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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

Films to see: BFI FLARE Film Festival 2019

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

Bodies

20:40
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

Minds

16:00
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.

 

Bodies

18:00
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.

Hearts

18:10
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.

Bodies

18:40
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.

Minds

20:50
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

Bodies

15:50
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.

Minds

18:15
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

Hearts

20:30
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

Hearts

20:40
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

Minds

18:15
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.

Hearts

18:20
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.

Bodies

18:40
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.

Minds

20:30
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.

Bodies

20:50
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

Bodies

18:10
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’.

Hearts

20:45
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

Hearts

11:15
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.

Hearts

Night Out

13:45
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.

 

Minds

14:15
Tongues Untied
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

Bodies

15:00
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.

Minds

15:50
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

LA Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema @ Tate Modern

This upcoming event at the Tate Modern looks great, with films from Charles Burnett’s ‘Killer of Sheep1977 to Haile Gerima’s ‘Bush Mama1975. There are also films from Julie Dash, Jamaa Fanaka, Larry Clark, Billy Woodberry, Ben Caldwell and Barbara McCullough.

Tate Modern
Friday 10 April Saturday 25 April 2015
Each screening £5 (£4 concessions). Season ticket £35 (£30 concessions) available by calling + 44 (0)20 7887 8888

Pioneering, provocative and visionary, the LA Rebellion films form a crucial body of work in post-war cinema. In the late 1960s a number of African and African American students entered UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television, and from the first class through to the 1980s came to represent the first sustained undertaking to forge an alternative Black cinema practice in the United States.

This season will provide the first opportunity in the UK to explore the full extent of this remarkable period and encounter the artists who pioneered counter-cultural and community-based approaches to filmmaking from the 1960s to the 1990s.


Below is a list of films in the series, but find out more about the L.A. Rebllion Series on the TATE Modern website: LA Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.

Events in this series

Friday 10 April 2015, 19.0021.00


Billy Woodberry: Bless Their Little Hearts

Saturday 11 April 2015, 19.0021.00
Sunday 12 April 2015, 17.3019.00
Friday 17 April 2015, 19.0021.00
Saturday 18 April 2015, 16.0018.30
Saturday 18 April 2015, 19.0021.00
Tuesday 21 April 2015, 18.3021.30
Friday 24 April 2015, 19.0021.00
Saturday 25 April 2015, 16.0018.30
Saturday 25 April 2015, 19.3022.00

Further Information

UCLA Film and Television Archive: L.A. Rebellion: Creating A New Black Cinema

Find out the Story of the L.A. Rebellion here
: “In the late 1960s, in the aftermath of the Watts Uprising and against the backdrop of the continuing Civil Rights Movement and the escalating Vietnam War, a group of African and African American students entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, as part of an Ethno-Communications initiative designed to be responsive to communities of color (also including Asian, Chicano and Native American communities). Now referred to as the ‘L.A. Rebellion,'” … The Story of L.A. Rebellion

BFI Flare Film Festival 2015 | Afrocentric films

A selection of afrocentric films at this years BFI Flare Film Festival which opens on Thursday. Here are our selections for the festival.

Including Kenyan film, ‘Stories of Our Lives‘ which gets its UK Premiere at the festival but sadly is already sold out.

Mo’Nique returns to the big screen in her first film since winning an Oscar for ‘Precious‘ in ‘Blackbird‘ a story based on Larry Duplechan’s Novel of the same title, with the films screeplay written by Brit Rikki Beadle-Blair.

The Starlite, one of New York’s pre-Stonewall gay bars – a black-owned and operated influential dance club, is celebrated in, ‘We Came To Sweat‘. Some of the disco sound originated at the bar, which is now under the threat of redevelopment.

Plus there’s another chance to see French film, ‘Girlhood‘ and the hottest black film in years, ‘Dear White People‘ as with its London Film Festival outing last year the tickets sold out within an hour.

The festival closes with the documentary, ‘Out To Win‘, looking at the experience of LGBT sportspeople working in professional sport, with contributions from Brit John Amaechi, and remembering Justin Fashanu.


19-29 March 2015.
50 feature films and over 100 short films. BFI Southbank.


Download the film Schedule here.


FEATURE FILMS


Blackbird

A gay boy in a deeply conservative Southern US town deals with the traumas of religious prejudice and coming out.

blackbird-002“Based on a 1986 Larry Duplechan novel, transposed to a Mississippi small town. Randy, a young black man, is wrestling unsuccessfully with his burgeoning sexuality. A member of his church choir, he has a tight cohort of school friends who seem more aware than he is of his sexuality. Meanwhile, at home Randy has to contend with his deeply religious mother (actress Mo’Nique from Precious), grief-stricken since his sister was mysteriously abducted. An unexpected encounter with a young actor and filmmaker changes things for Randy, but nothing runs that smoothly in this ripely melodramatic, emotionally engaging coming-of-age story, replete with plenty of sharp one-liners.” BFI

  • Mar 21, 2015 8:45 PM
  • Mar 23, 2015 1:50 PM

Girlhood Bande de filles

Céline Sciamma’s triumphant film explores of a young girl’s search for identity in the underprivileged suburbs of Paris.

girlhood-002“Céline Sciamma (Waterlilies and Tomboy) returns with this glorious coming of age drama about a quartet of young black girls growing up in the working class outskirts of Paris. Marieme is the eldest daughter of a single mother who works nights, leaving her with full responsibility for her younger sisters and an older brother so authoritarian that his behaviour borders on the abusive. At first a lonely, solitary figure among the young girls on her estate, Marieme is soon adopted by a sassy group, and the quartet find strength and power together in a community where rough boys dominate. Less overtly ‘L, B, or T’ than her previous work, Sciamma’s Girlhood is a nuanced examination of female friendship, gender dynamics and identity. Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ provides the backdrop to one of the year’s most electrifying, joyful scenes: ‘eye to eye, so alive, we’re like diamonds in the sky…’.” BFI

  • Mar 23, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 24, 2015 3:50 PM

Dear White People

The diversification of an all-black residence hall forces a group of African-American university students to take a stand.

dear-white-people-002“Sam White is frustrated. Everywhere she looks, she finds racial inequality and coded aggression at her elite university. Her radio show is rubbing people up the wrong way and her ex-boyfriend, the tormented son of the school’s dean, is her opponent in a student election campaign she thinks she will never win. When she does, Sam is forced to face the true complexity of the racial politics she espouses; a complexity that Lionel Higgins, a gay writer casually ridiculed by the black student union Sam runs, is already facing.” BFI

  • Mar 24, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 25, 2015 3:50 PM
  • Mar 28, 2015 1:30 PM

We Came to Sweat

Over 50 years of gay, black American heritage is at stake when this pre-Stonewall Brooklyn bar is threatened by redevelopment.

we-came-to-sweat-001“When a Brooklyn landmark, the black-owned and operated Starlite, is threatened with eviction by new landlords, its 50-year history as a pre-Stonewall gay bar and dance club is in peril. This film is a history of the club, its patrons and its staff, many of whom are also deserving of national treasure status. It’s not just in London that gentrification and rising property prices tempt landlords to sell to developers in the hope of making a fast buck. The community rallies around in protest, but is it enough? The history of the Starlite and its importance to the black gay community as a privileged space is underlined by the rich testimony from elders and family members for whom the venue is simply a part of their life. With a rich soundtrack of great music, reflecting the club’s influence on the creation of disco, the film is a warning to anyone who thinks their favourite gay bar is a permanent fixture.” BFI

  • Mar 24, 2015 8:50 PM
  • Mar 26, 2015 6:10 PM
  • Mar 27, 2015 6:10 PM

Stories of Our Lives

A visually stunning and tenderly wrought collection of stories about LGBTI lives in Kenya.

stories-of-our-lives-003“Two young women are in trouble for their ‘peculiar’ relationship; a farm hand is tormented when his crush begins courting a woman; a young DVD seller is intoxicated by the smoke and sounds of a clandestine gay bar. These are among the tales featured in this beautifully rendered collection of narratives from LGBTI Kenyans. Stories of Our Lives started out as an archival project by the multi-disciplinary Nest Collective, and the testimonies given have been tenderly wrought into funny, endearing – and at times heartbreaking – sketches. The quality and imagination achieved transcends the predictable but nevertheless disappointing response from the Kenyan government; after its Toronto premiere Stories of Our Lives was banned in the country for promoting homosexuality. That many of the actors are not themselves LGBT but were willing to participate at great personal risk is testament to the socially incisive and life-affirming vision of the project.” BFI

  • Mar 26, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 28, 2015 11:45 AM
  • Mar 29, 2015 4:10 PM

Out to Win

Inspirational documentary charting the history of homosexuality in competitive sport, with interviewees including Martina Navratilova and Jason Collins.

out-to-win-JasonCollins1“In the competitive world of professional sports, homosexuality continues to be a big issue. So big that it seems no-one wants to talk about it. With so many athletes afraid that coming out will mark the end of their careers, there is a dearth of proud LGBT sportspeople representing the community and empowering future generations. Thankfully, some brave individuals have spoken out about their sexuality and paved the way for change. Told through the words of these pioneers, Malcolm Ingram’s inspirational documentary charts the history of homosexuality in sport, highlighting the triumphs, and indeed the tragedies, of those fearless forerunners, and profiling the victories of present day stars” BFI

  • Mar 29, 2015 6:00 PM
  • Mar 29, 2015 8:45 PM

SHORT FILMS


The View from Here | Mar 20, 2015 4:00 PM | Mar 21, 2015 11:50 AM
Whether you’re in your teens or well into adulthood, coming out can be one of the most terrifying (and perhaps most thrilling) things you’ll ever have to do, as demonstrated in this poignant collection of short films.

The Return  La Retour – A teenage boy must make sense of the world around him after he learns the truth about his older brother.

Director Yohann Kouam | France 2013 | 22 mins

Pleasures and Perils of Desire | Mar 23, 2015 4:00 PM
A rich haul of shorts about yearning for, finding, and remembering encounters of a sexual nature.

Caged  Uitgesproken – A group of friends hanging out at a sports ground discover one of their number is gay, but it seems he might not be the only one.

Director Lazlo Tonk, Dylan Tonk | The Netherlands 2013 | 13 mins

T/Here I Am | Mar 22, 2015 1:50 PM  | Mar 25, 2015 8:45 PM
Take up space, stand your ground, have no fear of not fitting in – these shorts explore what it means to be a queer body in a strange world.

Black Is Blue – A young homeless transman works as a security guard and is called to shut down a party his ex was rather enjoying.

Director Cheryl Dunye | USA 2014 | 16 mins

Dark Rivers of the Heart | Mar 27, 2015 3:50 PM | Mar 28, 2015 1:20 PM
Sinister desires become violent actions in this often disturbing programme of shorts.

Beyond Plain Sight – A seemingly charming young man hides a very dark and disturbing secret in his South London flat.

Director Joseph a. Adesunloye | UK 2014 | 13 mins

Fragile Things | Mar 29, 2015 12:45 PM
A collection of UK short films – From first encounters to break-ups, via autograph hunters, hand-jobs and a vision of Christ, this selection of homegrown narrative shorts explores infatuation and desire.

When Fragile Things Break – An explosive drama about dreams and hearts breaking.

Director Shanika Warren-Markland | UK 2013 | 7 mins

Mingmong – Annalise and Jude collect autographs together but Annalise’s mind is on other things.

Director Richard Turley | UK 2013 | 12 mins

Followers – Lynn has a vision of the face of Christ on a pair of swimming trunks.

Director Tim Marshall | UK 2014 | 12 mins

Italian Films at the BFI London Film Festival

A few Italian films to catch at this year’s London Film Festival. The Festival is running from the 8th-19th October 2014.

Check out our other recommended films: Jammie & ECs films to see at the London Film Festival

leopardiLEOPARDI – Director Mario Martone
Wednesday 8th, 6.00pm – NFT3
Thursday 9th, 6.00pm – VUE ISLINGTON 1
Strand: Love (135 mins)
Mario Martone’s Leopardi illuminates the life and soul of one of Italy’s most significant and influential poets. From his early days at home under his father’s watchful gaze, through to  leaving home and discovering that he does not fit into Italy’s high society, to love affairs in Florence followed by an immersion into a cholera ridden working class Naples, this sweeping, detailed film demonstrates the interrelation between the life and literature of this most freethinking of iconoclasts, strikingly portrayed by Elio Germano.
 Screens with INTO THE WAR (L’ENTRATA IN GUERRA), dir. Roland Sejko, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
i-can-quit-whenever-i-wantI CAN QUIT WHENEVER I WANT – Director Sydney Sibilia
Saturday 11th, 12.15pm – CURZON MAYFAIR
Wednesday 15th, 8.45pm – ODEON COVENT GARDEN
Strand: Laugh (100 mins)
When Pietro is laid off from his university job, he decides to start up his own business. He recruits a group of his fellow down-at-heel university professors to enter the drug trade, albeit dealing only drugs made with yet to be banned substances. But their naivety is soon exposed as they fall foul of those on both sides of the law. Sydney Sibilia’s debut film is a comedy of misadventure with a smart, topical edge.
Screens with PANIC (PROGETTO PANICO), dir. Paola Randi, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).Paola Randi will be introducing her film, as well as the 9×10 anthology on Saturday 11th.
black-soulsBLACK SOULS – Director Francesco Munzi
Saturday 11th, 8.45pm – CINE LUMIERE
Tuesday 14th, 3.15pm – VUE7
Strand: Thrill (103 mins)
An adaptation of a novel by Gioacchino Criaco, itself based on a true story, Francesco Munzi’s Black Souls puts a new spin on the Italian family feud, playing out like a contemporary western. When a minor spat triggers the hostility of a rival clan, three brothers from Southern Italy who are steeped in the life of the ‘Ndrangheta (the Calabrian equivalent of the Mafia), are caught up in a spiral of events and emotions that escalate out of their control, heading towards tragedy.
 Screens with BORDERLANDS, dir. Alina Marazzi, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
wondersTHE WONDERS – Director Alice Rohrwacher
Monday 13th, 8.30pm – VUE5
Wednesday 15th, 8.45pm – HACKNEY PICTUREHOUSE
Strand: Journey (110 mins)
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Alice Rohrwacher’s second film (after her critically acclaimed 2011 debut Corpo Celeste) tells the beguiling story of a summer in the life of 12 year old Gelsomina, whose family – exiled from modern life in rural Italy – is disrupted by the arrival of a bizarre TV talent show from the city, and a delinquent German boy from a rehabilitation program, who comes to work on their bee-keeping farm.
Screens with UNA CANZONE, dir. Alice Rohrwacher, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
hungry-heartsHUNGRY HEARTS  – Director Saverio Costanzo
Tuesday 14th, 6.30pm – VUE5
Thursday 16th, 6.15pm – CINE LUMIERE
Friday 17th, 12.30pm – NFT1
Strand: Love (109 mins)
Winner of the Best Actor (Adam Driver) and Best Actress (Alba Rohrwacher) Awards at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Hungry Hearts tells the story of Jude (American) and Mina (Italian), who after a chance meeting in a New York restaurant washroom, embark on a whirlwind romance, marry and swiftly become pregnant. But their charming romance gives way to something darker and more disturbing when Mina’s obsessive protectiveness of her newborn son begins to endanger his life, and Jude has to act quickly, pushing both newlyweds to their emotional limits.
Screens with MY DUTIES AS BRIDE (IL MO DOVERE DI SPOSA), dir. Claudio Giovannesi, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
dinner-theTHE DINNER – Director Ivano De Matteo
Thursday 16th, 12.00pm – VUE5
Saturday 18th, 2.35pm – CURZON MAYFAIR
Strand: Dare (92 mins)
Two brothers meet regularly for dinner at a fashionable restaurant with their wives. Their teenage children are also close school friends. One fateful night, the children are out, and something horrific happens, leaving the families with a terrible moral dilemma. The polite chitchat and civility of dinner disintegrate, as both couples demonstrate how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love. An enthralling psychological drama based on Dutch author Herman Koch’s best-selling thriller ‘Our Children’.
Screens with TUBIOLO AND THE MOON (TUBIOLO E LA LUNA), dir. Marco Bonfanti, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).

*** Locations ***

  • CINÉ LUMIÈRE
    Institut Français / 17 Queensberry Place, London, SW7 2DT
  • COV. GARDEN
    Odeon Covent Garden / 135 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AH
  • HPF
    Hackney Picturehouse / 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE
  • ISLINGTON
    Vue Islington / 36 Parkfield Street, London N1 0PS
  • MAYFAIR
    Curzon Mayfair / 38 Curzon Street, London, W1J 7TY
  • NFT
    BFI Southbank / Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT
  • VUE
    Vue West End / 3 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7AL

FILM THIS WEEK: Friday 30th May 2014

Ratings: ★ ✩ ✮ ✯ ✰ ☆

Friday 30th May 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (3D) (12A)


‘Edge of Tomorrow’ unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world.
Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again.
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Scene after scene is repeated, but don’t think too hard, and enjoy as Cage and Rita (Emily Blunt) unravel the clues in attempt, after attempt, after attempt to beat their enemy. It has: alien fighting, a hint of romance, Brendan Gleeson as General Brigham, scenes in London and France, and a wicked touch of humour running through it.

Lt. Col. Bill Cage
Lt. Col. Bill Cage

LIVE. DIE. REPEAT.


The film is based on, ‘All You Need Is Kill’, a novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Cage changes from smooth PR man to fearful, naïve rookie soldier, to hardened fighting man. I queried why a few things didn’t add up, and had the word ‘paradox’ thrown at me. I’ve taken this to mean, “It’s good enough to get away with it”, and it is! As I said, don’t think too hard, just enjoy and watch as Cage dies over and over again. I left, smiling and slightly revved! 😉  Rated: 4½ –  ✩ ✯ ✰☆½

Director: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Lara Pulver, Jeremy Piven, Charlotte Riley

 

A Million Ways To Die In The West (15)


After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love.  But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.


Million ways 1If you like a spoof-ish, slapstick, kinda movie, then this is the one for you.  I don’t! The jokes were cheap, and silly. Some were worthy of a laugh, and I did laugh, but most of the time, in between my yawns, I was thinking, ‘Really?’ One particular scenes sticks in my mind, a man gets rammed and carried off on the horns of a bull – I looked to my left, I looked to my right, and then I laughed, a laugh of, ‘What the hell is this?’

Still, I’m sure it’s just my particular proclivities to dislike easy jokes and cheap shots – most of the rest of the audience were laughing, laughing at every joke!

I admit to being a bit slow sometimes, and it didn’t click until the next day that the lead actor (also Director, Producer, and co-writer) was the very same Seth MacFarlane who presented the 2013 Oscars… and the jokes haven’t got much better! I’ve knocked off half a point for the slave joke! Rated: 1½ –  ✮½

Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris

 

Other films this week:  Friday 30 May 2014

•    For No Good Reason (showing in London only) Johnny Depp explores, through interviews, the stories and images, the art and life, of British artist, Ralph Steadman. Director: Charlie Paul. Starring: Ralph Steadman, Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Ralph Steadman
Johnny Depp and Ralph Steadman

for no good reason2

•    Downhill (15) – Four old friends, 192 miles, what could possibly go wrong? Director: James Rouse. Starring: Richard Lumsden, Karl Theobald, Ned Dennehy, Jeremy Swift
•    Jimmy’s Hall (12A) – Period-drama set in 1921 telling the true story of political activist Jimmy Gralton who was deported from Ireland after building a dance hall on a rural crossroad, where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream… but above all to dance and have fun. Director: Ken Loach. Starring: Barry Ward, Simone Kirby, Andrew Scott

Jimmy's Hall
Jimmy’s Hall

•    Mariachi Gringo – A stifled, small-town man stuck in a dead end life, runs away to Mexico to be a mariachi singer. Director: Tom Gustafson. Starring: Shawn Ashmore, Martha Higareda, Lila Downs
•    Mr. Jones – Mr. Jones is ‘Cabin in the Woods’ meets ‘Jacobs Ladder’; a terrifying nightmare that’s so real, even daylight brings no relief. Director: Karl Meuller. Starring: Jon Foster, Sarah Jones
•    Omar (15) – A sensitive young baker who is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets when he daily crosses the separation wall to visit Nadia, his secret love. But occupied Palestine knows neither simple love nor clear-cut war. To prove himself to Nadia’s family, Omar becomes a freedom fighter and must soon face painful choices about life and manhood. Director: Hany Abu-Assad. Starring: Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Iyad Hoorani, Samer Bisharat

Jammie x