BFI London Film Festival Presents
A place to meet the world's top films and their creators, the BFI London Film Festival represents global cinema at its deep, diverse best.
Discovery is central to the BFI London Film Festival: finding talent, revealing rarities and chancing upon documentaries, shorts, classics or restorations. This Collection, taken from the last five years of premieres, shows the depth of excellence in cinema. It also features candid, exclusive interviews with writers, directors and others who discuss their contributions to the art of filmmaking.
Drama202084 minsDirector: Cathy Brady
Sisterly bonds are pushed to breaking point in this simmering drama set on the Irish border, the debut feature from acclaimed shorts director Cathy Brady.
Documentary201893 minsDirector: Jessica Leski
A glitter-covered, cross-generational love letter to boybands and the girls who love them that will have you bopping along.
Drama202096 minsDirector: Francisco Márquez
There are echoes of Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman in this gripping tale of class divisions and ethical responsibility in contemporary Argentina.
Drama2019118 minsDirector: Shannon Murphy
Seriously ill Milla (Eliza Scanlen) clashes with her parents, who disapprove when she brings home her sketchy new boyfriend Toby, in this tragicomic debut from Shannon Murphy.
Documentary202072 minsDirector: Elizabeth Lo
A soulful new voice emerges in Elizabeth Lo’s evocative award-winning debut documentary, which details life on the streets of Istanbul from the perspective of the city’s stray dogs.
Science Fiction2019102 minsDirector: Justin Benson
Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan star as a pair of New Orleans paramedics who encounter a series of bizarre deaths linked to a new designer drug with otherworldly effects.
Drama201994 minsDirector: Craig Roberts
Sally Hawkins gives a standout performance as a fragile young woman in Craig Roberts’ humane depiction of mental illness.
Comedy201881 minsDirector: Guto Parente
The wealthy elite feed off the lower classes in a deliciously twisted Brazilian social satire that’s definitely not for the squeamish.
Drama2019112 minsDirector: Thomas Clay
The wife of a puritanical farmer seems resigned to her lot, until she has her head turned by the arrival of a young couple in Thomas Clay’s provocative period drama.
Documentary201898 minsDirector: Marcus Lindeen
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’.
Documentary201992 minsDirector: Jeffrey McHale
Paul Verhoeven’s much-maligned masterpiece is placed under the microscope in this fascinating rumination on the one and only Showgirls.
Drama201989 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog is on typically thought-provoking form, dramatising the work of a ‘rent-a-relative’ service, in this Tokyo-set meditation on contemporary alienation.
Drama2019120 minsDirector: Armando Iannucci
Armando Iannucci brings David Copperfield fizzing to life with all-star collaborators in this exuberant, entertaining and sharply pertinent adaptation.
Drama2019169 minsDirector: Vaclav Marhoul
Based on Jerzy Kosiński’s 1965 novel and a long time in the making, Václav Marhoul’s extraordinary The Painted Bird finds a lone Jewish boy on a dark odyssey towards home during wartime.
Biopic2020118 minsDirector: Francis Lee
Francis Lee follows up God’s Own Country with a film that is every bit as immersive, tactile and emotionally powerful, aided by the devastatingly good Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
Romance201978 minsDirector: Aki Omoshaybi
Aki Omoshaybi’s earnest debut explores the love between two people who work hard to keep their romance on track while struggling to manage personal hardship.
Drama2019112 minsDirector: Chinonye Chukwu
Alfre Woodard is quietly devastating as a weary prison warden presiding over her twelfth execution, in this Sundance-winning death row drama.
Drama201984 minsDirector: Nathalie Biancheri
A teenage girl forms a mysterious relationship with an older man in this atmospheric debut from director Nathalie Biancheri.
Drama2019136 minsDirector: Trey Edward Shults
Trey Edward Shults (It Comes at Night) continues to impress with one of the year's most dazzling cinematic achievements, a study of a family's dramatic unravelling and redemption.
Drama2019105 minsDirector: Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää
In this playful, dark comedy a dominatrix offers a widower an unexpected chance for sexual and psychological release.
Comedy201992 minsDirector: Billie Piper
Billie Piper stars in her own directorial debut, a no-holds-barred, Fleabag-esque anti-romcom about a modern woman’s struggles in work and love.
Crime2019152 minsDirector: Marco Bellocchio
Italian maestro Marco Bellocchio’s bravura gangster odyssey dramatises the extraordinary real life story of the first major Mafia boss to turn state’s informant.
Comedy201986 minsDirector: Simon Bird
Simon Bird’s directorial debut is a warm and witty graphic novel adaptation about a single librarian trying to reconnect with her introverted, metalhead teenage son.
Comedy201886 minsDirector: Simon Amstell
In Simon Amstell’s affecting, bittersweet comedy, a rising young filmmaker is thrown into emotional turmoil by a burgeoning romance and the upcoming premiere of his second feature.
Drama-documentary201990 minsDirector: Ben Rivers
Observing locals and visitors creates a highly original portrait of the Thai tourist town of Krabi in this collaboration between award-winning directors Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers.
Documentary2019105 minsDirector: Daniel Gordon
A thought-provoking documentary about the Australian Rules football star Adam Goodes that raises crucial questions about casual racism.
Science Fiction201998 minsDirector: Lorcan Finnegan
Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a pair of first-time buyers who get more than they bargained for in this twisted fable about the horrors of suburban living.
Drama2019105 minsDirector: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Celebrated Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda) returns with an inspiring drama about a young doctor unexpectedly becoming an electoral candidate.
Thriller2019130 minsDirector: Rian Johnson
Daniel Craig is the Kentucky Fried Poirot with all-star suspects - Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Toni Collette among them - in this nimble and brilliant crime caper.
Drama201981 minsDirector: Tom Cullen
Six scenes, six years: from first sparks to the fading embers of a love affair, in this intense relationship study by British actor-turned-director Tom Cullen.
Drama2019119 minsDirector: Agnieszka Holland
James Norton stars as Welsh journalist Gareth Jones whose 1930s visit to Soviet Ukraine uncovered the truth of Stalin’s state-sponsored famine and reputedly inspired George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Documentary2019101 minsDirector: Lauren Greenfield
The matriarch of the Marcos dynasty hopes to see her maternal delusions validated and political power restored, while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy, in this captivating study by Lauren Greenfield.
Drama201482 minsDirector: Pawel Pawlikowski
The Best Film winner at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival is an exquisitely shot, moving drama about a Polish nun exploring her family past, from UK-based director Pawel Pawlikowski.
Documentary201994 minsDirector: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Beautifully shot documentary about four members of the 'Sudanese Film Club' who decide to revive an old cinema.
Comedy201997 minsDirector: Michael Schwartz
Effortlessly charming buddy movie about a young man with Down's syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) in pursuit of his dreams, with Shia LaBeouf.
Drama201990 minsDirector: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Budding writer Ayanna’s life is transformed over the course of one hot Harlem summer, when a handsome and mysterious stranger walks into her life.
Crime2018109 minsDirector: Carol Morley
Carol Morley (Dreams of a Life, The Falling) returns with a wonderfully stylised, offbeat noir thriller about a murder investigation and multiple realities.
Drama2018126 minsDirector: Nadine Labaki
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.
Comedy2019108 minsDirector: Takashi Miike
A terminally-ill boxer, a runaway call girl, a double-crossing drugs heist and a gang war; Takashi Miike doesn’t do things by halves.
Documentary2019102 minsDirector: Richard Lowenstein
Capturing his rise to super-stardom and subsequent tragic fall, Mystify gives remarkable insight into INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence and a truth he took to the grave.
Documentary201995 minsDirector: Midge Costin
Faders on stun: Hollywood sound editor Midge Costin’s immersive, educational and hugely enjoyable documentary exploring the power of sound in cinema.
Fantasy2017133 minsDirector: Terry Gilliam
Two decades in the making, Terry Gilliam’s wildly imaginative Cervantes adaptation is finally with us, and it’s everything we have come to expect from this visionary filmmaker.
Drama201891 minsDirector: Aaron Schimberg
Aaron Schimberg’s dextrous, darkly comedic discourse on physical difference makes you think about cinematic representation without offering simple resolutions.
In this thought-provoking and playful documentary, ebullient director Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian (Disaster Playground) takes you on a journey to find the origins of knowledge.
Drama201892 minsDirector: Lisa Barros D'Sa
Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star in this intimate and sensitively-handled drama about a couple dealing with breast cancer.
Drama201890 minsDirector: Andrew Bujalski
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.
Comedy201891 minsDirector: Carl Hunter
Bill Nighy, Sam Riley and Alice Lowe star in this stylish and heartfelt comedy-drama about a Scrabble-obsessed tailor searching for a lost son.
Drama201895 minsDirector: Darko Štante
A teenage tearaway is forced to face up to his actions and confront his burgeoning sexuality, in this provocative Slovenian coming-of-age tale.
Thriller201888 minsDirector: Isabella Eklöf
A lavish trip to the Turkish Riviera goes horribly awry in this disturbing tale of power, exploitation and complicity from the writer of Border.
Drama2018104 minsDirector: Richard Billingham
In this astonishingly personal film, artist Richard Billingham delves into his Black Country upbringing to recreate visceral family memories and desperate living in Thatcher’s Britain.
Biopic2019127 minsDirector: Ralph Fiennes
Dance perfection meets political defection in director Ralph Fiennes’ intoxicating account of the young life of Rudolf Nureyev.
Crime2018159 minsDirector: S. Craig Zahler
As brutal and uncompromising as its title would suggest, the third feature from S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99) is another instant classic crime drama.
Drama2018128 minsDirector: Alice Rohrwacher
Alice Rohrwacher follows The Wonders with a delightfully singular, time and genre-bending rumination on the fate of innocence when faced with corruption and greed.
Drama2019125 minsDirector: Kasi Lemmons
Cynthia Erivo gives a show-stopping turn as the American revolutionary anti-slavery heroine Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons' biopic.
Biopic201898 minsDirector: Jon S. Baird
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly give delightfully bang-on-target performances as comedy’s most famous double act as they enter their twilight years.
Biopic2017112 minsDirector: Wash Westmoreland
This witty, Belle Époque-era biopic stars Keira Knightley and Dominic West as literary couple Colette and Willy, whose relationship rewrote social and gender rules.
Comedy201890 minsDirector: Jim Cummings
Following the death of his mother, an emotionally unstable cop sees his life slowly unravel in this extraordinary tragicomedy.
Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance as a kindergarten teacher who finds herself in an ethical quagmire after discovering the poetic talents of a precocious student.
Thriller2018111 minsDirector: Kim Nguyen
Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård are sensational as scheming cousins on a lucrative but ethically dubious mission, in this fast, funny and topical technological caper.
Comedy201897 minsDirector: Gabriel Abrantes
Diamantino, Portugal’s (the world’s!) top football player, becomes embroiled in a genetic experiment and a conspiracy to leave the EU, in this joyful, postmodern political fantasy.
Documentary201895 minsDirector: Julien Faraut
Mastery, showmanship and the art of filming tennis are laid bare in an entertaining, innovative archive documentary that’s like no sports film you’ve seen.
Drama2018136 minsDirector: Jia Zhangke
Heartbreak and resilience fuel Jia Zhangke's quietly epic saga, in which one woman’s fortitude and knack for crime carry her through a rapidly changing China.
Thriller2018148 minsDirector: Lee Chang-dong
Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) returns with this spellbinding, richly complex thriller about obsession, class conflict and suppressed male rage.
Drama2018101 minsDirector: Tom Harper
This delightful and infectiously joyous film finds a young woman balancing her dreams of being a country music star with the responsibilities of motherhood.
Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, City of Ghosts) makes a striking dramatic debut with this pulse-racing biopic of The Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike), killed in 2012 whilst reporting from Syria.
Drama201895 minsDirector: Georgia Parris
Modern dance is an evocative narrative tool in Georgia Parris’ debut, which investigates a young woman’s identity and the complex relationship she has with her mother and sister.
Drama2018121 minsDirector: Felix Van Groeningen
Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet give blistering performances as a father and son in this gripping story of a family dealing with addiction over many years.
Drama2018119 minsDirector: Barry Jenkins
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.
Drama2018121 minsDirector: Sergei Loznitsa
This disturbing new black comedy from Sergei Loznitsa (In the Fog) examines the civil conflict in Ukraine through the prism of the absurd.
Thriller2018121 minsDirector: Karyn Kusama
Nicole Kidman is astonishing – and almost unrecognisable – as a jaded police detective haunted by her past in Karyn Kusama’s brooding thriller.
Drama201886 minsDirector: Paddy Breathnach
A moving and fiercely gripping response to Ireland’s current housing crisis, Rosie tells the story of a Dublin family seeking a roof for the night.
Drama2017127 minsDirector: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena, Leviathan) delivers a masterpiece in this caustic look at contemporary Russian society, a failed marriage and the disappearance of a child. A major prize winner at both Cannes and BFI London Film Festival.
Make the weather and spread the word. That's what our festival galas do.
Remarkable tales told with flair, these titles represent the elemental best of recent cinema.
Talent needs company, and that's where the festival excels.
Festival Archive Treasures
Film preservation and restoration is a vital part of our work. This collection represents moments in time, salvaged for a second chance to awe, enrich and entertain a new audience. They reflect human endeavour, on and off screen.
Debuts, breakthroughs, winners and discoveries, courtesy of the London Film Festival.
Your place for a chance meeting with new talent and the persistently brilliant.
Edwyn Collins meets David Hockney here, a world of true human stories.