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Discoveries

Your place for a chance meeting with new talent and the persistently brilliant.

It is casual encounter, rather than formula, which leads you to find a good film. The London Film Festival is a place for serendipity, where a last-minute ticket can spark a lifelong devotion. This international selection, many with accompanying interviews, shows some of the best discoveries of recent years.

"Film festivals at their best, I think, are a window and also a mirror. A window through which we can see the world and a mirror in which we can see ourselves."

Paul Greengrass

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Discoveries
View I Am Not a Serial Killer
I Am Not a Serial Killer
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I Am Not a Serial Killer 2016 15

A teenage sociopath comes face to face with an evil force in this chilling and darkly humorous adaptation of Dan Wells’ acclaimed cult novel.

104 mins Ireland Director. Billy O'Brien

View La Noche
La Noche
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La Noche 2016 18

A gritty journey through the sexual underbelly of Buenos Aires, with graphic depictions of the highs and lows in one man’s quest for intimacy.

135 mins Great Britain Director. Edgardo Castro

View Dancer
Dancer
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Dancer 2016 12

The rise, fall and rise again of the bad boy of ballet, Ukrainian prodigy Sergei Polunin is captured in this swirling doc with a rocking soundtrack.

86 mins United Kingdom Director. David Lachapelle, Steven Cantor

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Chevalier
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Chevalier 2015 15

Athina Rachel Tsangari's biting and hilarious dissection of the male ego was awarded Best Film at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival.

105 mins Greece Director. Athina Rachel Tsangari

View The Space in Between – Marina Abramović and Brazil
The Space in Between – Marina Abramović and Brazil
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The Space in Between – Marina Abramović and Brazil 2016

A bold and unsettling mystical voyage in the company of the fearless Serbian artist, as she travels Brazil in search of spiritual healing.

86 mins Brazil Director. Marco Del Fiol

View The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers
The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers
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The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers 2015 12

Britain’s brilliant experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers (Two Years at Sea) presents this haunting desert parable which follows a filmmaker’s abduction and ritual humiliation.

95 mins United Kingdom Director. Ben Rivers

View Light Years
Light Years
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Light Years 2015 12

Beth Orton stars in a wonderfully subtly and nuanced drama that explores the toll of physical and mental illness on a family. This first feature is poignant and poetic while offering dazzling fractured moments to savour.

89 mins United Kingdom Director. Esther May Campbell

View Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words
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Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words 2015 PG

An illuminating portrait of the pioneering actress, crafted from her unique personal archive of home-movie footage, letters and diary extracts.

114 mins Sweden Director. Stig Björkman

View Elstree 1976
Elstree 1976
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Elstree 1976 2015 12

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, ten actors landed small roles in a mysterious project called Star Wars. This is the story of how their lives changed forever.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Jon Spira

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Brand New Testament
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Brand New Testament 2015 15

Catherine Deneuve and Benoît Poelvoorde head the cast in Jaco Van Dormael’s wildly inventive comedy, in which God’s daughter decides to rewrite the rules.

113 mins Belgium Director. Jaco van Dormael

View The Here After
The Here After
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The Here After 2015 15

A teenager attempts to integrate back into society following a spell in prison, but the community is unwilling to forgive him.

114 mins Poland Director. Magnus von Horn

View The Hard Stop
The Hard Stop
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The Hard Stop 2015 15

The story of Mark Duggan, who was shot and killed in Tottenham in 2011, is brought to the screen in this humane, thought-provoking and topical documentary.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. George Amponsah

View Court
Court
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Court 2014 PG

Hailed as a modern classic channelling the spirit of Satyajit Ray, Chaitanya Tamhane's film is an absurdist portrait of injustice in contemporary India.

116 mins India Director. Chaitanya Tamhane

View Embrace of the Serpent
Embrace of the Serpent
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Embrace of the Serpent 2015 12

The spirit of Werner Herzog and Apocalypse Now imbue this majestic Oscar-nominated odyssey through the heart of the Amazon.

125 mins Colombia Director. Ciro Guerra

View Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
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Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) 2015 18

High-school students start a private orgy society in Eva Husson’s dazzlingly shot, no-holds-barred drama.

98 mins France Director. Eva Husson

View Aferim!
Aferim!
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Aferim! 2015 18

A policeman searches for a runaway gypsy in Radu Jude’s hilarious and magnificently shot Wallachian western.

105 mins Romania Director. Radu Jude

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Hitchcock/Truffaut
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Hitchcock/Truffaut 2015 12

Kent Jones’ excellent documentary about a historic encounter between two cinema greats.

80 mins France Director. Kent Jones

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Tangerine
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Tangerine 2015 15

A big-hearted film shot on a small phone, this LA tale of two transgender working girls out for vengeance fizzes with wild energy.

88 mins USA Director. Sean Baker

View The Goob
The Goob
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The Goob 2014 18

Rural Norfolk provides the atmospheric backdrop to this accomplished debut about a teen trying to find love and escape the influence of his mother’s controlling boyfriend.

84 mins United Kingdom Director. Guy Myhill

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James White
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James White 2016 15

Reality bites for a hedonistic young New Yorker who suddenly has to grow up quickly, in a brilliantly acted drama from the team behind Martha Marcy May Marlene.

85 mins USA Director. Josh Mond

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Chemsex
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Chemsex 2015 18

A hard-hitting and often graphic documentary about the 'chemsex' sub-scene in London’s gay community.

83 mins USA Director. Max Gogarty, William Fairman

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Couple in a Hole
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Couple in a Hole 2015 12

One of the most original British features in recent years follows a Scottish couple’s bizarre underground existence in a French forest.

105 mins United Kingdom Director. Tom Geens

View My Nazi Legacy
My Nazi Legacy
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My Nazi Legacy 2015 PG

What if your father was a Nazi? This is the harrowing question raised in David Evans’ thought-provoking documentary.

96 mins United Kingdom Director. David Evans

View A Girl at My Door
A Girl at My Door
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A Girl at My Door 2014 18

Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) produces this offbeat drama about a policewoman who becomes protector of an abused teen in a town riven by corruption and alcoholism.

119 mins Korea, Republic of Director. July Jung

View Appropriate Behaviour
Appropriate Behaviour
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Appropriate Behaviour 2015 15

Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this witty, razor-sharp and fearless comedy following the sexual misadventures of a bisexual Brooklynite.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Desiree Akhavan

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Electricity
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Electricity 2014 15

Agyness Deyn stars in a powerful story seen through the eyes of a young woman whose epilepsy brings extraordinary hallucinations.

96 mins United Kingdom Director. Bryn Higgins

View Second Coming
Second Coming
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Second Coming 2014 15

What if an immaculate conception took place in a South London household? Idris Elba stars in a subtle, thought-provoking and original family drama.

105 mins United Kingdom Director. Debbie Tucker Green

View Gone Too Far!
Gone Too Far!
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Gone Too Far! 2013 12

Riotous urban comedy adapted from the hit play about a Peckham teen affronted by the arrival of his long-lost Nigerian sibling.

88 mins United Kingdom Director. Destiny Ekaragha

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Difret
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Difret 2013 12

A young Ethiopian woman faces the death penalty for killing the man who raped her until a brave lawyer decides to take on her case.

99 mins Ethiopia Director. Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

View Of Good Report
Of Good Report
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Of Good Report 2013

Disturbing but deeply stylish South African drama about a teacher who becomes obsessed with an under-age pupil in his class, with tragic consequences.

100 mins South Africa Director. Jahmil Xolani Thandikhaya Qubeka

View Wild Tales
Wild Tales
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Wild Tales 2014 15

This Oscar-nominated, Almodóvar-produced anthology of six tales of ordinary madness is the most riotously enjoyable portmanteau film since Pulp Fiction.

122 mins Argentina Director. Damian Szifron

View Dior and I
Dior and I
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Dior and I 2014 12

An astonishing behind-the-scenes documentary following the famed fashion house’s new artistic director as he prepares his first collection.

90 mins France Director. Frederic Tcheng

View Something Must Break
Something Must Break
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Something Must Break 2014 18

A striking 21st-century love story about the passionate relationship between a transgendered teen and a straight man.

85 mins Sweden Director. Ester Martin Bergsmark

View Spring
Spring
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Spring 2015 15

An American tourist in Italy falls for a stunning local woman with a dangerous secret, in this startling horror-romance.

109 mins USA Director. Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson

View Gente de bien
Gente de bien
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Gente de bien 2014 12

A ten-year-old is packed off to live with his down-at-heel father in this touching, exquisitely observed Colombian drama.

86 mins Colombia Director. Franco Lolli

View Monsters: Dark Continent
Monsters: Dark Continent
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Monsters: Dark Continent 2014 15

The pyrotechnic sequel to Gareth Edwards’ cult sci-fi follows US soldiers attempting to police alien-infested zones while also battling human insurgents.

120 mins United Kingdom Director. Tom Green

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Armadillo
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Armadillo 2010 15

Balanced, insightful and compassionate documentary about troops and civilians in and around a Danish-British base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

100 mins Denmark Director. Janus Metz

View Pi
Pi
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Pi 1997 15

Darren Aronofsky’s magisterial monochrome mystery concerns a mathematician whose discovery of a powerful number leads to the dark side.

84 mins USA Director. Darren Aronofsky

View Lila Says
Lila Says
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Lila Says 2004 18

Ziad Doueiri’s provocative Lila Says is a sun-drenched romance full of sensuality, secrets, and tragedy.

89 mins France Director. Ziad Doueiri

View The Keeping Room
The Keeping Room
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The Keeping Room 2016 15

On the American frontier a young woman is forced to go to any means to defend her kin from the ravages of the barbaric outside world.

95 mins USA Director. Daniel Barber

View Lourdes
Lourdes
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Lourdes 2009 U

Jessica Hausner’s cool, compassionate exploration of religious faith follows various believers and non-believers hoping for miracle cures in Lourdes

96 mins Director. Jessica Hausner

View Beauty
Beauty
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Beauty 2011 18

Oliver Hermanus' unblinking look at homophobia, hypocrisy and repressed desire in today's South Africa is tough, troubling and impressive

104 mins Director. Oliver Hermanus

View Dreams of a Life
Dreams of a Life
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Dreams of a Life 2011 12A

Carol Morley's drama-documentary investigates the tragic death of a woman whose body lay undetected for almost three years.

94 mins United Kingdom

View Half of a Yellow Sun
Half of a Yellow Sun
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Half of a Yellow Sun 2012 15

Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in the acclaimed adaption of the Orange Prize-winning novel.

111 mins Nigeria Director. Biyi Bandele-Thomas

View Eastern Boys
Eastern Boys
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Eastern Boys 2012 15

A gay pick-up turns into a dangerous game of betrayal and violence in this slyly subversive and compelling thriller.

128 mins France Director. Robin Campillo

View Into the Abyss A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life
Into the Abyss  A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life
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Into the Abyss A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life 2011 12

Werner Herzog’s documentary about an unrepentant young murderer on death row is a cool, compassionate study of the dark side of the human condition

107 mins USA

View Mid-August Lunch
Mid-August Lunch
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Mid-August Lunch 2008 U

Di Gregorio stars as a bibulous loafer trying to reduce his debts by looking after his friends’ elderly mothers during the holidays. Warm and witty

75 mins Italy Director. Gianni Di Gregorio

View The World Unseen
The World Unseen
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The World Unseen 2008 12

Sweeping romantic drama about two Indian women who fall for each other in the hostile environment of apartheid South Africa.

94 mins United Kingdom Director. Shamim Sarif

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Junkhearts
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Junkhearts 2011 15

Tinge Krishnan's feature debut charts the fortunes of a trio of troubled Londoners. London Film Festival award for Best British Newcomer: Candese Reid.

99 mins United Kingdom

View Le quattro volte
Le quattro volte
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Le quattro volte 2010 U

Michelangelo Frammartino's quirky, wordless account of rural Calabrian life is elegant, touching and funny, a philosophical poem to enduring tradition

88 mins Italy Director. Michelangelo Frammartino

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Antiviral
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Antiviral 2012 15

Body horror and celebrity satire are served ice cold in this extreme offering from Brandon Cronenberg (son of David).

108 mins Canada Director. Brandon Cronenberg

View Norte, the End of History
Norte, the End of History
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Norte, the End of History 2013 15

Lav Diaz’s epic drama follows the contrasting stories of two men, a law school dropout who descends into criminality and the humble family man wrongly accused of his crimes.

Philippines Director. Lav Diaz

View Two Years at Sea
Two Years at Sea
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Two Years at Sea 2011 U

The unconventional life of Jake Williams who lives in isolation in the Cairngorms, Aberdeenshire.

90 mins United Kingdom

View Room 237
Room 237
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HD

Room 237 2012 15

Rodney Ascher enigmatic essay film weaves together the contrasting theories of five different narrators who believe Stanley Kubrick deliberately buried hidden messages in his 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.

112 mins USA Director. Rodney Ascher

View A Screaming Man
A Screaming Man
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A Screaming Man 2010 PG

Haroun's tale of tension between a father and son working at a hotel pool in war-torn Chad has the emotional power and stark inexorability of tragedy

92 mins France Director. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

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Self Made
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Self Made 2010 15

Artist Gillian Wearing’s documentary observes seven people creating (fantasy?) identities in collaboration with a drama teacher. Raw and revealing.

84 mins United Kingdom Director. Gillian Wearing

View A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
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A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness 2013 15

Visual artists Ben Rivers and Ben Russell’s mesmerising film follows an unnamed character through three phases of alternative existence, from rural commune to a black metal rock concert.

98 mins France Director. Ben Russell

View The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears
The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears
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The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears 2013 18

Another giallo-inspired exercise in operatic violence from Belgian duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, directors of the acclaimed Amer.

View Tony Manero
Tony Manero
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Tony Manero 2008 18

Pablo Larrain's drama about a dancer obsessed by Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever is a darkly witty take on life in Pinochet's Chile

98 mins Chile Director. Pablo Larraín

View The Possibilities Are Endless
The Possibilities Are Endless
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The Possibilities Are Endless 2014 12

A moving and haunting account of singer Edwyn Collins’ long and difficult recovery from a stroke.

83 mins United Kingdom Director. Edward Lovelace, James Hall

View The Way He Looks
The Way He Looks
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The Way He Looks 2014 12A

A blind student’s relationship with his best friend is tested when he falls for the new boy in school, in Daniel Ribeiro’s beautifully realised romance.

96 mins Director. Daniel Ribeiro

View Women Without Men
Women Without Men
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Women Without Men 2009 15

Artist Shirin Neshat’s version of a banned novel depicts the experiences of four Iranian women in 1953, when the Shah was reinstated after a coup d’état

99 mins Germany Director. Shirin Neshat

View The Golden Dream
The Golden Dream
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The Golden Dream 2013 12

Diego Quemada-Diez’s astounding debut feature follows four Guatemalan teenagers as they attempt to escape from the slums of Guatemala City to the bright lights of Los Angeles.

107 mins Director. Diego Quemada-Diez

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The Congress
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The Congress 2013 15

Ari Folman’s follow up to Waltz with Bashir is a hallucinatory fable about an actress whose digital image is controlled by a Hollywood studio.

122 mins Israel Director. Ari Folman

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Altman
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Altman 2014 15

An illuminating documentary about American cinema’s maverick genius Robert Altman, featuring unseen home movies and extensive interviews.

96 mins Canada Director. Ron Mann

View It's All So Quiet
It's All So Quiet
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It's All So Quiet 2013 12

Reflective calm and ambient beauty suffuse this tale of silent sexuality, as a lonely farmer’s quiet existence is interrupted by desire.

93 mins Netherlands Director. Nanouk Leopold

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Franklyn
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Franklyn 2008 15

Eva Green, Ryan Phillippe and Sam Riley star in an intricate, ambitious sci-fi drama that follows four parallel realities, each based around characters searching for salvation.

98 mins United Kingdom Director. Gerald McMorrow

View An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker
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An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker 2012 12

Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic recreates a politically explosive true story from Bosnia in innovative style, casting a real-life family to relive their desperate struggle to secure life-saving medical treatment.

71 mins Bosnia and Herzegovina Director. Danis Tanovic

View Assessment
Assessment
Watch from £0.85 12 mins

Assessment 2010

Award-winning short film about the chance encounter between a ballerina and a local schoolboy.

12 mins United Kingdom Director. Mark Gutteridge

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