Loneliness Is Killing Me
The ease of casual rejection in the modern dating world infuriates a young man who decides to fight back after a night on the town.
Deep in Vogue (also Tuesday 26 March, 18:10)
Manchester’s Vogue ball scene is revealed in a compelling documentary that explores notions of love, community and creativity, as preparations are underway for an upcoming competition. This is a celebration of the queer heroes of this scene, which takes its inspiration from the US model of competing Houses that were developed in the black, gay ballrooms of 1980s New York. And as we hear the life stories of the key players, legendary MC Rikki Beadle-Blair works the runway like no one else.
+ See the Man
When a Swedish football team incorporate contemporary dance into their training regime, they find that its rigour and discipline transforms them as a single functioning unit. This moving documentary reveals how the challenge to traditional notions of masculine behaviour truly confounds expectations.
Monday 25 March 2019
Two in the Bush: A Love Story (also Tuesday 26 March, 14:10, plus relaxed screening Tuesday 26 March, 14:00)
Life is not turning out how Emily planned it. Her girlfriend is cheating on her, she gets fired and to top it all off she’s homeless because the now ex-girlfriend’s name is on the lease of their apartment. She ends up on her friend Rosa’s sofa, eating cereal in her pyjamas and getting too invested in daytime television. When Rosa insists Emily ‘get back in the game’, she somehow ends up working for a dominatrix and going on so many bad Tinder dates she wonders if she’ll ever find love again. That is, until her boss Nikki begins to show an interest, along with her boss’s partner Ben.
Tuesday 26 March 2019
From Zero to I Love You (also Wednesday 27 March, 14:00)
This delightful relationship comedy begins when Peter bumps into handsome businessman Jack in a gay bar. After a bumpy start, they begin a passionate relationship, in spite of Jack being married. Peter always seems to end up with married men, a situation which brings its own special set of tensions. Gossip, deception, heartbreak and coincidence play their part and eventually Peter is forced to confront the fact that he needs something to change if he’s going to maintain any self-respect.
Wednesday 27 March 2019
Transmilitary (also Saturday 30 March, 12:00)
Exploring the flabbergasting fact that the military is the largest employer of trans people in the US, this film examines the appeal of such a regimented, binary system. Forced to conform to strict hair lengths and uniforms matching gender assigned at birth, one particularly muscly trans male soldier signs up for multiple tours in Afghanistan as overseas he can wear male uniforms and sport a buzz cut. The ridiculousness of his official skirt uniform back home is one of the primary examples convincing the top brass to reconsider the rules. For every step forward there are two steps back, as evinced by the recent Supreme Court decision on the issue.
Rafiki (also Sunday 30 March, 16:15)
Rafiki tells the story of two young women, Kena and Ziki, who find love despite mounting political and family pressures. Based on Monica Arac de Nyeko’s short story, which won the 2007 Caine Prize for African fiction. Like its equally brilliant predecessor Stories of Our Lives, Rafiki faced a hostile response from the Kenyan government. Initially banned, international pressure and strong resistance from Wanuri Kahiu herself won the day, and the film was eventually screened on home turf. Kena and Ziki face violence themselves, yet their story unfolds as an utterly contemporary affirmation for LGBTQ+ people everywhere.
Shelter: Farewell to Eden (also Friday 29 March, 18:20)
Beginning life in the Philippines, in the minority Muslim population known as the Moro, Pepsi recounts her early experiences with the Islamic Liberation Front, before running away to hide her emerging gay identity, before eventually transitioning. Ending up in Libya as a nurse during the final decade of Gaddafi’s rule, she subsequently sought asylum in Italy. Her life on paper reads like a rollercoaster of adversity, yet her wisdom and resilience give her a philosophical perspective to cope against the injustices of inequality.
In Place of the Real
Abstractions of queerness make up this collection of experimental short films, showcasing the best in contemporary artists’
*Over 18s only
Film 3 – Donebeing
Introspections of a deaf visual artist.
Film 6 – Crystal Clear
The body, desired.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (also Sunday 31 March, 13:50)
It doesn’t matter how old you are, life is for living, as these witty and joyous short documentaries attest to.
Film 3 – Monica – Loose on a Cruise
Journey with the effervescent Monica as she goes on a lesbian cruise for the first time.
Thursday 28 March 2019
Man Made (also Saturday 30 March, 16:10)
Tracking four pumped and proud bodybuilders at different stages in their transformation, this documentary unveils the supportive network of men preparing for the annual FitCon. Originating in 2014, the world’s first trans fitness competition started in the southern state of Georgia, with the aim of uniting the community. From pre-hormone novices to stealth heavyweight hunks who compete year-round against cisgendered men, this diverse celebration of trans-masculine bodies is respectfully shot through the eye of a trans director who noted that, ‘For some of these guys, I think bodybuilding literally saved their lives’.
Tucked (also Saturday 30 March, 18:10)
Gender non-conforming Jackie is an 80+ drag queen with an acerbic nightclub comedy act. Diagnosed with cancer but determined to go out with a bang, they keep on performing and boozing. But at home Jackie is confronted with solitude and regret over family estrangements. Then young, non-binary performer Faith appears in the dressing room and Jackie must show them the ropes. Despite demographic differences, they realise how much they have in common and become each other’s support network in this feel-good, Brighton-based comedy.
Saturday 30 March 2019
What Makes a Man, a Man?
Life lessons and love lessons are hard to learn, as evinced in these powerful shorts.
Film 2 – Thrive
A sex date on an app leads to deep conversation the morning after.
Dancing with a Stranger – Shorts Programme
Life is full of possibilities in this amazing array of short films that entertain and enchant every step of the way.
Film 4 – Night Out
A night on the town might be just what Meena needs in order to figure herself out.
Part documentary, part performance, it was described as ‘the film we have been waiting for’ by critic Cary Alan Johnson and vilified as a misuse of public funds by right-wing presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan. Such divided opinions were testament to the film’s lasting impact as a powerful depiction of the ongoing black liberation movement, twinned with the devastation of the AIDS crisis. 30 years on, the poetry of Marlon Riggs himself, as well as performances from Essex Hemphill and Brian Freeman, comprise a unique record of a critical historical moment with fierce intelligence, virtuosic rhythm and courageous hope that still stuns today.
This screening will be followed by a discussion, hosted by BFI Flare programmer Jay Bernard, with filmmaker Vivian Kleiman, poet Keith Jarrett and singer, writer and historian David McAlmont.
Sunday 31 March 2019
The Way Things Are – UK Shorts Programme
The most exciting home-grown talent is showcased in this wide-ranging collection of short films, exploring the queer experience in its myriad forms.
*Contains scenes of suicide, viewer discretion is advised.
Film 2 – Anemone
A second-generation teen searches for a way to express their non-binary identity.
Film 3 – Diva
A transcendental fusion of queer surrealism and baroque opera.
Film 7 – Ladies Day
Whilst at the hair salon, Amma wonders if it is time for her to finally speak up.
Film 8 – Listen
A group of trans children discuss what it means for them to live an authentic life.
Film 10 – Batty Boy
Struggling with the threat of homophobia, a young black gay man searches for a place of acceptance.
The Short Films of Marlon Riggs
Marlon Riggs was a legendary black gay filmmaker whose poetic style pulled no punches in examining the relationship between race, gender, sexuality, capitalism and the media. A rare opportunity to see all three of his early short films.
Anthem – 1991
An experimental music video portraying a vibrant, exciting and defiant community of black gay men.
Affirmations – 1990
Featuring the poetry of Essex Hemphill, this is a beautiful short film exploring the dreams, desires and fantasies of black gay men.
Non, Je ne regrette rien – 1992
A timely and illuminating documentary examining the impact of HIV and AIDS. There’s fierce and fascinating insight at every turn, and a classic example of Riggs’s formally distinctive style.
HAVE A FABULOUS FESTIVAL 2019
“225 features. 77 countries.
14 cinemas. 12 days.
The 62nd London Film Festival runs from the 10th to the 21st October 2018, with a bumper selection of films to choose from, here is our selection of 40 feature films and 32 short films for you – films from the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Libya, Lebanon, Qatar, Kenya, Brazil, Jamaica, Namibia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Martinique, Sudan, and South Africa.
See what the festival has to say about these films by clicking the links below or heading to the website.
The Salem witch trials are given a digital overhaul in this ferocious femme exploitationer.
Friday 19 October 2018 | 21:30 | Cineworld Leicester Square
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 14:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 20:30 |Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
The powerful story of Angelo Soliman, a forced Europeanised African who makes his way through Viennese society in the early 18th century without ever belonging.
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 18:00 | Cine Lumiere
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 15:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Philippe Faucon’s understated drama is a subtle and tender evocation of a friendship that develops between a lonely Senegalese immigrant and a French divorcée.
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 18:20 | Cine Lumiere
Monday 15 October 2018 | 14:45 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6
With his striking, gently comedic debut, set amidst an endless war in his beloved country, hajooj kuka announces himself as one of Sudan’s most unique cinematic voices.
Thursday 11 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Friday 12 October 2018 | 13:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Been So Long
Chewing Gum star Michaela Coel leads a talented cast in Tinge Krishnan’s contemporary London musical, which reimagines Camden as a romantic neon-soaked wonderland.
Friday 12 October 2018 | 21:00 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 14:00 | Cineworld Leicester Square
Monday 15 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Acclaimed Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki delivers her most assured and affecting work yet with this astonishing and heart-wrenching depiction of life in the shadows.
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 17:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 11:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Friday 19 October 2018 | 18:10 | Picturehouse Central, Screen 1
Dilili in Paris (Dilili à Paris)
The great master of French animation, Michel Ocelot, returns to the Festival with his exquisite tale set in Paris during the Belle Epoque.
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 12:45 | Cine Lumiere
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 12:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Markus Imhoof blends the intensely personal with the socio-political to powerful effect in this documentary, a penetrating examination of how migrants are treated upon arrival in Europe.
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 17:15 | Curzon Mayfair, Screen 1
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 15:20 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
The Elephant Queen
Shot over eight years, this stunning documentary tells the story of Athena, the Elephant Queen, who leads her family across Africa when drought hits their region.
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 15:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Nothing is quite what it seems in this enigmatic mystery which promises to be one of the most original films of the year.
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 21:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 15:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6
Charting six years of Libya’s nascent women’s football scene – a journey never short of obstacles – Freedom Fields celebrates the determination of an incredible team.
Thursday 11 October 2018 | 18:15 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Friday 12 October 2018 | 15:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
The Hate U Give
This powerful adaptation of Angie Thomas’ YA novel stars Amandla Stenberg as a teenager who witnesses the fatal police shooting of her childhood friend.
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 20:45 | Cineworld Leicester Square
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 14:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 17:30 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins follows his Oscar-winning Moonlight with an audacious, distinctive and assured adaptation of James Baldwin’s account of love, injustice and racism in America.
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 17:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 11:00 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 18:00 | Picturehouse Central, Screen 1
Impeccable red talons slide a flick knife across a box to reveal its contents, a beautiful silky dress… that can kill!
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 20:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 21:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5
Friday 19 October 2018 | 12:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Friday 19 October 2018 | 15:30 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer)
This quirky, upbeat fantasy adventure is based on the bestseller by the author of The Neverending Story.
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 12:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
A black LA teenager is torn between traditional Islam and notoriety for becoming the popular #HalalHottie in this powerful take on identity and sexuality.
Thursday 11 October 2018 | 20:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6
Friday 12 October 2018 | 12:45 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Sudabeh Mortezai (Macondo, LFF 2014) presents a vital and hugely affecting drama that tackles the vicious cycle of sex trafficking in modern Europe.
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 20:50 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 21:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 12:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 12:45 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5
Welcome to Ladyworld, a shadowy dwelling where tensions run high and nothing is ever quite what it seems.
Friday 19 October 2018 | 21:00 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 18:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
The third feature from acclaimed director Josephine Decker is a jazz-infused fever dream that tackles head-first the thorny themes of cultural production and appropriation.
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 20:50 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Friday 19 October 2018 | 13:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 12:40 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Make Me Up
Rachel Maclean follows her Venice Biennale piece Spite Your Face with a daring new film that incisively deconstructs art history’s myth of feminine beauty with a savage, satirical blade.
Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 12:45 | BFI Southbank, Studio
Machérie Ekwa Bahango’s directorial debut is a compassionate and acutely observed portrait of homelessness experienced by young people in Kinshasa.
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 21:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Sara Blecher (Ayanda, LFF 2015) returns with a markedly different film – a groundbreaking, multi-cultural African gangster thriller.
Friday 19 October 2018 | 18:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 15:30 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
A quinceañera celebration is nothing but nerve-racking for teenage Miriam, in this nuanced film that tackles race and class tensions in the Dominican Republic.
Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:40 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 20:45 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
This is a heartfelt and politically engaged profile of Ellis Haizlip, the openly gay host of the ground breaking PBS all-black variety show SOUL!
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 18:00 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 21:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5
Pixote (Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco)
Like a bullet to the heart, Hector Babenco’s visceral portrait of the brutalisation of children and teenagers has lost none of its power.
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Romantic sparks fly between the daughters of two opposing politicians in Wanuri Kahiu’s neon-bright story of forbidden love in Kenya.
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 18:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 15:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
The Raft (Flotten)
Imagine Big Brother at sea, but with no evictions. Director Marcus Lindeen innovatively uncovers the human stories behind a 1970s social experiment, salaciously dubbed ‘The Sex Raft’.
Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:15 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 12:30 | Cine Lumiere
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 12:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6
Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records
This stylish documentary about the iconic ska, reggae and rock-steady label is a timely and wide-ranging celebration of British Jamaican working-class youth culture.
Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 15:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Monday 15 October 2018 | 13:10 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sew the Winter to My Skin
Confirming the promise he showed with his powerful Of Good Report (LFF 2013), Jahmil XT Qubeka delivers a superb thriller based on a true story.
Friday 19 October 2018 | 17:45 | Cine Lumiere
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 15:45 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Sorry to Bother You
A mild-mannered call centre operator whizzes up the corporate ladder after he discovers a unique ability to adopt a “white voice” in writer-director Boots Riley’s breathlessly inventive satire.
Thursday 11 October 2018 | 18:10 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Friday 12 October 2018 | 14:15 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 17:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6
Sugar Cane Alley (Rue cases-nègres)
Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Joseph Zobel and directed by Euzhan Palcy, Sugar Cane Alley is a critically acclaimed and award-winning coming-of-age story.
Friday 19 October 2018 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Support the Girls
Andrew Bujalski serves up a big-hearted comedy with his day-in-the-life look at Double Whammies – a Hooters-style bar and its tight-knit, all-female staff.
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 18:15 | Picturehouse Central, Screen 1
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 20:50 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 13:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Twin Flower (Fiore Gemello)
This beguiling drama, unfolding amidst the beauty of Sardinia’s sun-dappled landscape, charts the unlikely friendship between a traumatised woman and an illegal immigrant.
Thursday 11 October 2018 | 18:15 | Cine Lumiere
Friday 12 October 2018 | 15:45 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Bouchra Khalili’s meditation on revolutionary histories considers the poet Jean Genet’s secret 1970 visit to the United States at the invitation of the Black Panther Party. Plus the following short films: + Another Decade + Namibia Today + Promised Lands
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 21:00 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
A charming and dynamic tribute to the electrifying underground African-American roller-skating scene, whose future looks in doubt.
Monday 15 October 2018 | 18:15 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Southend’s battle-rap scene comes to the big screen, in this sharp-tongued drama starring Connor Swindells as a troubled teenager trying to make rhyme pay.
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 18:00 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Monday 15 October 2018 | 15:30 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?
Thought-provoking and all-too-relevant, Roberto Minervini’s documentary paints a portrait of a Louisiana community in the aftermath of a police shooting.
Monday 15 October 2018 | 18:00 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 20:30 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Academy Award® winner and BFI Fellow Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame) opens the Festival in pulsating style with this female-fuelled heist thriller that features a cast to die for.
Wednesday 10 October 2018 | 19:45 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Thursday 11 October 2018 | 14:00 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Friday 12 October 2018 | 20:40 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Young and Alive (L’ Époque)
A young and politicised generation share their beliefs and worries in this galvanizing fresco set on the streets of Paris at night.
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 18:20 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 15:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Yours in Sisterhood
Women across the US give voice to letters sent by readers to a feminist magazine in the 1970s, in this galvanizing and elegantly assembled documentary.
Friday 19 October 2018 | 20:50 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 18:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5
As well as the short films being shown with the feature film Twenty-Two Hours, there are a selection of short films within the short film programmes – here are our picks:
Lust to Love and In Between – 12, 14 Oct
The pursuit of love is a road well travelled. This series of short films shows the universality of desire and breadth of love. Including:
Nevada – The prospect of an unplanned pregnancy exposes minor tensions but, ultimately, strength and certainty in a loving relationship.
Dir Emily Ann Hoffman. USA 2017. 12min
A Female Body (Um corpo feminino) – This dynamic documentary is an open and honest journey that explores what it means to be a woman.
Dir Thais Fernandes. Brazil 2018. 20min
We Would be Lost Without You – 13 Oct
A sense-expanding programme of short artists’ films that investigate the limits of perception and new sensual relationships with technologies and things, and how these might be re-negotiated into new affective orders. Including:
Mic Drop – Investigating the performative gesture of the mic drop and expanding out to consider the interface and anxiety of the voice in relation to processing and technology.
Dir Keith Piper. UK 2017. 12min
Keep it in the Family – 14, 18 Oct
Family life is never easy. A multitude of evils and secrets can lurk behind closed doors. These shorts draw some of those secrets out into the open in order to explore what is acceptable behaviour within the domestic space. Including:
Still Water Runs Deep – A son goes missing. A father must preserve his pride.
Dir Abbesi Akhamie. Nigeria-USA 2017. 15min
Third Sorrow – Yejide is a single mother preparing for her daughter’s first cutting ceremony.
Dir Myriam Raja. UK 2018. 9min
Tween – Being the only girl of African-American descent at the slumber party can lead to both prejudices and jealousy.
Dir Raven Johnson. USA 2016. 8min
Stop Making Sense – 11, 12 Oct
Laughter at its most bizarre, taking both surreal and all-too-real forms. A programme of laugh-out-loud shorts for these nonsensical times. Including:
Hair Wolf – In this Brooklyn beauty shop, there are definitely some things more terrifying than a white girl who thinks it’s okay to have dreads.
Dir Mariama Diallo. USA 2018. 12min
This is the Sound, This is the Picture – 16, 17 Oct –
It takes the power of recorded images, sounds and dance to capture and transform the world around us. Jump in, sit back and explore. Including:
Four Quartets – Dance along with this teen as he learns to stop forcing the narrative and just lets himself go with the music in queer UK.
Dir Marco Alessi. UK 2018. 11min
Juck [Thrust] – Strutting and unapologetic, this female dance troupe will express themselves.
Dir Olivia Kastebring, Julia Gumpert, Ulrika Bandeira. Sweden 2018. 17min
Rebirth Is Necessary – A personal and powerful exploration of blackness, piecing together dreamlike portraits, including Afrofuturism pioneer Sun Ra and the revolutionary Black Panther Party.
Dir Jenn Nkiru. UK 2017. 10min
Entitled – Take a ride from Peckham to Nigeria and back again.
Dir Adeyemi Michael. UK 2018. 4min
This is Bate Bola – An explosive contest between neighbourhoods, this is the Rio Carnival that you have never seen before. This is Bate Bola.
Dir Ben Holman, Neirin Jones. Brazil-UK-USA 2018. 16min
London Calling – 18, 20 Oct
A selection of new shorts from some of the capital’s most exciting upcoming filmmakers, supported by Film London. Including:
Jerk – A Jamaican man of the community battles depression and disillusionment.
Dir Raine Allen-Miller. UK 2018. 10min
Holy Beef – Due to a bad case of the mumps, Slicker and his crew risk defeat in an escalating college beef. Only divine intervention will help them now.
Dir Dwayne Gumbs, Iain Simpson. UK 2018. 11min
Fly – When you are a female rapper from Bermondsey, you only have one chance to fly. Make it count.
Dir Nadira Amrani. UK 2018. 9min
HairCut – A middle-aged barber has to calm the situation when a desperate teenage drug dealer holds up the barbershop at gunpoint.
Dir Koby Adom. UK 2018. 15min
Night Out – Being a teenager is hard. Figuring out who you want to be is harder. Sometimes a night out can change everything.
Dir Amelia Hashemi. UK 2018. 10min
Today is a Thing of the Past – 13 Oct
The unknown behind the familiar and the history behind the present combine to invite us on expeditions into new cinematic territories. Including:
Richland Blue – A corrupt Police Dept produced several films. This is what they could have been like.
Dir Kevin Jerome Everson. USA 2018. 4min
Goddess – Inspired by a stag film by American photographer Garry Winogrand and corrupt police.
Dir Kevin Jerome Everson. USA 2018. 2min
Is It Me or Is It the World? – 14 Oct
Stories of creative resistance to dominant personal, cultural or political forces that seek to control the self; these films treasure artistic beauty, philosophical discourse, diverse sexuality and personal integrity. Including:
Mahogany Too – Nigerian actress Esosa E beautifully re-enacts Diana Ross’s role in Mahogany as nostalgic Afro-Futurism.
Dir Akosua Adoma Owusu. USA-Ghana 2018. 3min
A is for Artist – A young woman discovers her future by looking into her family’s past.
Dir Ayo Akingbade. UK 2018. 4min
Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences – 20 Oct
This eclectic, exciting and colourful selection of short animated films comes from all corners of the globe. Included are the first two theatrical short films from Dreamworks Animation Studios. English language and subtitles. Including:
Colourbirds (Coucouleurs) – What does a two-coloured bird do amongst birds of just one colour?
Dir Oana Lacroix. Switzerland 2018. 6min
A World of Conflict – 17, 19 Oct
Conflicts are all around us – in our families, communities and in the world. Local and international stories reveal the effect of how interconnected our lives have become. Including:
Black Sheep – An 11-year-old boy struggles to navigate his way through a new and hostile environment.
Dir Ed Perkins. UK 2018. 27min
Picking Up the Pieces – John and Quiandre try to come to terms with the reality of their new life following the devastation left by Hurricane Irma.
Dir Sebastian Feehan, Josh Bamford. UK 2018. 7min
What’s My Age Again? – 13, 17 Oct
Growing up is hard to do and there’s no denying we all undertake an important journey during our teenage years. In fact, those growing pangs are what connects us across continents and cultures.
Skip Day – School’s almost out. For seniors in Pahokee, the Monday after prom is Skip Day.
Dir Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan. USA-UK 2018. 17min
Besida – In a small tribal village, certain men are on the look-out to drive young girls to the big city. Besida’s older brother steps in to make sure that it doesn’t happen to her.
Dir Chuko Esiri. 2017. 11min
Girl – A young migrant. Her period.
Dir Lowri Roberts. UK 2018. 6min
Performance Anxiety – 15 Oct
A series of distinctive short artists’ films exploring the ways sexuality, gender, masculinity and labour are expressed through performance and dance. They offer a diverse range of approaches, from the highly stylised dance/movement work of Catherine Sullivan to the painfully sadomasochistic interactions of Stephen Sutcliffe’s vignettes and the fragile masculinity of Benjamin Crotty’s eponymous chauvinist. Including:
The Startled Faction – An extraordinary stylised exploration of self-possession and ambiguous labour explored though dance idioms, movement, mise-en-scène and drama, in collaboration with Chicago Dancemakers Forum.
Dir Catherine Sullivan. USA 2018. 35min
Amazing and Astounding – 18, 21 Oct
Surreal landscapes, created by animators and filmmakers, can take the imagination to a thrilling place. Be prepared to be amazed by strange worlds and fantastical scenarios. Including:
Hello, Rain – A scientist-witch who, through an alchemical combination of juju and technology, creates wigs that grant both her and her friends supernatural powers.
Dir C J ‘Fiery’ Obasi. Nigeria 2018. 30min
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
Release Date: 16th June 2017
Running time: 88 mins
Directors: Paul Toogood, Lloyd Stanton
Cast: Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Coogan, Eddie Izzard, Amy Schumer, Billy Connolly, Paul Provenza, Sarah Silverman, Rick Overton, Jerry Lewis, Stephen K. Amos, Dave Attell, Sandra Bernhard, Tiffany Haddish, Frankie Boyle, Jo Brand, Neal Brennan, Bobby Lee, Jim Jefferies, Tom Dreesen, Kirk Fox, Cocoa Brown, Keenen Ivory Wayans
“DYING LAUGHING is a candid look inside the agony and ecstasy of making people laugh for a living. A stand-up comedian must be the writer, the director, and the star performer. There is no rehearsal, no practice, and no safety net when you’re in front of a live audience. For most people, baring their soul on stage and having an audience “boo” at you would become a life-long trauma, but for stand-up comedians, it’s a nightly challenge. The funny and heartfelt documentary contains original interviews interlaced with personal footage of life on the road – all from a comedian’s point of view. Once you take this step behind the curtain, you will never look at these funny folks the same way again.”
I seem to remember all of the comedy gigs I’ve been to in the past; where they were, who the funniest comedian was, and that one joke I always managed to carry away that when I think back, makes me chuckle. There is a sometimes a kind of uncomfortableness about some of the jokes, because they are very close to home, or something we shouldn’t be laughing at, but other jokes – the mere observation of our ridiculousness makes us laugh at ourselves. I’m always aware that I’ve gone to see a show, ready to laugh, prepared to be entertained, with no idea how the comedian is planning to entertain and keep me amused.
Dying Laughing sets the record straight. In it, iconic comedians speak to camera about their experience of stand-up comedy, from starting out, through writing, up on to the stage. These are well-known comedians, from the USA and the UK. They speak of laughter, hecklers, touring, loneliness, mental health, and bombing, and they took me on a rollercoaster of emotions.
At the start of the film, when they are speaking about the fun parts of comedy, there was a moment when I wondered if I could do stand-up. When they started to talk about me/you/us the audience, and the hecklers, it reminded me of that infamous Bernie Mac performance, ‘I ain’t scared of you….!’, and as the documentary goes on, I realised that it takes a certain strength to be a comedian. One I don’t have! I think Chris Rock sums it up best in the documentary, when he speaks about comedians being observers, intelligent observers – ignorance is bliss, and so the other side is quite painful, that observations, that knowing, being a viewer.
I left the cinema smiling, and in awe. An absolutely brilliant film, as I said, prepare to go on an emotional rollercoaster.
DYING LAUGHING is in UK cinemas and On Demand 16th June http://www.dyinglaughingfilm.com
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival: London starts tomorrow; films are screening at PictureHouse Central.
On from the 1st – 4th June 2017.
Here are two Feature films and two Short film programmes to see:
Friday 2 – Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour 
Friday 2 | Saturday 3 – The Incredible Jessica James 
Director: Jim Strouse.
Starring: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Lakeith Stanfield, Noël Wells. USA 2017. 85 mins.
Friday 2 | Saturday 3 – Crown Heights 
Director: Matt Ruskin.
Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Bill Camp, Nestor Carbonell, Amari Cheatom. USA 2017. 99 mins.
Sunday 4 – Sundance Film Festival UK Shorts 
Running time: 117 mins
Release Date: 21st April 2017
Director: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Sam Claflin, Gemma Arterton, Jack Huston, Bill Nighy
Based on Lissa Evans’ novel, ‘Their Finest Hour and a Half’. 1940, London, the Blitz; with the country’s morale at stake, Catrin (Gemma Arterton), an untried screenwriter, and a makeshift cast and crew, work under fire to make a film to lift the nation’s flagging spirits; and inspire America to join the war. Partnered alongside fellow screenwriter, Buckley (Sam Claflin) and eccentric actor Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy), the trio set off to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation and capture the imagination of the American population.
I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic war-time comedy. Just looking at the images from the film brings back the rollercoaster of emotions, from Buckley’s lingering looks, to Catrin’s sadness. I try to avoid films that are based around war, but I am so glad I didn’t miss this one. It’s not so much about the hardship and drudge of war, but more about getting on with life in difficult circumstances. Do not miss this one. Take tissues.
BFI Flare Film Festival is back for 2017. Opening with, Against The Law on Thursday 16th March. Our selection of films to look out for are listed below, and include Oscar winning Moonlight, hotly debated in our Oggscars recording. Set in Miami, the film follows Chiron from childhood to adulthood. Beautifully portrayed, it is a must see.
Also at the festival catch the new UK web series, Different For Girls, a smart, sassy, sexy multi-layered lesbian drama, directed by award-winning Festival alumni Campbell X.
Danny Glover appears in San Francisco-set black comedy, Pushing Dead, as boss to Dan, who is facing losing his HIV drugs after 20 years of keeping it at bay.
Uganda is back in the spotlight at the festival with, The Pearl of Africa. This unified six-part web-series follows Uganda’s first out transgender woman, Cleopatra Kambugu from home to Kenya and then Thailand.
We managed to see Jewel’s Catch One at the 60th London Film Festival. It is a celebration of Jewel Thais Williams, owner of the legendary Catch One bar – one of Los Angeles first gay venues. Covering Jewel’s journey from purchasing the bar, fighting through discrimination, and personal challenges. Jewel managed to create a disco bar that welcomed every one, including stars like Madonna.
Plus Brazillian film, Waiting for B, a kitschy, light-hearted and thoroughly camp portrayal of pop culture, mega fandom and the adoration of Beyoncé.
The festival runs for 11 days, and closes on the 26th March with a gala screening of, Signature Move.
16-26 March 2017
Over 50 features, more than 100 shorts and a wide range of special events, guest appearances, discussions, workshops, club nights and much more.
Download the film Schedule here.
The official BFI Flare trailer
Different for Girls | Fri17
A smart, sexy new lesbian drama web series from the award-winning director Campbell X.
Waiting for B | Fri 17 / Sat 18
A crew of queer young Brazilian camp out two months in advance of Beyonce’s big show. One for superfans of the beyhive.
Moonlight | Fri 17/ Sat 18 / Sat 25
The Oscar winning, much-anticipated feature in which a young boy growing up in a harsh environment learns what it means to love and be loved.
Jewel’s Catch One | Fri 17 / Sat 19
This is the story of how Jewel rose from humble origins to create one of the most inclusive, radical and star-studded LGBT discos in America.
The Pearl of Africa | Sun 19 / Mon 20 / Fri 24
After suffering persecution from Uganda’s government and media, Cleopatra journeys to Thailand to get surgery and finally live freely with her boyfriend Nelson.
Free CeCe! | Tue 21 / Wed 22
Laverne Cox leads this insightful documentary into the case of Cece McDonald, whose infamous case sparked protests around the world.
Can’t Stop the Music | Thur 23 [BFI IMAX, Waterloo]
A monument to camp with the Village People and some of the most dazzling musical numbers ever committed to celluloid.
Being 17 (Quand On A 17 Ans) | Thur 23 / Fri 24
Set in the French Alps, this beautiful and emotional coming of age tale has two boys in their last year at school coming to terms with their emotions.
Body Electric (Corpo Elétrico) | Thur 23/ Sat 25
A lively Brazilian drama set in a garment factory: young manager Elias finds distraction in some of his fellow workers, but is he getting too close?
The Trans List | Thu 23 / Sun 26
Famous faces abound in this new HBO production from Timothy Greenfield-Sanders celebrating trans luminaries.
Sexit Screenings: Enactone + Snapshot | Fri 24
As part of the Sexit programme, a double bill featuring two new porn films that will challenge as much as arouse.
Pushing Dead | Sat 25 / Sun 26
Delightful comedy set in San Francisco, in which an HIV-positive slacker/writer battles with life, meds and friends.
Pride? | Sat 25 / Sun 26
A warm and intelligent survey that examines the history of Pride, its radical off-shoots, like Black Pride, and what the future of queer organising will be.
Sat 18 / Sun 19 | Transcendent Tales – Bold and beautiful fictional shorts from first inklings to years after transition.
Diane From the Moon
Mya Taylor plays a pagan priestess who takes no prisoners.
Sun 19 / Wed 22 | Shadow and Act – Stylish shorts that compel you to know yourself, live freely and speak the truth to power.
A beautiful letter about migration, identity and love from a young Ghanaian man to his family.
Hattie Goes Cruising
An ageing African-American couple give a how-to on cruising and what it was like being young, queer and pretty in 1970s and 1980s New York.
A young migrant from Guadeloupe on the French vogue scene cares for his younger brother who is getting ready for his first ball.
*Watch Free on #BFIPlayer or YouTube as part of #FiveFilms4Freedom
I am a Woman
The politics of gender, identity and race are explored in this short and energetic spoken word piece.
Bayard and Me
Civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, the organisational genius behind the 1963 March on Washington, is remembered by his younger partner.
When a sexy chat becomes an intense exchange on race, politics and war, two strangers find out how much they can accept in each other and in themselves.
Thur 23 | The Permanent Perception – The queer experience, both real and imagined. A collection of experimental short films, showcasing the best in contemporary artists’ film and video.
LGBT histories through a TV sitcom lens.
Generation Divide II
More politics and canned laughter.
Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Falling Free – An inspiring and varied collection of queer tales, showcasing our most exciting home-grown filmmaking talent.
We Love Moses
Twelve-year-old Ella discovers a secret about her brother’s best mate.
Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Trials and Liberations – Personal stories of transgender and non-binary experiences from around the globe.
Places of Fear and hatred (Lugares de Medo e Ódio)
Five diverse Brazilians speak out on surviving prejudice and violence.
Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Something to Remember – The unknowable path to self-discovery can take many an unexpected turn, as the young men in these poignant and accomplished short films are soon to discover.
A boxer finds his world turned upside down by the arrival of a new fighter at his club.
*Watch Free on #BFIPlayer or YouTube as part of #FiveFilms4Freedom
Film: Ousmane Sembène’s, #Black Girl + As Dreams are Made of… (Dir. Peter Colbourne) – Tues 14 March
18:30pm – The Hoxton, Holborn.
Racism, colonial oppression and injustice were recurring themes for Senegalese author Ousmane Sembène, who in the 1960s turned from literature to the cinema in order for his social message to reach a broader audience. Mbissine Thérèse Diop plays Diouna, a black nanny to a French family.
The Hoxton, Holborn
199 – 206 High Holborn
London WC1V 7BD
“Viceroy’s House in Delhi was the home of the British rulers of India. After 300 years, that rule was coming to an end. For 6 months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten (played by Hugh Bonneville), assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people.
The film’s story unfolds within that great House. Upstairs lived Mountbatten together with his wife (Gillian Anderson) and daughter (Lily Travers); downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants. As the political elite – Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi – converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. It was a decision whose consequences reverberate to this day.”
Spoiler Alert: With this type of docudrama, I like to scout around (briefly) online to see if I can find the truth – I couldn’t find any references to Churchill’s part in the patrician as described in the film. I did find information which explained some of the looks that Lady Mountbatten gave to Nehru. As always… “Pinch of Salt” – but neither of these points take away from the effective portrayal of the horrendous devastation to the people.