Tag Archives: For Love

36th BFI Flare LGBTQIA+ film festival 2022

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

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

 

FEATURE FILMS


HEARTS includes films about love, romance and friendship

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

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

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


BODIES includes stories of sex, identity and transformation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

USA 2021 | 86min (6 episodes)

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

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

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

Screening with: The Glorious Ones

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

Director-Producer: Somina Fombo
UK 2021 | 23min

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


MINDS features reflections on art, politics and community.

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

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

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

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

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

 


Other films worth seeing:

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

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

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


SHORT FILMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

65th BFI London Film Festival 2021

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

As always, there are loads of films to see, immerse yourself in and live through. Highlights include: Jeymes Samuels, The Harder They Fall, Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, and King Richard, based on Richard Williams drive to turn Venus and Serena into tennis superstars.

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

We’ve also picked out some superb SHORT FILMS which you can view for free on the BFI Player.


Here are our 2021 selection of films, LFF Expanded and Awards:

GALAS

OPENING NIGHT GALA

The Harder They Fall: Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) has dedicated his life to hunting down members of the gang led by the vicious Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), who murdered his parents in front of him. Inspired by the real-life stories of African-American cowboys and featuring an all-star cast. London-born musician and filmmaker Jeymes Samuel’s feature debut is an explosive and stylish Western quite unlike any other.

Wed 6 | Thur 7 | Sun 10

Director: Jeymes Samuel. Screenwriter: Jeymes Samuel, Boaz Yakin. Producers: Shawn Carter, James Lassiter, Lawrence Bender, Jeymes Samuel. Cast: Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, Regina King, Idris Elba.

Country: USA


CLOSING NIGHT GALA

The Tragedy of Macbeth: Shakespeare’s iconic and much adapted text, written on these shores over 400 years ago, gets a wonderfully fresh and singular reworking in Joel Coen’s first solo outing as a director. Coen dazzlingly adapts this Scottish play for the screen with Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington mesmeric as the couple whose political ambitions proved their fatal downfall.

Sun 17

Director-Screenwriter: Joel Coen. Producers: Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, Robert Graf. Cast: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Bertie Carvel, Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson.

Country: USA


HEADLINE GALA

King Richard: In the Compton suburbs of the early 1990s, Richard Williams has his sights firmly set on superstardom for his two young daughters, Venus and Serena. Will Smith delivers one of his best performances as the ambitious father of two sporting prodigies in this rousing, hugely enjoyable biopic.

Fri 15 | Sat 16

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green. Producers: Tim White, Trevor White, Will Smith. Screenwriter: Zach Baylin. Cast: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, Jon Bernthal.

Country: USA


SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades): Jacques Audiard ventures into new territory with a vibrant take on love and Paris, as four characters cross amorous paths in the modern city.

Thur 14 | Fri 15

Director: Jacques Audiard. Producers: Jacques Audiard, Valérie Schermann. Screenwriters: Jacques Audiard, Céline Sciamma, Léa Mysius. Cast: Noémie Merlant, Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, Jehnny Beth

Country: France


Neptune Frost: The directorial debut of poet-musician Saul Williams and actor-playwright Anisia Uzeyman is an exhilarating anti-capitalist sci-fi musical entirely shot in Rwanda.

Sat 16 | Sun 17

Directors: Saul Williams, Anisia Uzeyman. Producers: Ezra Miller, Dave Guenette, Maria Judice. Cast: Cheryl Isheja, Bertrand ‘Kaya Free’ Ninteretse, Eliane Umuhire.

Countries: USA, Rwanda


LFF AWARDS

OFFICIAL COMPETITION NOMINEE
The Best Film Award recognises inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking.

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds (Lingui, les liens sacrés): Following his international success with A Screaming Man, Daratt and Abouna, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s powerful new drama once again celebrates the heroic individualism of ordinary people.

Mon 11 | Tue 12 | Sun 17

Director-Screenwriter: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. Producer: Florence Stern. Cast: Achouackh Abakar Souleymane, Rihane Khalil Alio, Youssouf Djaoro.

Countries: Chad, France, Germany, Belgium


DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION NOMINEE
The Grierson Award recognises feature-length documentaries with integrity, originality and social or cultural significance.

Faya Dayi: Jessica Beshir’s bewitching film is a fascinating portrait of the city of Harar and the intimate rituals of Ethiopia’s most lucrative produce, khat.

Sat 9 | Sun 10

Director-Producer-Screenwriter: Jessica Beshir

Countries: Ethiopia, USA, Qatar


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

6-17 Oct: Watch on BFI Player for Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


STRANDS

LOVE: Sweet, passionate, tough – love is a complex and many-splendoured thing.

Bantú Mama: A French-Cameroonian woman running from a drug deal gone wrong in the Dominican Republic finds shelter with three young siblings in this striking, lyrical film.

Sat 9 | Sun 10

Director: Ivan Herrera. Producers: Ivan Herrera, Clarisse Albrecht. Screenwriters: Clarisse Albrecht, Ivan Herrera. Cast: Clarisse Albrecht, Scarlet Reyes, Euris Javiel

Country: Dominican Republic

The Gravedigger’s Wife: With his deceptively simple but heartfelt feature debut, director Khadar Ahmed follows a man as he desperately tries to seek help for his ailing wife.

Fri 15 | Sat 16

Director-Screenwriter: Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. Producers: Misha Jaari, Thanassis Karathanos, Stéphane Parthenay. Cast: Omar Abdi, Yasmin Warsame, Khadar Abdoul-Aziz Ibrahim.

Countries: Finland, France, Germany

When a Farm Goes Aflame: This captivating, intimate and contemplative documentary that takes us from Denmark to Nigeria where is a superb and worthy continuation from his first feature a Portrait of a Lonely Farmer.

Wed 6 | Fri 8

Director: Jide Tom Akinleminu. Producer: Florian Schewe.

Country: Germany


DEBATE: Riveting films that amplify, scrutinise, argue and surprise.

All These Sons: The second collaboration from Academy Award-nominees Bing Liu and Joshua Altman is an urgent document of two community groups in Chicago that empower young Black men.

Tue 12 | Wed 13

Directors: Bing Liu, Joshua Altman. Producers: Zak Piper, Kelsey Carr, Bing Liu, Joshua Altman.

Country: USA

ear for eye: At times furious, joyous and moving, debbie tucker green’s adaptation of her acclaimed play on racial injustice in the UK and USA is nothing short of mesmerising.

Sat 16 | Sun 17

Director-Screenwriter: debbie tucker green. Producer: Fiona Lamptey. Cast: Lashana Lynch, Carmen Munroe, Tosin Cole

Country: UK

The Neutral Ground: In this bitingly satirical and deeply personal documentary, CJ Hunt traces the troubled history of Confederate monuments in America.

Thu 14 | Fri 15

Director: CJ Hunt. Producer: Darcy McKinnon. Screenwriters: CJ Hunt, Jane Geisler, James Hamilton

Country: USA


LAUGH: From mega LOLZ through romcom to dry and understated – humour in all its forms.

Queen of Glory: In Nana Mensah’s self-assured and charming comedy, a Ghanaian-American woman’s life is thrown into disarray when she inherits her mother’s Christian bookshop.

Sat 9 | Sun 10

Director-Screenwriter: Nana Mensah. Cast: Nana Mensah, Meeko Gattuso, Oberon K A Adjepong.

Country: USA


DARE: In-your-face and arresting – stories that take you out of your comfort zone.

La Mif: A raw, in-your-face drama that offers a glimpse of life within a residential care home for at-risk teenage girls.

Sun 10 | Mon 11

Director-Producer-Screenwriter: Fred Baillif. Cast: Claudia Grob, Amélie Tonsi, Anaïs Uldry, Amandine Golay, Kassia Da Costa, Joyce Ndayisenga, Charlie Areddy, Sara Tulu.

Country: Switzerland


THRILL: Nerve-shredders that will get your adrenalin pumping and keep you on the edge of your seat.

Boiling Point: An emotionally scarred London chef struggles to keep it together in this formally extraordinary and beautifully acted single-take thriller.

Mon 11 | Tue 12 | Sun 17

Director: Philip Barantini. Producers: Bart Ruspoli, Hester Ruoff. Screenwriters: Philip Barantini, James Cummings. Cast: Stephen Graham, Vinette Robinson, Jason Flemyng.

Country: UK


CULT: From the mind-altering and unclassifiable to fantasy, sci-fi and horror.

Juju Stories: Three Nigerian filmmakers come together for a thrilling portmanteau film that presents an alternative Lagos through the modern interpretation of folk tales.

Fri 15 | Sat 16

Directors-Screenwriters: Abba T Makama, C J ‘Fiery’ Obasi, Michael Omonua. Producer: Oge Obasi. Cast: Paul Utomi, Don Ekwuazi, Nengi Adoki

Countries: Nigeria, France


JOURNEY: Whether it’s the voyage or the destination, these films transport you and shift your perspective.

Citizen Ashe: The ultimate origin story, Arthur Ashe was not only a pioneer within the world of tennis but a revolutionary social activist for many global causes.

Sun 10 | Mon 11

Directors: Rex Miller, Sam Pollard. Producers: Beth Hubbard, Anna Godas, Rex Miller, Steven Cantor, Jamie Schutz, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Country: UK, USA

Freda: Gessica Généus’s debut follows a strong-willed young woman struggling to decide whether to leave the violence of Haiti for the chance of a better life.

Wed 6 | Thu 7

Director: Gessica Généus. Producer: Jean-Marie Gigon. Cast: Néhémie Bastien, Jean Jean, Fabiola Rémy

Country: Haiti

Passing: In Rebecca Hall’s exquisite directorial debut, two childhood friends are reunited as adults in 1920s New York, with one of them now passing as white.

Sun 10 | Tue 12

Director-Screenwriter: Rebecca Hall. Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Margot Hand, Rebecca Hall. Cast: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland.

Country: USA


CREATE: Celebrating artistic expression and electricity of the creative process.

8 Bar – The Evolution of Grime: This intriguing and expansive documentary looks at the complex history and impact of Grime, tracking its enormous influence and resonance on modern UK music and culture.

Sat 16 | Sun 17

Director: Ewen Spencer. Producers: Aleksandra Bilic, Jamie Clark, David Upshal

Country: UK

We (Nous): An inquisitive and deeply revealing journey on the tracks of the RER B, a suburban train crossing Paris from North to South.

Sat 9 | Sun 10

Director: Alice Diop. Producers: Sophie Salbot. Cast: Ismael Soumaïla Sissoko, Bamba Sibi, N’Deye Sighane Diop

Country: France


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

Lago Gatún: Kevin Jerome Everson’s latest feature-length film, shot in black-and-white 16mm, is a minimalist odyssey that traverses the Panama Canal, between the Earth’s two great oceans, where its American engineers imposed US segregation laws on the canal’s Jamaican migrant workforce.

Fri 15

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

Country: USA

Screening with:

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

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

Country: USA

Memorials of Meaning (Short Film Collection)

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

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

Director-Producer-Screenwriter: Welket Bungué

Country: Portugal, Guinea Bissau, Germany


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

Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences (Short Film Collection)

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

Sun 17

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

Country: Kenya


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

Sambizanga: A riveting neorealist testimony to Angola’s anti-colonialist struggle, not screened there until after independence, this is an unforgettable revolutionary film. Set in the weeks leading up to the guerrilla war for independence, Sambizanga focuses on the plight of a young couple.

Tue 12 | The 14

Director: Sarah Maldoror. Screenwriters: Mario de Andrade, Sarah Maldoror. Cast: Elisa Andrade, Domingos de Oliveira, Jean M’Vondo.

Country: Angola-France

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

Jamaica – Third Test
Caribbean Honeymoon No.1
Caribbean Honeymoon No.2
Bound for Lagos


EXPANDED: Step into a new dimension of storytelling with Immersive Art and Extended reality.

See Immersive Art and XR Competition section


SHORTS: Small but perfectly formed.

6-17 Oct: Watch for free on BFI Player