Tag Archives: South Africa

Films to see at the 62nd London Film Festival 2018

“225 features. 77 countries.
14 cinemas. 12 days.
One Festival.”

The 62nd London Film Festival runs from the 10th to the 21st October 2018, with a bumper selection of films to choose from, here is our selection of 40 feature films and 32 short films for you – films from the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Libya, Lebanon, Qatar, Kenya, Brazil, Jamaica, Namibia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Martinique, Sudan, and South Africa.

See what the festival has to say about these films by clicking the links below or heading to the website.

FEATURE FILMS

Assassination Nation
The Salem witch trials are given a digital overhaul in this ferocious femme exploitationer.

Friday 19 October 2018 | 21:30 | Cineworld Leicester Square
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 14:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 20:30 |Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen

Angelo
The powerful story of Angelo Soliman, a forced Europeanised African who makes his way through Viennese society in the early 18th century without ever belonging.

Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 18:00 | Cine Lumiere
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 15:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7

Amin
Philippe Faucon’s understated drama is a subtle and tender evocation of a friendship that develops between a lonely Senegalese immigrant and a French divorcée.

Sunday 14 October 2018 | 18:20 | Cine Lumiere
Monday 15 October 2018 | 14:45 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6

aKasha
With his striking, gently comedic debut, set amidst an endless war in his beloved country, hajooj kuka announces himself as one of Sudan’s most unique cinematic voices.

Thursday 11 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
Friday 12 October 2018 | 13:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Been So Long
Chewing Gum star Michaela Coel leads a talented cast in Tinge Krishnan’s contemporary London musical, which reimagines Camden as a romantic neon-soaked wonderland.

Friday 12 October 2018 | 21:00 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 14:00 | Cineworld Leicester Square
Monday 15 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Capernaum (Capharnaüm)
Acclaimed Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki delivers her most assured and affecting work yet with this astonishing and heart-wrenching depiction of life in the shadows.

Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 17:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 11:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Friday 19 October 2018 | 18:10 | Picturehouse Central, Screen 1

Dilili in Paris (Dilili à Paris)
The great master of French animation, Michel Ocelot, returns to the Festival with his exquisite tale set in Paris during the Belle Epoque.

Saturday 20 October 2018 | 12:45 | Cine Lumiere
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 12:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Eldorado
Markus Imhoof blends the intensely personal with the socio-political to powerful effect in this documentary, a penetrating examination of how migrants are treated upon arrival in Europe.

Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 17:15 | Curzon Mayfair, Screen 1
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 15:20 | BFI Southbank, NFT1

The Elephant Queen
Shot over eight years, this stunning documentary tells the story of Athena, the Elephant Queen, who leads her family across Africa when drought hits their region.

Sunday 14 October 2018 | 15:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7

Etangs Noirs
Nothing is quite what it seems in this enigmatic mystery which promises to be one of the most original films of the year.

Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 21:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 15:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6

Freedom Fields
Charting six years of Libya’s nascent women’s football scene – a journey never short of obstacles – Freedom Fields celebrates the determination of an incredible team.

Thursday 11 October 2018 | 18:15 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Friday 12 October 2018 | 15:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

The Hate U Give
This powerful adaptation of Angie Thomas’ YA novel stars Amandla Stenberg as a teenager who witnesses the fatal police shooting of her childhood friend.

Saturday 20 October 2018 | 20:45 | Cineworld Leicester Square
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 14:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 17:30 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins follows his Oscar-winning Moonlight with an audacious, distinctive and assured adaptation of James Baldwin’s account of love, injustice and racism in America.

Saturday 20 October 2018 | 17:30 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 11:00 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 18:00 | Picturehouse Central, Screen 1

In Fabric
Impeccable red talons slide a flick knife across a box to reveal its contents, a beautiful silky dress… that can kill!

Thursday 18 October 2018 | 20:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 21:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5
Friday 19 October 2018 | 12:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Friday 19 October 2018 | 15:30 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer)
This quirky, upbeat fantasy adventure is based on the bestseller by the author of The Neverending Story.

Saturday 20 October 2018 | 12:45 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Jinn
A black LA teenager is torn between traditional Islam and notoriety for becoming the popular #HalalHottie in this powerful take on identity and sexuality.

Thursday 11 October 2018 | 20:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6
Friday 12 October 2018 | 12:45 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Joy
Sudabeh Mortezai (Macondo, LFF 2014) presents a vital and hugely affecting drama that tackles the vicious cycle of sex trafficking in modern Europe.

Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 20:50 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 21:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 12:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 12:45 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5

Ladyworld
Welcome to Ladyworld, a shadowy dwelling where tensions run high and nothing is ever quite what it seems.

Friday 19 October 2018 | 21:00 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 18:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Madeline’s Madeline
The third feature from acclaimed director Josephine Decker is a jazz-infused fever dream that tackles head-first the thorny themes of cultural production and appropriation.

Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 20:50 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Friday 19 October 2018 | 13:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 12:40 | BFI Southbank, NFT3

Make Me Up
Rachel Maclean follows her Venice Biennale piece Spite Your Face with a daring new film that incisively deconstructs art history’s myth of feminine beauty with a savage, satirical blade.

Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 12:45 | BFI Southbank, Studio

Maki’la
Machérie Ekwa Bahango’s directorial debut is a compassionate and acutely observed portrait of homelessness experienced by young people in Kinshasa.

Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 21:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Thursday 18 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Mayfair
Sara Blecher (Ayanda, LFF 2015) returns with a markedly different film – a groundbreaking, multi-cultural African gangster thriller.

Friday 19 October 2018 | 18:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 15:30 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Miriam Lies
(Miriam Miente)
A quinceañera celebration is nothing but nerve-racking for teenage Miriam, in this nuanced film that tackles race and class tensions in the Dominican Republic.

Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:40 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 20:45 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Mr. Soul!
This is a heartfelt and politically engaged profile of Ellis Haizlip, the openly gay host of the ground breaking PBS all-black variety show SOUL!

Saturday 20 October 2018 | 18:00 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 21:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5

Pixote (Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco)
Like a bullet to the heart, Hector Babenco’s visceral portrait of the brutalisation of children and teenagers has lost none of its power.

Saturday 20 October 2018 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT1

Rafiki
Romantic sparks fly between the daughters of two opposing politicians in Wanuri Kahiu’s neon-bright story of forbidden love in Kenya.

Saturday 13 October 2018 | 18:15 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 15:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

The Raft (Flotten)
Imagine Big Brother at sea, but with no evictions. Director Marcus Lindeen innovatively uncovers the human stories behind a 1970s social experiment, salaciously dubbed ‘The Sex Raft’.

Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:15 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 12:30 | Cine Lumiere
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 12:15 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6

Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records
This stylish documentary about the iconic ska, reggae and rock-steady label is a timely and wide-ranging celebration of British Jamaican working-class youth culture.

Friday 12 October 2018 | 18:00 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7
Saturday 13 October 2018 | 15:00 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Monday 15 October 2018 | 13:10 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Sew the Winter to My Skin
Confirming the promise he showed with his powerful Of Good Report (LFF 2013), Jahmil XT Qubeka delivers a superb thriller based on a true story.

Friday 19 October 2018 | 17:45 | Cine Lumiere
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 15:45 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 7

Sorry to Bother You
A mild-mannered call centre operator whizzes up the corporate ladder after he discovers a unique ability to adopt a “white voice” in writer-director Boots Riley’s breathlessly inventive satire.

Thursday 11 October 2018 | 18:10 | BFI Southbank, NFT1
Friday 12 October 2018 | 14:15 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Sunday 14 October 2018 | 17:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6

Sugar Cane Alley (Rue cases-nègres)
Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Joseph Zobel and directed by Euzhan Palcy, Sugar Cane Alley is a critically acclaimed and award-winning coming-of-age story.

Friday 19 October 2018 | 20:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Support the Girls
Andrew Bujalski serves up a big-hearted comedy with his day-in-the-life look at Double Whammies – a Hooters-style bar and its tight-knit, all-female staff.

Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 18:15 | Picturehouse Central, Screen 1
Saturday 20 October 2018 | 20:50 | BFI Southbank, NFT2
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 13:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Twin Flower (Fiore Gemello)
This beguiling drama, unfolding amidst the beauty of Sardinia’s sun-dappled landscape, charts the unlikely friendship between a traumatised woman and an illegal immigrant.

Thursday 11 October 2018 | 18:15 | Cine Lumiere
Friday 12 October 2018 | 15:45 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen

Twenty-Two Hours
Bouchra Khalili’s meditation on revolutionary histories considers the poet Jean Genet’s secret 1970 visit to the United States at the invitation of the Black Panther Party. Plus the following short films: + Another Decade  + Namibia Today  + Promised Lands

Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 21:00 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1

United Skates
A charming and dynamic tribute to the electrifying underground African-American roller-skating scene, whose future looks in doubt.

Monday 15 October 2018 | 18:15 | Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen
Wednesday 17 October 2018 | 21:00 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Vs.
Southend’s battle-rap scene comes to the big screen, in this sharp-tongued drama starring Connor Swindells as a troubled teenager trying to make rhyme pay.

Saturday 13 October 2018 | 18:00 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Monday 15 October 2018 | 15:30 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?
Thought-provoking and all-too-relevant, Roberto Minervini’s documentary paints a portrait of a Louisiana community in the aftermath of a police shooting.

Monday 15 October 2018 | 18:00 | Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 20:30 | Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Widows
Academy Award® winner and BFI Fellow Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame) opens the Festival in pulsating style with this female-fuelled heist thriller that features a cast to die for.

Wednesday 10 October 2018 | 19:45 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Thursday 11 October 2018 | 14:00 | Embankment Garden Cinema
Friday 12 October 2018 | 20:40 | Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3

Young and Alive (L’ Époque)
A young and politicised generation share their beliefs and worries in this galvanizing fresco set on the streets of Paris at night.

Sunday 14 October 2018 | 18:20 | ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Tuesday 16 October 2018 | 15:30 | BFI Southbank, NFT2

Yours in Sisterhood
Women across the US give voice to letters sent by readers to a feminist magazine in the 1970s, in this galvanizing and elegantly assembled documentary.

Friday 19 October 2018 | 20:50 | BFI Southbank, NFT3
Sunday 21 October 2018 | 18:30 | Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5

 

SHORT FILMS

As well as the short films being shown with the feature film Twenty-Two Hours, there are a selection of short films within the short film programmes – here are our picks:

Lust to Love and In Between – 12, 14 Oct
The pursuit of love is a road well travelled. This series of short films shows the universality of desire and breadth of love. Including:

NevadaThe prospect of an unplanned pregnancy exposes minor tensions but, ultimately, strength and certainty in a loving relationship.
Dir Emily Ann Hoffman. USA 2017. 12min

A Female Body (Um corpo feminino)This dynamic documentary is an open and honest journey that explores what it means to be a woman.
Dir Thais Fernandes. Brazil 2018. 20min

We Would be Lost Without You – 13 Oct
A sense-expanding programme of short artists’ films that investigate the limits of perception and new sensual relationships with technologies and things, and how these might be re-negotiated into new affective orders. Including:

Mic DropInvestigating the performative gesture of the mic drop and expanding out to consider the interface and anxiety of the voice in relation to processing and technology.
Dir Keith Piper. UK 2017. 12min

Keep it in the Family – 14, 18 Oct
Family life is never easy. A multitude of evils and secrets can lurk behind closed doors. These shorts draw some of those secrets out into the open in order to explore what is acceptable behaviour within the domestic space. Including:

Still Water Runs DeepA son goes missing. A father must preserve his pride.
Dir Abbesi Akhamie. Nigeria-USA 2017. 15min

Third SorrowYejide is a single mother preparing for her daughter’s first cutting ceremony.
Dir Myriam Raja. UK 2018. 9min

TweenBeing the only girl of African-American descent at the slumber party can lead to both prejudices and jealousy.
Dir Raven Johnson. USA 2016. 8min

Stop Making Sense – 11, 12 Oct
Laughter at its most bizarre, taking both surreal and all-too-real forms. A programme of laugh-out-loud shorts for these nonsensical times. Including:

Hair WolfIn this Brooklyn beauty shop, there are definitely some things more terrifying than a white girl who thinks it’s okay to have dreads.
Dir Mariama Diallo. USA 2018. 12min

This is the Sound, This is the Picture – 16, 17 Oct –
It takes the power of recorded images, sounds and dance to capture and transform the world around us. Jump in, sit back and explore. Including:

Four QuartetsDance along with this teen as he learns to stop forcing the narrative and just lets himself go with the music in queer UK.
Dir Marco Alessi. UK 2018. 11min

Juck [Thrust]Strutting and unapologetic, this female dance troupe will express themselves.
Dir Olivia Kastebring, Julia Gumpert, Ulrika Bandeira. Sweden 2018. 17min

Rebirth Is NecessaryA personal and powerful exploration of blackness, piecing together dreamlike portraits, including Afrofuturism pioneer Sun Ra and the revolutionary Black Panther Party.
Dir Jenn Nkiru. UK 2017. 10min

EntitledTake a ride from Peckham to Nigeria and back again.
Dir Adeyemi Michael. UK 2018. 4min

This is Bate BolaAn explosive contest between neighbourhoods, this is the Rio Carnival that you have never seen before. This is Bate Bola.
Dir Ben Holman, Neirin Jones. Brazil-UK-USA 2018. 16min

London Calling – 18, 20 Oct
A selection of new shorts from some of the capital’s most exciting upcoming filmmakers, supported by Film London. Including:

JerkA Jamaican man of the community battles depression and disillusionment.
Dir Raine Allen-Miller. UK 2018. 10min

Holy BeefDue to a bad case of the mumps, Slicker and his crew risk defeat in an escalating college beef. Only divine intervention will help them now.
Dir Dwayne Gumbs, Iain Simpson. UK 2018. 11min

FlyWhen you are a female rapper from Bermondsey, you only have one chance to fly. Make it count.
Dir Nadira Amrani. UK 2018. 9min

HairCutA middle-aged barber has to calm the situation when a desperate teenage drug dealer holds up the barbershop at gunpoint.
Dir Koby Adom. UK 2018. 15min

Night OutBeing a teenager is hard. Figuring out who you want to be is harder. Sometimes a night out can change everything.
Dir Amelia Hashemi. UK 2018. 10min

Today is a Thing of the Past – 13 Oct
The unknown behind the familiar and the history behind the present combine to invite us on expeditions into new cinematic territories. Including:

Richland BlueA corrupt Police Dept produced several films. This is what they could have been like.
Dir Kevin Jerome Everson. USA 2018. 4min

GoddessInspired by a stag film by American photographer Garry Winogrand and corrupt police.
Dir Kevin Jerome Everson. USA 2018. 2min

Is It Me or Is It the World? – 14 Oct
Stories of creative resistance to dominant personal, cultural or political forces that seek to control the self; these films treasure artistic beauty, philosophical discourse, diverse sexuality and personal integrity. Including:

Mahogany TooNigerian actress Esosa E beautifully re-enacts Diana Ross’s role in Mahogany as nostalgic Afro-Futurism.
Dir Akosua Adoma Owusu. USA-Ghana 2018. 3min

A is for ArtistA young woman discovers her future by looking into her family’s past.
Dir Ayo Akingbade. UK 2018. 4min

Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences – 20 Oct
This eclectic, exciting and colourful selection of short animated films comes from all corners of the globe. Included are the first two theatrical short films from Dreamworks Animation Studios. English language and subtitles. Including:

Colourbirds (Coucouleurs)What does a two-coloured bird do amongst birds of just one colour?
Dir Oana Lacroix. Switzerland 2018. 6min

A World of Conflict – 17, 19 Oct
Conflicts are all around us – in our families, communities and in the world. Local and international stories reveal the effect of how interconnected our lives have become. Including:

Black SheepAn 11-year-old boy struggles to navigate his way through a new and hostile environment.
Dir Ed Perkins. UK 2018. 27min

Picking Up the PiecesJohn and Quiandre try to come to terms with the reality of their new life following the devastation left by Hurricane Irma.
Dir Sebastian Feehan, Josh Bamford. UK 2018. 7min

What’s My Age Again? – 13, 17 Oct
Growing up is hard to do and there’s no denying we all undertake an important journey during our teenage years. In fact, those growing pangs are what connects us across continents and cultures.

Skip DaySchool’s almost out. For seniors in Pahokee, the Monday after prom is Skip Day.
Dir Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan. USA-UK 2018. 17min

BesidaIn a small tribal village, certain men are on the look-out to drive young girls to the big city. Besida’s older brother steps in to make sure that it doesn’t happen to her.
Dir Chuko Esiri. 2017. 11min

GirlA young migrant. Her period.
Dir Lowri Roberts. UK 2018. 6min

Performance Anxiety – 15 Oct
A series of distinctive short artists’ films exploring the ways sexuality, gender, masculinity and labour are expressed through performance and dance. They offer a diverse range of approaches, from the highly stylised dance/movement work of Catherine Sullivan to the painfully sadomasochistic interactions of Stephen Sutcliffe’s vignettes and the fragile masculinity of Benjamin Crotty’s eponymous chauvinist. Including:

The Startled FactionAn extraordinary stylised exploration of self-possession and ambiguous labour explored though dance idioms, movement, mise-en-scène and drama, in collaboration with Chicago Dancemakers Forum.
Dir Catherine Sullivan. USA 2018. 35min

Amazing and Astounding – 18, 21 Oct
Surreal landscapes, created by animators and filmmakers, can take the imagination to a thrilling place. Be prepared to be amazed by strange worlds and fantastical scenarios. Including:

Hello, RainA scientist-witch who, through an alchemical combination of juju and technology, creates wigs that grant both her and her friends supernatural powers.
Dir C J ‘Fiery’ Obasi. Nigeria 2018. 30min

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

JAMMIE & EC FORDE

BFI Flare 2018: Part 2

2018 BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival began on
Wednesday 21 March, and ends on Sunday 1 April, and there is plenty to see at this year’s BFI Flare Film Festival. Here are our selections. To find out more and to attend the festival, just click on the links to the BFI website.

Have a look at some of the films in BFI Flare 2018: Part 1
This week you can enjoy:

Monday 26 March

20:30
The Wound
“Kwanda, an edgy city boy, has been taken back to his father’s rural village where he is to undergo the painful initiation ritual that will ‘turn’ him into a man.”

This has to be one of my highlights of the festival. I saw this film at the London Film Festival. Tradition clashes with modern living, with a world of secrets. Absolutely fantastic.

Tuesday 27 March

20:30
SHORTS: Rewind the Film
Queer histories and queer futures are reconfigured in this collection of experimental short films, showcasing the best in contemporary artists’ film and video.

FILM 8 – Something Said
As history is remembered, the body is reimagined.

Thursday 29 March

20:40 (also Friday 30 March, 16:10)
SHORTS: Revelate
You must decide what side of reality you stand on in these stories that revel in the dark, the dream-like and the bizarre.

FILM 3 – A Drop of Sun Under the Earth
A man known as Little Bear lives with his father in a run-down Rio slum, but everything changes when he gets a job with a rich older man and becomes obsessed with a Copacabana rent boy.

Friday 30 March

15:45 (also Saturday 31 March, 16:15)
SHORTS: Dangerous Atmospheres
Sometimes relationships happen in spite of the dangers. Four longer shorts with the power of mini-features explore different situations where things don’t turn out as anyone expected.

FILM 4 – Ursinho
A man known as Little Bear lives with his father in a run-down Rio slum, but everything changes when he gets a job with a rich older man and becomes obsessed with a Copacabana rent boy.

18:20
SHORTS: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Life and all its complexities are laid bare in these emotionally-charged short films.

FILM 3 – Y
Laura finds more than she bargained for when she steals from the wrong woman.

18:15 (also Saturday 31 March, 16:20)
Southern Pride
Malcolm Ingram’s spiritual companion piece to his acclaimed documentary Small Town Gay Bar (BFI Flare 2007), Southern Pride offers a fascinating insight into LGBTQ+ rights in a post-Trump landscape. Headstrong bar owner Lynn Koval, alongside a team of friends (and her own Republican-voting sister), endeavour against all odds to organise a Pride march in her local town. Meanwhile, in another part of the state, organisers of a Black Pride celebration are simultaneously striving to make a difference, despite the numerous setbacks that stand in their way. Emotionally textured and politically prescient, this inspiring tale of triumph over adversity addresses themes of leadership, struggle, division, community and race relations, ultimately offering a sense of hope in a world that can too often appear so hopeless.

20:15 (also Saturday 31 March, 20:15)
Good Manners (As Boas maneiras)
Clara, a care worker living on the outskirts of São Paulo, accepts the position of live-in nanny to the as-yet unborn child of a wealthy single woman named Ana. The two women immediately develop a strong bond, but Ana’s increasingly strange behaviour hints at a deep, dark secret.

20:30 (also Saturday 31 March, 11:30)
Hard Paint
Moody, disturbed loner Pedro lives in the depressed harbour town of Porto Alegre. He scrapes together a living as webcam performer NeonBoy and erotic displays of his naked body smeared with neon paint attract a devoted following. When he discovers another male performer, Leon, has copied his act under the pseudonym Boy25, it prompts a radical change to Pedro’s performance and life.

Saturday 31 March

13:20
SHORTS: Wanting, Needing, Waiting
Whilst travelling down that rocky road toward true love, a disparate group of men face some difficult decisions in this heart-rending collection of short films.

FILM 2 – The Things You Think I’m Thinking
A burn survivor goes on a date for the first time since his life-changing accident.

Sunday 1 April

18:10
SHORTS: Brown is the Warmest Colour
Insightful shorts charting the queer Asian experience, and the importance of love, relationships and solidarity.

FILM 5 – More Love. Less Pre-Packed Bullshit
It is easy to overlook the simple extension of love to other people.

The festival runs until 1st April 2018, and there’s a lot more to see,
Sunday 1 April is a chance to catch up on some of the films shown earlier in the festival

Films to see at BFI’s 61st London Film Festival 2017

If you haven’t managed to get down to the BFIs 61st London Film Festival yet, there are still plenty of films to see.

The festival runs from the 4th to the 15th October 2017.

Available  feature films include those set in:

  • Congo (Félicité, Makala), Egypt (The Nile Hilton Incident, Sheikh Jackson), South Africa (The Forgiven, Five Fingers for Marseilles / Menoana e Mehlano ea Marseilles, Liyana, The Wound), Guinea-Bissau (Spell Reel), Mauritania (Oh, Sun! /Soleil Ô), and Zambia (I Am Not a Witch), plus (Untitled),
  • Brazil (Araby /Arábia, Good Manners /As Boas Maneiras),
  • France (Chateau /La Vie de château),
  • Italy (A Ciambra),
  • UK (Dead the Ends, The L-Shaped Room), and
  • USA (The Final Year, Last Flag Flying, Mutafukaz, Gemini, The Shape of Water, Small Town Crime, Saturday Church, G Funk).
Last Flag Flying – 9,10 Oct

Road trip reunion, w/ Laurence Fishburne

Gemini – 9,11 Oct

A crime thriller set in LA with Zoë Kravitz and Lola Kirke

The Wound – 9,10,12 Oct

Right of passage boy to man ritual worth seeing

Félicité – 9 Oct

Kinshasa singer, Félicité, must raise money for an urgent operation for her son

Spell Reel – 9 Oct

Documentary following the preservation of works by filmmakers who documented Guinea-Bissau’s war of independence from Portugal

Liyana – 9 Oct

Thandie Newton produces Liyana, a beautiful story created by children in a Swaziland orphanage. Animated by Shofela Coker

Mutafukaz – 9 Oct

Dystopian hip-hop sci-fi animation

The Final Year – 9 Oct

The Obama administration’s last year in office

Chateau (La Vie de château) – 10,13 Oct

Life around the African hair salons near Château d’Eau metro station in Paris and Charles, one of the hustlers that get clients for the hairdressers

The Shape of Water – 10,11,13 Oct

Sci-fi aquatic creature US laboratory with Octavia Spencer

Makala – 10,12 Oct

Documentary following Hard working miner and his family life

Dead the Ends – 10,15 Oct

Experimental film, a man has been sent back into the past to rescue the future. Includes the 2011 London riots

Good Manners (As Boas Maneiras) – 11,12,13 Oct

Creative and subversive

Small Town Crime – 11,12,14 Oct

Former cop decides to embark on his own investigation when a woman’s body is found. Octavia Spencer plays the cop’s sister

The Nile Hilton Incident – 11,12 Oct

A woman is found murdered in Cairo’s Nile Hilton Hotel

Untitled – 11,13 Oct

Journeying through the nature of labour in Africa, the Balkans and Italy, Michael Glawogger’s unfinished documentary

Sheikh Jackson – 12 Oct

Islamist preacher experiences a crisis of faith following the death of Michael Jackson

I Am Not a Witch – 12,14,15 Oct

Rungano Nyoni’s, I am Not  Witch, where Shula must join a travelling witch camp or become a goat

Oh, Sun! (Soleil Ô) – 12,14 Oct

This 1970s film follows a West African’s experience of racism and immigration on moving to Paris to make a new life for himself

The Forgiven – 13,14,15 Oct

Forest Whitaker plays Desmond Tutu in this film about South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee

A Ciambra – 13,14 Oct

Set in Calabria in Italy, a coming of age story of Romani, Pio

Araby (Arábia) – 13,15 Oct

Teenager André’s journey through different towns and cities of Brazil

Saturday Church – 14 Oct

Musical of a young boy who wants to wear women’s clothes, struggling and finding a supportive group of friends

The L-Shaped Room – 14,15 Oct

1962, pregnant French woman moves to Notting Hill and meets a mix of other outsiders at her lodgings

G Funk – 14,15 Oct

Warren G, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Dr Dre, and Death Row Records, this is the story of hip-hops move from underground to global

Five Fingers for Marseilles (Menoana e Mehlano ea Marseilles) – 15 Oct

A western styled film where Five young friends decide to defend their town, 20 years later, things have changed

 

Also, you can catch short films in the following short film strands:

–~–

 

33 Films to see at the 60th London Film Festival 2016

Update: Tickets still available: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/ticket-availability


The programme for this years BFI London Film Festival runs from 5-16th October 2016. Every year, EC Forde and I try and outline the films that interest us.  Some will get a big cinema release, others, a smaller cinema release, and some you may catch at other festivals and screening events. The rest may just vanish from our radar, with the hope that they pop up somewhere in the future (e.g. TV/DVD/Event). So this is the perfect opportunity to see films from around the world. Particularly interesting this year are the number of films we wanted to list. 33 features, and 13 short films.

They take us on a journey through, Mali, Nigeria, Chad, Botswana, South Africa, America, Uganda, Haiti, France and the UK.

See  our selection below and find out more on the BFI 60th London Film Festival website.

EC Forde & Jammie xx


Feature Films

The 13th

13th-06Director Ava DuVernay presents a searing look at a century of race relations in America in this far-reaching and powerful documentary.

Thu 6
76

76-the-movie-hidingA terse political drama from Nigeria deals with the ramifications for a group linked to the assassination in 1976 of General Murtala Mohammed.

Sat 15
All This Panic

all-this-panic-sage-adamsSeven New York teens emerge from the turbulent ‘panic’ years into nearly adulthood in this astonishingly intimate documentary.

Fri 7, Sat 8
American Honey

american-honey-02Andrea Arnold dazzles with a sun-soaked and tune-filled epic about door-to-door teenage magazine sellers travelling the American highways.

Fri 7, Sat 8, Tue 11
Arrival

arrival_forrestAmy Adams and Jeremy Renner star as the humans who make first contact with extraterrestrial visitors in this richly textured sci-fi from director Denis Villeneuve.

Mon 10, Tue 11, Thu 13
Being 17

being-17-05Hormonal aggression sparks an intense enmity between two 17-year-old schoolboys in the snowy Pyrenees, until the true connection between them surprises everyone.

Mon 10, Tue 11, Sun 16
The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

This explosive Sundance-winning drama follows Nat Turner, a preacher who became the radical leader of an uprising against slavery.

Tue 11, Wed 12, Thu 13
Born In Flames

born-in-flames-01Lizzie Borden’s provocative feminist sci-fi returns to our screens and has lost none of its power.

Sat 15
Chi-Raq

Chi-RaqSpike Lee reimagines Aristophanes’ ancient Greek play Lysistrata as a dazzling modern-day hip-hop musical set in Chicago.

Sat 15, Sun 16
Daughters of the Dust [Treasure]

daughters-of-the-dust-still-six-women-group-shotJulie Dash’s groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust remains urgent and poetic and continues to resonate, most recently inspiring Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

Sat 8, Sat 15
Divines

divinesThe gangster genre is given a shrewd feminist makeover in this arresting debut about a young girl embarking on a life of crime.

Thu 6, Fri 7, Tue 11
Fonko

fonko-01A pulsating journey through the electronic urban musical underground of Africa that looks at how the new sounds are defining a generation, from the team behind Black Power Mixtape (LFF2011).

Sat 8, Mon 10
Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy

hissein-habre-chadian-tragedy-01Mahamet-Saleh Haroun (Darrat) returns to the theme of the personal and societal responsibility with this searing documentary about ex-Chadian President Hissein Habré.

Sat 8, Sun 9
Hospital [Treasure]

hospitalAn outstanding restoration of Frederick Wiseman’s unforgettably gripping documentary portrait of New York’s Metropolitan Hospital.

Sun 9
I called him Morgan

i_called_him_morganPart true-crime tale, part love story, this vivid portrait of legendary hard bop jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan is an all-out musical treat (from the director of My Name is Albert Ayler).

Fri 7
The Illinois Parables

The Illinois Parables

Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois.

Mon 10
Jewel’s Catch One

jewels-catch-oneA rousing doc about LA’s first black LGBT disco, defiantly opened in 1973 and beloved by music royalty from Sylvester to Madonna.

Sat 8, sun 9
Layla M

layla-m-01The gripping and powerful story of a young girl’s path towards radicalisation from director Mijke de Jong (Bluebird).

Tue 11, Thu 13
Lovetrue

lovetrue_3Following her groundbreaking debut Bombay Beach, director Alma Har’el returns with another genre-bending, visually stunning gem about our perception of love and relationships, including the psyche of Victory, a young black woman in New York City pondering family bonds and faith.

Sat 8, Mon 10
Mimosas

mimosas-01A mesmerising combination of travelogue, mysticism and documentary from Spanish director Oliver Laxe, as a young man goes on a mission in the Atlas Mountains.

Thu 6, Fri 7
Moonlight

MoonlightBased on the play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’, Moonlight follows Chiron as he finds his identity and sexuality in Miami in the 1980s.

Thu 6, Fri 7, Sat 8
A Moving Image

shola-amoo-a-moving-image-south-london-gentrification-3The gentrification of London’s Brixton is examined in this probing and stylistically ambitious debut feature.

Sat 8, Fri 14, Sun 16
Nocturama

nocturama-01French director Bertrand Bonello imagines Paris in a state of apocalypse, in a provocative, troubling response to the contemporary age of terror.

Sat 15, Sun 16
On Call

La Permanence

on-call-01Filmed in a walk-in service for asylum seekers in an hospital near Paris, this timely documentary captures with great humanity dozens of personal stories.

Wed 12, Fri 14
The Pass

pass-01Two ‘straight’ footballers share a kiss in this powerful chamber piece which opened BFI Flare earlier this year.

Wed 12, Fri 14
Queen of Katwe

Queen of KatweThe powerful true life tale of one girl’s determination to escape from poverty in Uganda by becoming a chess champion, directed by Mira Nair and starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

Sun 9, Mon 10, Wed 12
The Revolution Won’t Be Televised

revolution-wont-be-televised-01Rama Thiaw’s film taps into an example of grassroots political action in Senegal, where a group of disenfranchised activists decide to campaign against that country’s elite.

Sun 9, Mon 10
Stolkholm My Love

stockholm-my-love-rainNeneh Cherry, director Mark Cousins (I am Belfast) and cinematographer Christopher Doyle  create an inventive docu-style fiction and a love song to the Swedish city.

Tue 11, Wed 12
Those Who Jump

Les Sauteurs

those-who-jump-still-playing-bootball“I exist because I film” – the compelling first-hand account of an African migrant enduring great hardship to reach Europe and make a better life.

Thu 13, Sat 15
A United Kingdom

united-kingdom-01Amma Asante (Belle, A Way of Life) opens the Festival with this impassioned drama depicting an interracial romance that changed the world.

Wed 5, Thu 6, Tue 11
The Wedding Ring

Zin’naariyâ!

wedding-ring-01A female-directed and rare film from Niger, about a privileged young woman who comes back home, in the sultanate of Zinder, after studying in Paris to discover the truth of the relationships between women and men in her society.

Fri 14
White Colour Black

white-colour-black-01A young mixed heritage man confronts the psychological complexities of his identity in this essential, truly cinematic discovery for anyone interested in Black British cinema.

Sat 15
Wùlu

wulu-02What happens when a life of crime offers more opportunity than living an honest life? It’s a challenge Malian bus driver Ladji faces in this superb drama.

Fri 7, Sat 8

Short Films

Hollywood Disections – Sat 8
juke-01Juke – Passages From The Films of Spencer WilliamsThe career of African American actor, director and scriptwriter Spencer Williams re-enacted in a plotless montage film.
London Calling – Thu 13, Fri 14
pregnant-pause-01Pregnant PausePee. Wait. Panic. Steph is in a happy, long-term relationship, but now that she might be pregnant she has no idea what she wants.
we-love-moses-01We Love MosesTwelve-year-old Ella’s obsession with her brother’s best friend lands her with a potent secret.
Love in a Void – Wed 5, Fri 7
nkosi_coiffure_2Nkosi CoiffureEva escapes her boyfriend on the street of Brussels’ Congolese neighbourhood. She finds solace in an afro hair salon. Initially, at least.
New Kind of Kick – Fri 7, Sat 8
best-last-best-plane-ride-ever-01The Best Last Best Plane Ride EverOctober, 1986. The NY Mets beat the Houston Astros. This animation recreates their post-game airplane celebration: three hours of unbridled chaos.
Returning and Repressing – Sun 9
ears-nose-and-throat-01Ears, Nose and ThroatWhile under a medical examination, a modest woman unburdens her traumatic witnessing of the shooting of a man by his friend.
liliesleaf-farm-mayibuye-01 Liliesleaf Farm Mayibuye: In Search of the Spectres of HistoryUsing double screen, the filmmaker juxtaposes her domestic family history with that of Nelson Mandela prior to his arrest.
on-a-wing-and-a-prayer-01On a Wing and a PrayerA recreation of the 31-mile walk of refugee Abdul Rahman Haroun through the Eurotunnel, only for him to be arrested under an arcane Victorian railway law.
reluctantly-queer-01Reluctantly QueerA young Ghanaian man confesses his confusion around his sexuality and his desire to please his mother.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination – Wed 12
girl-who-danced-with-the-devil-01The Girl Who Danced With the Devil (A moça que dançou com o Diabo) A girl from a very religious family seeks her own paradise.
Teen Creeps – Thu 6, Thu 13
crystal-lake-01Crystal LakeA group of young girls take over a skate park. There, on the reclaimed ramp and with no boys around, they thrive.
send-off-01The Send-OffEmboldened by a giant block party on the evening of their high school prom, a group of students enter the night with hope for the future.
The Past is the Present Too – Fri 14
sea-is-history-01The Sea is History (work in progress)The Sea is History, made in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is a free adaptation of the poem by Derek Walcott as a materialist and animist critique of the monumentalisation of European colonial history and its ripples into the present.

Events & Talks

  1. Black Mirror Preview
  2. Lynette Wallworth

20 Afrocentric films to see at the BFI London Film Festival 2015

The programme for this years BFI London Film Festival runs from 7-18th October 2015. Every year, EC Forde and I try and outline the films we think have an afrocentric slant to them, in the hope that you get the chance to see them before they disappear from London cinemas.  Some of course will get a big cinema release, others, a smaller cinema release, and some you may catch at other festivals and screening events. The rest may just vanish from our radar, with the hope that they pop up somewhere in the future (e.g. TV/DVD/Event). That is the beauty of the Film Festival, the ability to have access to these films covering topics from all over the world.

This years films takes us to the mountains of Ethiopia (Lamb), introduces us to a female mechanic in Johannesburg (Ayanda), brings us love, lust and power in Lagos (Fifty), child rebel soldiers in an unnamed African country (Beasts of No Nation), a look at male friendship in St Louis (Cronies), and a documentary in Tottenham – friends and family of Mark Duggan explore his life and subsequent death in 2011 (The Hard Stop).

My love affair with music related films continues, and I am looking forward to the “Sonic” stream of music films at the festival, If I’m honest, I could probably watch all of the films in this section of films, but EC and I are giving a nod to three you should check out, including two films about Hip Hop. One on the clothing culture and how it influenced fashion on the catwalks and high streets (Fresh Dressed) and the other on Hip Hop Radio presenters Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia (Stretch and Bobbito:Radio That Changed Lives)… AND, if that isn’t enough, there is an after-party after the screening at Hackney Picturehouse, where Stretch and Bobbito DJ at Birthdays on Stock Newington Road (Saturday 17th)!

So much more to tell you, and we will be back with more films, particulary the short films worth catching, and maybe some of the films available online.

EC Forde & Jammie xx

In the meantime, here is our list of recommended films:

Adama
It’s 1914 and 12-year-old Adama lives with his elder brother Samba in a small west African village. They have been raised to be naturally sceptical of the negative forces or spirits that live outside the community, so the family is shocked when Samba runs away to become a warrior. Adama leaves the village soon after in order to search for him. His epic journey takes him across several continents and forces the boy to take stock of the world at large, particularly a war-strewn Europe where, it becomes clear, Samba has been sent to the front line trenches to fight. Adama is a richly animated film that deals with an important chapter in world history. It is as exciting and enlightening as it is moving.

Saturday 10 October 3:45pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
Sunday 11 October 3:45pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Ayanda
Sara Belcher’s Ayanda is a fresh, modern tale set in a vibrant and diverse Johannesburg. 21-year-old Afro-hipster and artist Ayanda (Fulu Mugovhani) is the child of a Nigerian father and a South African mother (Nthati Moshesh). After her father’s death she inherits his struggling garage and along with her mechanic boyfriend David (OC Ukeje) they work hard, combining their skills, to keep the business going. In order to attract custom they decide to specialise in the buying, refurbishing and selling of vintage cars. Using a collage-style ‘inspired by the possibilities of a modern African aesthetic’, Blecher presents colourful portraits of the multi-national residents living in Johannesburg’s Yeoville suburb, intercut with a rousing narrative of two individuals with nothing to lose overcoming all odds. A lively, engaging and ultimately celebratory female-centred story, Ayanda also highlights the Afro-cultural hub that modern South Africa is fast becoming.

Saturday 10 October 8:45pm @ Cineworld Haymarket, Screen 1
Sunday 11 October 6:15pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Beasts of No Nation
Cary Fukunaga’s (True Detective, Jane Eyre, Sin Nombre) unflinching adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 novel of the same name (itself borrowed from Fela Kuti’s 1989 album) is at once enthralling cinema and a gut-wrenching indictment of child exploitation. In an unnamed African country, civil conflict rips through the village where Agu, a sparky young boy, lives with his family. Witnessing unspeakable atrocities, including the brutal execution of his father and older brother, Agu is forced to run for his life. He is discovered, dazed and traumatised, by a group of rebel soldiers and is swiftly incorporated into their ranks by a fierce mercenary. The Commandant (Idris Elba), who receives his own orders from afar and for an unknown purpose keeps his militia fuelled with a heady mix of intoxicating bravado and hard drugs, maintains control through psychological and physical abuse. Rapidly adapting in order to survive, Agu is pushed to unthinkable limits. Idris Elba is charismatic and terrifying as the unhinged Commandant and newcomer Abraham Attah is a revelation as Agu, delivering a performance that (like his character) carries a weight beyond his years. Whilst deeply true to its African subject, the film resonates darkly beyond its situation, serving as a harsh reminder of childhoods destroyed in war zones and deprived urban areas everywhere.

Thursday 08 October 6:00pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Thursday 08 October 6:30pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
Friday 09 October 12:30pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5

Black Girl (La Noire de…)
The evolution of African cinema can be dated from Sembène’s astonishing first feature, which tells the tragic story of Diouana, a young Senegalese woman eager to find a better life and who takes a job as a governess for a bourgeois French family. Mistreated by her employers, Diouana’s hopes turn to disillusionment and she descends into a state of isolation and despair. Sembène draws from the Nouvelle Vague, but the film’s heart and soul is most definitely African. It is the perfect companion to Samba Gadjigo’s documentary Sembéne!.

Wednesday 07 October 6:20pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3
Friday 09 October 1:30pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3

Cronies
Executive produced by Spike Lee and developed while director Michael J Larnell was in film school, Cronies is a funny, sharply-observed look at male friendship. Louis and Jack have been mates since their tough childhood in one of the poorer, mostly black neighbourhoods of St Louis. Now grown up, they’re growing apart with Jack partying every day, while Louis has a baby and a job at a carwash. Louis’ new friend Andrew, the white guy whose parents own the car wash, threatens the delicate balance of the pair’s friendship. Then a spontaneous day out turns into a weed-fuelled test of their bond. With hints of Clerks, not least in the gorgeous B&W photography and rough-hewn charm, Larnell delivers a smart film about growing up and an ode to his native St Louis with the three local actors giving performances full of great natural appeal.

Thursday 08 October 6:30pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
Saturday 10 October 2:45pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7

The Endless River
In a small South African town, a man returns home from a four-year prison sentence. Tiny, his wife, finds herself agonising over their inability to reconnect. Meanwhile, on the other side of town Gilles, a French ex-pat is devasted by the brutal murder of his wife and young children. United in their suffering, Tiny and Gilles form an unlikely bond, turning to each other for help and companionship. While the gorgeous opening credits feel like a homage to a classic Hollywood western, Oliver Hermanus’ third feature (following the acclaimed Shirley Adams and Beauty) soon proves to be something far more thought-provoking. Defiantly ambiguous in its storytelling and consistently surprising in its aesthetic choices, The Endless River is undeniably demanding. However, thanks to the extraordinary central performances from Crystal-Donna Roberts and Nicolas Duvauchelle, along with Hermanus’ intelligent direction, such formal invention never eclipses the film’s devastating emotional impact.

Tuesday 13 October 2015 18:20 @ Curzon Mayfair Cinema
Thursday 15 October 2015 21:00 @Vue Cinema Islington

Fifty
Biyi Bandele’s follow-up to Half of a Yellow Sun is a riveting exploration of love and lust, power and rivalry, and seduction and infidelity, set in Africa’s most populous city, Lagos. It details a few pivotal days in the lives of four women at the pinnacle of their careers and revelling in the power and supposed wisdom that comes with age. Tola is a reality TV star whose marriage to lawyer Kunle never stood a chance, thanks to an unpleasant family secret. Elizabeth is a celebrated obstetrician whose penchant for younger men has estranged her from her daughter. 49-year-old Maria has an affair with a married man that causes explosive rifts in her social circle. And for Kate, her battle with a life-threatening illness has prompted an obsession with religion. Elegantly performed, featuring a vibrant, pulsating soundtrack and with Lagos evocatively filmed by Malcolm McLean, Fifty is a joy to watch.

Saturday 17 October 6:00pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Sunday 18 October 6:30pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Fresh Dressed
In this fascinating and lively directorial debut, Sacha Jenkins continues his chronicling of hip hop culture that began with his journalism in the 1990s, followed by his 2008 publication, ‘Piecebook: The Secret Drawings of Graffiti Writers’. Here, he tells the story of the colourful characters that emerged from urban roots to hustle the oversized pants and graffiti-emblazoned jackets from the New York discount stores and would go on to influence both the fashion world’s catwalks and middle America’s shopping malls. Channelled through an entertaining collage of original interviews, archive footage, gloriously ‘fresh’ stills and groove-inducing hip hop, Jenkins’ film connects the dots between music, style, self-expression and identity politics. Moving from pre-Civil War slavery to South Bronx in the 1970s and the super-connected niche cultures of today, Fresh Dressed is the story of freedom of expression as articulated by disenfranchised and oppressed peoples.

Saturday 17 October 6:30pm @ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
Sunday 18 October 3:00pm @ Picturehouse Central, Screen 1

Gold Coast (Guldkysten)
In 1836, young botanist Wulff Joseph Wulff is dispatched to the Danish colonies in Guinea (present-day southeast Ghana) to establish and oversee a coffee plantation. He is fuelled by naïve optimism and what he believes is a progressive mentality, but his troubling experience of colonial life radically challenges his very European complacency. Based on fact, but far from a traditional historical drama, both in style and content, writer/director Daniel Dencik’s story evolves through a series of richly textured dreamlike vignettes. Dencik employs a creative collision of fact and imagination to build a mesmerising picture of Wulff’s moral compass, thoughts and inner life. And Jakob Oftebro (Kon-Tiki) delivers an extraordinary and extreme performance as Wulff, by turns visceral, conflicted and heartbreaking. The addition of Angelo Badalamenti’s ethereal contemporary score further helps to bring a distinctive freshness to this powerful and ambitious feature debut.

Sunday 11 October 6:00pm @ Cineworld Haymarket, Screen 1
Tuesday 13 October 6:30pm @ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1
Thursday 15 October 12:00pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7

The Hard Stop
The Hard Stop is an intimate documentary revealing the story, away from all press coverage, of Mark Duggan’s friends and family following his death. He was shot and killed in a ‘Hard Stop’ police procedure in 2011, sparking the most violent riots in British history. For 28 months, director George Amponsah (The Fighting Spirit) filmed around Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, where Duggan grew up, capturing his family’s distress and focusing on two of his best friends, Marcus Knox and Kurtis Henville. We follow the men closely as they attempt to get on with their lives, look for a job, talk about the discrimination they experience on a daily basis and the impact Duggan’s death has had on the community. Duggan is present throughout, in peoples’ testimonies and news broadcasts. What emerges is a profoundly humane, thought-provoking and topical testament, which gives a voice to people who are rarely heard.

Saturday 17 October 8:45pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Sunday 18 October 3:45pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Lamb
This is an exquisite, multilayered directorial feature debut that unfolds amidst the breathtakingly beautiful mountains of Ethiopia. After the death of his mother, 9-year-old Ephraim is taken from his drought-stricken home by his father who places him in the care of relatives while he goes to look for work in Addis Ababa. Ephraim has his pet sheep Chuni for company and they are inseparable, spending all their time playing together. Ephraim’s uncle, a hard working peasant-farmer, is frustrated that Ephraim doesn’t seem to be good at anything. However, the situation turns against Ephraim when he is told that Chuni will be sacrificially slaughtered at the next religious feast. Distraught at this news, Ephraim decides that he must take drastic action to save his only friend, even if that means returning home. Lamb marks the arrival of a major new African filmmaker in Yared Zeleke.

Friday 09 October 6:30PM @ ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 10 October 9:00pm @ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Mediterranea
Jonas Carpignano’s riveting feature debut is an ultra-topical tale of two young African men, Ayiva and Abas from Burkina Faso who, in search of a better life, make the difficult and dangerous trip across the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea to reach Italy. Needless to say, their destination is more problematic than the two friends imagined. The Calabrian community is hostile to immigrants who attempt to eke out an existence there, which eventually leads to violence and rioting. Played by a largely non-professional cast (many having experienced similar problems), Mediterranea is a powerful, strikingly shot and utterly believable film. Directed with verve and considerable aplomb by director Carpignano, the film was developed from his award winning short A Chianna, which also drew on real life events.

Friday 16 October 9:15pm @ Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 17 October 1:00pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Nasty Baby
Sebastián Silva’s Nasty Baby is one of the most original works of the year, by turns beguiling, seductive and confrontational. Successful artist Freddy (Silva) and his boyfriend Mo (Tunde Adebimpe) are happily ensconced in Brooklyn and preparing to have a baby with Freddy’s best friend Polly (Kristen Wiig). Silva quickly draws us into their world and we identify with their worries: how to impregnate Polly; what Mo’s conservative family make of it; how to manage their increasingly disruptive neighbour. All against the backdrop of Freddy’s attempts to create a new work for a major gallery and struggling with the threat of deportation. These truthful and urgent cares are more than enough to make the film compelling. But the roguishly brilliant Silva hasn’t set out to deliver an absorbing ‘post-race’ drama about gay parenting. Instead, he plays a breathtaking and audacious late curve ball that is guaranteed to spark passionate post-screening debates.

Tuesday 13 October 8:45pm @ Cineworld Haymarket, Screen 1
Thursday 15 October 8:45pm @ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1

Necktie Youth
For his directorial debut, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer delves into the world of contemporary Johannesburg’s privileged youth. He plays Jabz, a twentysomething slacker who hangs out with best friend September in their uptown neighbourhood. They embark on a drug and alcohol-fuelled spree – their way of dealing with the circumstances that led to their friend’s live-streamed suicide a year before. Beautifully shot in black and white, Necktie Youth avoids the stereotypes that often undermine the country’s cinematic output, instead presenting a refreshing portrait of the ‘born frees’ – the generation born since 1990 and after the fall of Apartheid. Though their parents fought for or experienced the struggle against that regime, these youths are ill-equipped to handle the tragedy that blows apart their relatively sheltered lives. Winner of the Best South African Film and Best Director awards at the Durban International Film Festival, this is a promising film from a major new talent.

Friday 16 October 9:00pm   @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
Sunday 18 October 4:00pm @ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

Red Leaves (Alim adumim)
This marvellous first feature by Tel Aviv-based Ethiopian director Bazzi Gete tells the story of Meseganio, an immigrant who has been living in Israel for almost 30 years. After the death of his wife, he announces to his family that he will be selling his house and living with them. A stubborn patriarch, Meseganio is used to having everything done his way, so he is angry and hurt when his hard-line traditional values are challenged. He clashes with his daughter-in-law when she stands up to him and is shocked that his teenage granddaughter has a non-Ethiopian boyfriend. What makes this portrait of a man out of time with the world so compelling is Debebe Eshetu’s central performance. Scrupulously watched by Eddan Sasson’s camera – often in extreme close up to capture his anguish and outrage – Eshetu perfectly captures Meseganio’s inability to understand his children or exercise any power over them.

Thursday 08 October 9:15pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3
Monday 12 October 6:30pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Sembène!
This incisive documentary chronicles the life of the internationally acclaimed filmmaker, considered by many to be the father of African cinema. Ousmane Sembène was a self-taught novelist and filmmaker. His ambition was to make films that would reach a vast African audience, from the illiterate to the educated. He dropped out from school when he was in the fifth grade and left Senegal, embarking on a journey that took him to Marseille where he worked as a docker. It was following an accident and the subsequent months lain in bed that Sembène began writing. From there he attended the Gorky Film Institute in Moscow and shortly after directed his first short film. Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman’s film details Semebène’s transformation into a world class filmmaker, through personal recollection, archive footage and the magnificent films he made. It is a fitting tribute to one of cinema’s great pioneers and storytellers. The director’s stunning feature debut Black Girl is also screening in the LFF.

Wednesday 07 October 8:45pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3
Thursday 08 October 3:30pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Stretch and Bobbito: Radio that Changed Lives
In 1990, Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia started broadcasting on New York’s WKCR. The pair filled the airwaves with their intense passion for Hip Hop, uniquely infectious chemistry and sense of humour. Presenting exclusive demo tapes and live in-studio freestyles from a range of artists who were unsigned at the time but now read like a roll call who’s who of the hip hop world, the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show rapidly became a rally cry for rap. Their audience ranged from kids from the streets, the prison community and downtown fashionistas. It is a personal account of the show through its halcyon days, featuring previously unreleased footage and contributions from Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, Big Pun, Rosie Perez, Busta Rhymes, Eminem, Q-Tip, Jay Z and many more. This is simply a must for any fan of hip hop.

Thursday 15 October 9:00pm @ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 17 October 8:45pm @ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1

Tangerine
Fizzing and popping with the energy of as-it-happened classics like Before Sunset and Do the Right Thing, Sean Baker’s Tangerine, a tale of two transsexual hookers on Santa Monica Boulevard, could prove the sleeper hit of the year. On Christmas Eve, released from a brief stint in jail, Sin-Dee Rella meets her best friend Alexandra who reveals that her beau, Chester, has been cheating on her with a ‘white fish’ (a Caucasian female-born woman). The news propels the mercurial Sin-Dee to find Chester’s new girl and teach her a lesson. Remarkably, considering the richness of the bold, saturated colour and widescreen photography, Baker and his co-cinematographer, Radium Cheung filmed this on iPhone 5s, grabbing most scenes with just two cameras and dolly shots filmed from cycles. The result is a film of urgency and veracity, with charming performances from transgender non-actors Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. From donut shop to Hollywood dive bar, the comedy of hair pulling and bitch slapping gives way to something altogether more tender and unexpected: a film about female friendship and solidarity.

Friday 09 October 8:45pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Friday 09 October 9:15pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
Saturday 10 October 12:30pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5

Tanna
Filmed on the remote island of Tanna in Vanuatu, this visually ravishing film tells the story of Wawu, a young woman who has fallen in love with her chief’s grandson, Dain. Despite their desire to marry, Wawa’s family forbid this union. When an inter-tribal war breaks out with a neighbouring community, her hand is unwittingly promised as part of the peace negotiations. With the threat of separation looming, Wawa and Dain abandon their homes in an attempt to be together, causing further upset between the warring clans. Based on the true story that took place in 1985, this is a stunningly photographed, evocative tale of two star-crossed lovers fighting the laws of ancient tradition and tribal custom. Working with an extraordinary cast of non-actors, acclaimed documentary filmmakers Martin Butler and Bentley Dean have made an arresting narrative debut, expanding on their previous work with indigenous communities, resulting in a truly special film.

Friday 16 October 9:15pm @ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Sunday 18 October 3:30pm @ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile
Imagine living in a world with no radio, no stereos and no live music. It is difficult to contemplate, but that is exactly what happened in an area of Mali in 2012. Islamic Jihadists took control of Northern Mali and through a harsh interpretation of Sharia law they banned all forms of music. In a tragedy that constitutes nothing less than a crime against humanity for a country famous for its vibrant and colourful music, radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned and revered musicians faced torture, even death. For her feature debut, Johanna Schwartz intelligently captures the complexity and emotion of the life of musicians forced into exile and desperate to keep their music alive. The score was composed by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner and there is music from a variety of artists, including Khaira Arby, Fadimata ‘Disco’ Walet Oumar, Amkoullel and Moussa Sidi

Tuesday 13 October 6:15pm @ Picturehouse Central, Screen 1
Wednesday 14 October 6:30pm @ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

EAST END FILM FESTIVAL: 14-25th June 2014

The East End Film Festival kicks off this weekend from Saturday 14th June to Wednesday 25th June.  East End Film Festival

Here is my pick of films to catch over the festival:

 

Saturday 14th June

Hackney’s Finest 9pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
A crowd pleasing tale of mayhem and ineptitude in East London, Hackney’s Finest is a riotous, knowing comedy-thriller that pits a group of hopeless Hackney drug dealers against a group of corrupt policemen, Russian thugs & Welsh-Jamaican arms dealers. An irreverent tale of greed, corruption and the fight for survival it serves as a knowing antidote to the tired British gangster genre. Festival Link

Inna Vision Film School Screening2pm @ Genesis
Based in East London, the Inna Vision Film School works with adults with and without lived experience of mental health issues. Making a powerful, engaging short films, the participants touch on various aspects of mental health experiences, with a particular focus on African and Caribbean communities. Festival Link

This Ain’t No Mouse Music1pm @ Red Gallery (Part of the “Grits n’ Gravy” screenings: A Cinematic Celebration of the Deep South)
Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records, has sought out blues, zydeco, Cajun, tex-mex, klezmer and Appalachian bluegrass, recording artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins, Flaco Jiminez and Michael Doucet. Taking in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, family picnics and beer joints, with music from Ry Cooder, Richard Thompson, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal, immerse yourself with a life loving music obsessive. Festival Link

Sunday 15th June

Blue Caprice5.30pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
Many films claim to seriously explore the African American experience. But few manage it as powerfully, and to such harrowing ends, as Blue Caprice, Alexandre Moors’ psychological drama inspired by the ‘Beltway Sniper’ shootings that took place in 2002 in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.  Festival Link

Concerning Violence3pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
Göran Hugo Olsson (The Black Power Mixtape) returns with another powerful filmic retrospective conjured from the archive. Inspired by Frantz Fanon’s book The Wretched of the Earth, Olsson’s film takes a look back on Africa’s independence and liberation movements, and the uprisings that led to much of Africa’s decolonisation. Festival Link

Tuesday 17th June

Angels in Exile6.30pm @ Rich Mix
A challenge to pervading myths about street children, Angels in Exile folds back the violent and often graphic image of homeless youth to show children facing a cycle of violence, rape, abductions and murder. The street kids of Durban, South Africa mostly have no way out, and director Billy Raftery commendably embeds himself within the community, many of whom are huffing glue as a means of temporary escape, and who are in turn facing addiction and a life of crime. Made over the course of 8 years. Festival Link

Family Reunion8.45pm @ Genesis
“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.” – Arthur Miller
It’s that time of life; Dad, recently widowed, is now mourning the passing of his best friend, ‘Uncle’ Bernie. Joined by his adult children, Karen and Jason, the three return from the day’s funeral back to their family home. Cold and without the warmth their home once knew, Karen and Jason assure Dad of the imminent loving, family reunions ahead. Festival Link

Wednesday 18th June

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz9pm @ Genesis
Programming prodigy, information activist and tragic casualty of the crackdown on so called internet ‘piracy’, Aaron Swartz is a true internet celebrity, in the positive sense of the term. From his role in developing RSS to co-founding Reddit, he lay claim to being a genuine pioneer in the digital realm. But he was also a political campaigner, one whose dream of a better world meant access to information; a cause that would eventually land him in a two year legal battle for downloading academic material at MIT. Faced with 35 year jail term and punitive fines, he took his own life at 26, and promptly became a symbol for those fighting for a free web. Festival Link

White Shadow6pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
In Tanzania, witch doctors believe that albino body parts bring health, posterity and cures for dangerous illnesses. Within this environment is young albino boy Alias, who witnesses his father’s murder and is promptly sent to the city, where he lives with his uncle Kosmos, and becomes a hustling young businessman, selling DVDs and mobile phones. But despite some happy moments, not least potentially falling in love, Alias is locked in a fight for survival. Festival Link

Thursday 19th June

Leave to Remain6.30pm @ Genesis
Social discrimination and adjusting to life in the UK are given powerful, emotive force in Leave to Remain, the debut feature from lauded television director Bruce Goodison. A young Afghan boy arrives at a refugee home, and encounters a society and a system that is seemingly rigged against him, and where the story he tells is seemingly more important than the truth. Festival Link

Saturday 21st June

One Rogue Reporter4.00pm @ Rio
Recovering tabloid hack Rich Peppiatt has fallen out with the rag trade, it’s safe to say. Having mercilessly turned on the tabloid industry during the Leveson Inquiry, accusing the industry of both Islamaphobia and fitting the facts to match the story, here he turns his hand to filmmaking, in One Rogue Reporter  he delivers a mercilessly satirical dissection of his former trade. Festival Link

Sunday 22nd June

Drowned City6.30pm @ Genesis
Transmitting illegally on London’s radio airwaves can lead to an unlimited fine and a jail sentence. Filmed over a 3 year period, Drowned City follows 3 pirates with very different stories. A story of clandestine climbs up telephone pylons and tower-block rooftops, it’s an exploration of why people take dangerous risks just to play illegal music. Jay, who began his career aged just 13, left the scene by choice at 32 without ever being caught, whereas Sam Supplier’s pirate career was ended by a 2005 police raid, a huge fine and 2 years on bail. A film about aspiration, London, music and dwindling cultural scene, one which may soon only be preserved by ex-pirates telling tales about serving their communities through illegal acts. Festival Link

Irons In The Fire7pm @ Genesis
‘Irons in the Fire’ follows five inspirational young people, facing up to struggle as they conquer success. This Film Festival Premiere delivers a powerful story of how five young people, overcome adversity to reach their current success. Elevated by Idris Elba’s narration and George the Poet’s punchy & enlivening words, the film explores the importance of maintaining your own identity whilst appreciating the opportunities that exist for young people. Festival Link

Payday7pm @ Genesis
Narrated by George the Poet, PAYDAY is a unique performance documentary, which delves into the finances and lives of four twenty-somethings. The film focuses on the contrasting lives of our diverse cast from the moment they receive their ‘payday’ money to how they go on to spend, save or squander it. Festival Link

 Jammie x