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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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.
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.
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.
Drama2019120 minsDirector: Nora Fingscheidt
An intensive drama about a pre-pubescent girl who actually crashes Germany’s child and welfare system whilst on her quest for love and security.
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.
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 (The Queen of Versailles).
Drama2019113 minsDirector: Levan Akin
Merab’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of a new dancer in this impassioned Cannes-nominated love story.
Comedy2019115 minsDirector: Nicolas Bedos
Daniel Auteuil’s illustrator is given the chance to visit a different era to re-evaluate his life in this resplendent slice of Westworld-style speculative fiction.
Documentary201995 minsDirector: Zed Nelson
The working-class community of Hoxton Street face the upheavals of gentrification, austerity and the eruption of Brexit, in this portrait of a rapidly changing London.
Documentary201994 minsDirector: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Beautifully shot documentary about four members of the 'Sudanese Film Club' who decide to revive an old cinema.
Thriller2018112 minsDirector: Gavin Hood
Gripping political thriller with Keira Knightley as the intelligence officer who discovers a plot to rig a UN vote on the eve of the Iraq war.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drama201891 minsDirector: Aaron Schimberg
Aaron Schimberg’s dextrous, darkly comedic discourse on physical difference makes you think about cinematic representation without offering simple resolutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Biopic2019127 minsDirector: Ralph Fiennes
Dance perfection meets political defection in director Ralph Fiennes’ intoxicating account of the young life of Rudolf Nureyev.
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.
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.
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.
Drama2018102 minsDirector: Lila Avilés
Lila Avilés provides an engaging, behind-closed-doors look at the working environment of a chambermaid in one of Mexico City’s most luxurious hotels.
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.
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.
Comedy201890 minsDirector: Jim Cummings
Following the death of his mother, an emotionally unstable cop sees his life slowly unravel in this extraordinary tragicomedy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
Documentary2019101 minsDirector: Steve Sullivan
Frank Sidebottom was a pillar of alternative comedy of the late 80s/early 90s, this charming documentary remembers the man behind the papier-mâché head.
Documentary2018117 minsDirector: Jane Magnusson
A fascinating and unflinching study of the brilliance of Ingmar Bergman’s extraordinary career, crafted around one of his most prolific and creatively fruitful years.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Crime2017111 minsDirector: Tarik Saleh
A murder investigation is mired by bureaucratic corruption in this dark Egyptian thriller, where everyone is on the make.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Documentary2017206 minsDirector: Frederick Wiseman
An immersive journey into the New York Public Library with great documentarian Frederick Wiseman.
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.