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.
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Stan & Ollie
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.
The Kindergarten Teacher
Drama201897 minsDirector: Sara Colangelo
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.
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.
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.
Ray & Liz
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.
Thriller2018148 minsDirector: Lee Chang-dong
Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) returns with this spellbinding, richly complex thriller about obsession, class conflict and suppressed male rage.
A Private War
Drama2018110 minsDirector: Matthew Heineman
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ash Is Purest White
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.
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.
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’.
Crime2017105 minsDirector: Craig William Macneill
Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart captivate in this bodice-ripping retelling of the strange and fascinating case of Lizzie Borden.
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.
Documentary2018128 minsDirector: Michael Moore
Michael Moore paints a fiery portrait of life in Trump’s America. Populist, provocative and piercingly captivating, this is Moore’s clarion call to action.
Drama2017154 minsDirector: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh orchestrates a superb ensemble cast in this rousing tale of working class uprising and its violent suppression in Manchester in 1819.
Drama201899 minsDirector: Camille Vidal-Naquet
The daily misfortunes of a lonesome rent boy are laid bare in this tough but tender portrait of life on the fringes of society.
Drama2018106 minsDirector: Lukas Dhont
Lukas Dhont's breathtaking debut feature encompasses the heartache, courage, and punishing training of a ballerina transitioning in her teenage years.
Utøya – July 22
Drama201897 minsDirector: Erik Poppe
Unfolding in real time in a single, devastating 72-minute take, Erik Poppe delivers a harrowing reconstruction of the massacre of 69 young people by Anders Behring Breivik.
The Wild Pear Tree
Drama2018189 minsDirector: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s follow-up to his Palme d’Or-winning Winter Sleep is a persuasive portrait of a young writer at odds with his hometown and family.
Drama201786 minsDirector: Christina Choe
Andrea Riseborough is extraordinary in this disquieting drama about a woman convinced that she was kidnapped as a child and might have found her real parents.
Drama201688 minsDirector: John Carroll Lynch
Harry Dean Stanton gives the performance of a lifetime as an irascible nonagenarian maverick in a New Mexican town, grappling with his mortality.
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Documentary201897 minsDirector: David Soutar
Matt and Luke Goss take on the big screen – and each other – in this candid documentary charting the reunion of 80s pop sensations Bros; an affectionate portrait that generates more than a touch of Spinal Tap-esque hilarity.
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.
Drama201793 minsDirector: Annemarie Jacir
An estranged father-son relationship in the vibrant city of Nazareth makes for an immensely entertaining drama by Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir (When I Saw You).
The Florida Project
Drama2017112 minsDirector: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Drama201692 minsDirector: Paddy Considine
Paddy Considine directs and stars with Jodie Whittaker in this emotional knockout - the story of a boxer rebuilding his life after a near-fatal injury.
You Were Never Really Here
Thriller201790 minsDirector: Lynne Ramsay
Lynne Ramsay journeys with Joaquin Phoenix into the mind of an ex-soldier gun-for-hire whose own demons are as brutal as the actions of his adversaries.
Drama201798 minsDirector: Carla Simón
An outstanding debut feature charting the emotional journey of a six-year old girl in the aftermath of her mother’s death in early 1990s Spain.
Drama201694 minsDirector: Xavier Legrand
Myriam (Drucker) has recently left husband Antoine (Ménochet), and while she’s happy to let her 17-year-old daughter decide for herself, she’s doesn’t want her youngest, Julien (Gioria), to see a father she claims is violent. But the judge rules otherwise, and the boy becomes a pawn in a bitter parental conflict…
Drama2017106 minsDirector: Michael Pearce
The hunt for a Jersey serial killer sparks a dangerous awakening in a young woman in this astonishing psycho-sexual thriller, which sets all the senses aflame.
The Man from Mo'Wax
Documentary2017116 minsDirector: Matthew Jones
The exhilarating, no holds-barred story of Mo'Wax records founder James Lavelle, one of the most enigmatic yet influential figures in British music culture.
Anchor and Hope
Comedy2018113 minsDirector: Carlos Marques-Marcet
Sweetly swaying houseboat comedy about a couple whose river-bound existence is upended by the arrival of an old friend.
Sicilian Ghost Story
Drama2017119 minsDirector: Fabio Grassadonia
A gripping real-life story of a Mafia kidnapping in Italy is enthrallingly re-imagined as supernatural fantasy by the directors of the acclaimed Salvo.
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Biopic2017106 minsDirector: Paul McGuigan
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell bring to life the true story of the love affair between Gloria Grahame and young, Liverpudlian actor Peter Turner.
Drama201795 minsDirector: Dan Kokotajlo
A deeply religious family must decide whether to stick by their relation or abandon her, in this striking debut from Daniel Kokotajlo - a prizewinner at BFI London Film Festival 2017.
Drama2016104 minsDirector: kogonada
A young librarian with a thing for Modernist architecture expands her horizons when a Korean lawyer (John Cho) comes to town, in this impeccable debut from acclaimed video artist kogonada.
Horror201798 minsDirector: Jeremy Dyson
Being scared has never been this much fun, as Martin Freeman, Andy Nyman and Paul Whitehouse bring the chilling London stage play to the screen.
Comedy2017102 minsDirector: Adrian Shergold
Maxine Peake plays a woman who rises above abusive relationships and crass sexist audiences of the 1970s to become a female stand-up comedian.
On Chesil Beach
Drama2017110 minsDirector: Dominic Cooke
Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle play a young, married couple struggling to physically connect in this sensitive adaptation of Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel.
The Nile Hilton Incident
Crime2017111 minsDirector: Tarik Saleh
A murder investigation is mired by bureaucratic corruption in this dark Egyptian thriller, where everyone is on the make.
Drama2017115 minsDirector: Lucrecia Martel
Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel returns with a fine adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto’s existential novel. In her first feature since 2008’s The Headless Woman, Martel creates a richly layered exploration of personal malaise.
Comedy201688 minsDirector: Sean Foley
Julian Barratt is hilarious as the washed-up actor forced to reprise his 80s TV role as a sleuth with a robotic truth-telling eye, to help catch a deranged killer.
Drama2017114 minsDirector: Anne Fontaine
A young gay man (Finnegan Oldfield ) flourishes under the tutelage of Isabelle Huppert's drama teacher, in this stirring drama from director Anne Fontaine (The Innocents).
Biopic2017108 minsDirector: Michel Hazanavicius
From the Oscar-winning director of The Artist, a brilliantly realised portrait of France’s maestro director Jean-Luc Godard spiralling into philosophical and romantic crisis.
Comedy2016117 minsDirector: Lone Scherfig
Gemma Arterton sparkles in this witty drama set in the world of propaganda filmmaking during WWII, from director Lone Scherfig (The Riot Club, An Education).
Lean on Pete
Drama2017122 minsDirector: Andrew Haigh
The ravishing fourth feature from Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Weekend) sees a boy and a horse embark on a Huckleberry Finn-esque journey across America in search of home.
Drama2017116 minsDirector: Todd Haynes
Julianne Moore stars in Todd Haynes' playful adaptation of Brian Selznick’s acclaimed young adult novel, which follows two children from different eras as they set out to find people from their pasts.
Drama201689 minsDirector: Clio Barnard
Clio Barnard follows The Selfish Giant and The Arbor with this searing and eloquent Yorkshire-set drama exploring the fragility of familial relationships.
Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
Documentary2017206 minsDirector: Frederick Wiseman
An immersive journey into the New York Public Library with great documentarian Frederick Wiseman.
Drama2017121 minsDirector: Valeska Grisebach
Masculine tensions reaching boiling point in this sizzling, brilliantly observed neo-western, where migrant German construction workers are pitched against villagers in remotest Bulgaria.
Documentary201786 minsDirector: David Batty
Michael Caine takes us back to swinging London in this engaging documentary on the 1960s cultural revolution, featuring over 50 interviews with the key players.
Period drama2017113 minsDirector: Warwick Thornton
Australian director Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah) brings a vital Indigenous perspective and great cinematic vision to this powerful, revisionist Western, with Sam Neill and Bryan Brown.
Drama201798 minsDirector: Eliza Hittman
Gripping account of repressed sexual desire in a hyper-masculine environment, with British newcomer Harris Dickinson as a virulently macho Brooklyn teen.
I Am Not a Witch
Drama201793 minsDirector: Rungano Nyoni
Welsh-raised, Zambian-born Rungano Nyoni delivers a dazzling debut with this dark satirical fairy tale about a little girl accused of being a witch.
A Monster Calls
2016108 minsDirector: J.A. Bayona
JA Bayona's visually inventive and deeply moving story about a boy who draws on his expansive imagination to come to terms with impending loss, adapted from Patrick Ness’ hugely popular book.
Animation & Artists Moving Image201594 minsDirector: Julian Rosefeldt
Cate Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance in this kaleidoscopic trip through the art manifestos of the 20th century.
Period drama2016146 minsDirector: Park Chan-wook
Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, Stoker) channels Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, to create a sumptuous twisty psychological thriller full of erotic intrigue.
Blade of the Immortal
Action and Adventure2017141 mins
Takashi Miike's epically blood-strewn swordplay saga follows a samurai cursed with immortal life, who teams up with a young girl to avenge the murder of her parents.
Racer and the Jailbird
Thriller2017130 minsDirector: Michaël R. Roskam
Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour) and Matthias Schoenaerts (A Bigger Splash) are lovers entangled in a world of crime in this tough, twisty thriller-romance
La La Land
Musical2016128 minsDirector: Damien Chazelle
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone channel old-school Hollywood glamour in this bright and playful romantic musical from director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash).
Biopic2016110 minsDirector: Pablo Larraín
Pablo Larraín's bold, inventive detective thriller offers an electrifying contemplation of the Chilean poet's life on the run in the late 1940s.
My Journey through French Cinema
Documentary2016193 minsDirector: Bertrand Tavernier
Director Bertrand Tavernier guides us on a fascinating voyage through French film history, from the 1930s through to the '70s.
Drama2016111 minsDirector: Barry Jenkins
Winner of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture (eventually!), Barry Jenkins’ intoxicating drama follows the furtive life of a gay black boy through 80s Miami.
Manchester by the Sea
Drama2016137 minsDirector: Kenneth Lonergan
Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams shine in this devastating, Oscar-winning drama from Kenneth Lonergan about a man’s painful hometown return.
Drama201684 minsDirector: Hope Dickson Leach
Hope Dickson Leach's hugely impressive first feature about a middle class farming family’s crisis, set against the backdrop of the Somerset floods.
Action and Adventure201690 minsDirector: Ben Wheatley
Ben Wheatley’s (High-Rise, Sightseers) all-guns-blazing bullet opera, starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer.
Drama2015131 minsDirector: Paul Verhoeven
Isabelle Huppert gives an unforgettable performance in Paul Verhoeven’s provocative thriller about one woman’s response to a violent attack.
Biopic2017119 minsDirector: David Gordon Green
Jake Gyllenhaal excels in a rousing story of strength and survival, from the acclaimed director of Prince Avalanche and George Washington.
A Quiet Passion
Biopic2016125 minsDirector: Terence Davies
Terence Davies' elegant and deeply moving biopic of poet Emily Dickinson, played with sensitivity and rebellious spirit by Cynthia Nixon.
Trespass Against Us
Crime201599 minsDirector: Adam Smith
Brendan Gleeson and Michael Fassbender are the father and son outlaws in this exhilarating crime drama with a Chemical Brothers soundtrack.
Science Fiction2016116 minsDirector: Denis Villeneuve
Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner star as the humans who make first contact with extra-terrestrial visitors in this richly textured sci-fi from director Denis Villeneuve.
Mountains May Depart
Drama2015126 minsDirector: Jia Zhangke
Jia Zhangke delivers another ambitious, astute and humane drama, spanning the early days of Chinese capitalism to a vision of 2025.
Drama2017108 minsDirector: Saul Dibb
Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany and Asa Butterfield bring R C Sherriff’s acclaimed First World War play to the screen, in this new adaptation from director Saul Dibb.
My Life As a Courgette
Animation & Artists Moving Image201667 minsDirector: Claude Barras
Both young and adult audiences will enjoy this funny and touching animated feature about an orphan named Courgette, written by Céline Sciamma (Girlhood).
After the Storm
Drama2016118 minsDirector: Hirokazu Koreeda
As typhoons buffet Tokyo, Hirokazu Koreeda examines a broken family and the father’s dogged attempts to glue it back together.
On the Road
Drama-documentary2016121 minsDirector: Michael Winterbottom
Michael Winterbottom’s sexy and idiosyncratic tour film follows 2018 Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice, merging thrilling live footage with a fictional backstage romance.
A Fantastic Woman
Drama2017104 minsDirector: Sebastián Lelio
This invigorating and inspiring Chilean drama from Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) follows a trans woman’s quest for a little respect. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2018.
120 BPM (Beats per Minute)
Drama2017143 minsDirector: Robin Campillo
Pulsating with life and pounding with urgency, Robin Campillo’s extraordinary account of 1990s AIDS activism is a rousing, sensual and heart-breaking celebration of personal and political resistance.
Most Beautiful Island
Thriller201779 minsDirector: Ana Asensio
A day in the life of an undocumented Spanish immigrant turns increasingly bizarre in this searing social drama with a bold genre twist. Winner of the 2017 SXSW Grand Jury Award.
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.