Rentals

Black Star

The UK’s biggest ever celebration of black screen talent, shining a spotlight on the charisma and creativity of trailblazing performers.

There is not one single story of black stardom, but myriad. So our BFI Player programme highlights the leading men and women who’ve redefined Hollywood stardom, the British stars who’ve made a sizable stateside impression and the pioneering talents who forged new developments in black representation. 

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AileyAiley

Documentary202195 mins

An immersive profile of ground-breaking and influential choreographer and founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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Dear White PeopleDear White People

Comedy2014108 minsDirector: Justin Simien

The diversification of an all-black residence hall forces a group of African-American university students to take a stand on their own cultural beliefs and identities.

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BillieBillie

Documentary201998 minsDirector: James Erskine

Part film-noir, part tragedy, this mesmerising documentary uncovers the true life of the legendary Billie Holiday.

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I Am Not Your NegroI Am Not Your Negro

Documentary201694 minsDirector: Raoul Peck

Raoul Peck’s penetrating and acclaimed documentary reconstructs an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin, chronicler of America’s Civil Rights Movement.

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One Man and His ShoesOne Man and His Shoes

Documentary202083 minsDirector: Yemi Bamiro

South Londoner Yemi Bamiro’s pacey, engrossing Michael Jordan documentary reveals the darker side of marketing trainers.

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Attack the BlockAttack the Block

Crime201188 minsDirector: Joe Cornish

Aliens wage war on a tower block after one of their number is bludgeoned by a street gang in this witty, action-packed feature debut by Joe Cornish.

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PrematurePremature

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.

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Paris, 13th DistrictParis, 13th District

Comedy2021105 minsDirector: Jacques Audiard

Jacques Audiard ventures into new territory with a vibrant take on love and Paris, as four characters cross amorous paths in the modern city.

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Night of the KingsNight of the Kings

Fantasy202093 minsDirector: Philippe Lacôte

To stay alive in an infamous Ivory Coast prison, a young man begins to narrate the mystical life of a legendary outlaw in this spectacular tale of survival and beautiful ode to the power of storytelling.

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Where Hands TouchWhere Hands Touch

Drama2017122 minsDirector: Amma Asante

Amma Asante (Belle, A United Kingdom) presents this rites-of-passage story of a bi-racial teen struggling for survival in Nazi Germany.

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YardieYardie

Crime2018102 minsDirector: Idris Elba

In his thrilling directorial debut, Idris Elba brings to life Victor Headley’s cult crime novel.

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I Am BelmayaI Am Belmaya

Documentary202181 minsDirector: Sue Carpenter

An inspirational story of rebellion, courage and hope as Belmaya, a young Dalit woman in Nepal, silenced and subjugated for most of her life, takes up the movie camera to tell her story.

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Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

Documentary201896 minsDirector: Steve Loveridge

Fascinating delve into the career, personality and politics of award-winning musician M.I.A.  

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Grace Jones: Bloodlight and BamiGrace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Documentary2017115 minsDirector: Sophie Fiennes

Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.

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A Brixton TaleA Brixton Tale

Drama202176 minsDirector: Darragh Carey

Affluent YouTuber Leah is drawn to shy youth Benji as the subject for her Brixton documentary, but her desire for edgy footage leads them both down a dangerous path.

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Running Against the WindRunning Against the Wind

Drama2019116 minsDirector: Jan Philipp Weyl

In Ethiopia, two young men are racing to make their dreams come true.

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Rebel DreadRebel Dread

Documentary202083 minsDirector: William E. Badgley

This is the story of the iconic Don Letts, the coolest cultural polymath – narrated by the man himself.

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Miss JuneteenthMiss Juneteenth

Drama2020100 minsDirector: Channing Godfrey Peoples

A soulful and uplifting drama of mother-daughter bonds and deferred dreams.

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Night Comes OnNight Comes On

Drama201887 minsDirector: Jordana Spiro

After being released from prison, a young African American woman goes in search of her father.

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Monsters and MenMonsters and Men

Drama201896 minsDirector: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Unravelling the aftermath of a police killing of a black man - and how it affects the lives of three separate individuals. With John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman).

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Beasts of the Southern WildBeasts of the Southern Wild

Drama201293 minsDirector: Benh Zeitlin

Set in a Deep South delta, Zeitlin’s feature debut takes a child’s eye view of poverty, adult apathy and ecological crisis. Hallucinatory fare

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Chi-RaqChi-Raq

Musical2015127 minsDirector: Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s bold and vivacious hip-hop musical restages an ancient Greek battle-of-the-sexes in 21st-century Chicago.

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The Rape of Recy TaylorThe Rape of Recy Taylor

Documentary201791 minsDirector: Nancy Buirski

Nancy Buirski's vital documentary revisits an unjustly forgotten chapter of American history; the story of an immensely brave woman who refused to be silenced.

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A United KingdomA United Kingdom

Drama2016111 minsDirector: Amma Asante

Amma Assante (Belle) directs this impassioned drama starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike depicting an interracial romance that changed the world.

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Keyboard FantasiesKeyboard Fantasies

Documentary201960 minsDirector: Posy Dixon

After his 1986 album Keyboard Fantasies is rediscovered, a black trans musician recounts his life, from the lonely 1960s to the joy of witnessing the present.

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White RiotWhite Riot

Documentary201981 minsDirector: Rubika Shah

Revolution rock! Rubika Shah’s vital documentary profiles punky reggae protest movement Rock Against Racism, from grassroots beginnings through to a major multicultural event.

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20 Feet from Stardom20 Feet from Stardom

Documentary201387 minsDirector: Morgan Neville

This moving documentary shines a spotlight on the backing singers behind some of the great musical hits of the 21st century.

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WhitneyWhitney

Documentary2018120 minsDirector: Kevin Macdonald

Stunning revelations and captivating reminiscences paint a picture of the extraordinary life of singer Whitney Houston, in this in-depth portrait by acclaimed filmmaker Kevin MacDonald (Touching the Void, Marley).

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Whitney: Can I Be MeWhitney: Can I Be Me

Documentary2017101 minsDirector: Nick Broomfield

Documentary titan Nick Broomfield turns his gaze to the troubled pop star whose sensational voice masked an inner identity crisis.

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MoonlightMoonlight

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.

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The TransfigurationThe Transfiguration

Horror201697 minsDirector: Michael O’Shea

Milo isn't your usual introverted, strange teenager; he also believes he's a vampire. Michael O'Shea's dark drama presents a transgressive twist on the teen vampire tale.

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BlackBlack

Drama201590 minsDirector: Bilall Fallah

Star-crossed lovers from rival street gangs conduct an illicit affair in this pulsating urban romance.

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Half of a Yellow SunHalf of a Yellow Sun

Drama2012111 minsDirector: Biyi Bandele-Thomas

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

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Midnight BreaksMidnight Breaks

1988113 minsDirector: Laurens C. Postma

Big Audio Dynamite’s Don Letts made his acting debut in this gripping, gritty 1990 drama of dreads, drugs, and music business corruption.

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Daddy's Little GirlsDaddy's Little Girls

200796 minsDirector: Tyler Perry

Idris Elba’s kickstarted his Hollywood film career as a mechanic trying to win back his kids’ custody, in this melodrama from black auteur Tyler Perry.

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Eve's BayouEve's Bayou

Drama1997115 minsDirector: Kasi Lemmons

Samuel L. Jackson stars in this seething slice of Southern Gothic, about the travails of a Louisiana family bedevilled by infidelity, incest and witchcraft.

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Urban HymnUrban Hymn

Drama2015114 minsDirector: Michael Caton-Jones

In the wake of the London riots, teenager Jamie (Letitia Wright) finds herself at a crossroads; until music offers an unexpected path to salvation.

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Fast GirlsFast Girls

Sport201291 minsDirector: Regan Hall

The four young runners on the Team GB women's relay team battle to overcome rivalries and personal demons in time for the World Athletics Championship.

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Southside with YouSouthside with You

Biopic201684 minsDirector: Richard Tanne

This smart, sophisticated, Sundance-nominated romance follows the first date of a couple who would go on to change the world – Barack and Michelle Obama.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace

Documentary201989 minsDirector: Alan Elliott

Aretha Franklin, at the height of her powers, returns to the music which nurtured her prodigious talent.

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Sidney's ChairSidney's Chair

Drama199521 minsDirector: Roberto Bangura

What do you do when a Hollywood star makes a film in your neighbourhood? Nick his chair, of course!

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The PassThe Pass

Drama201586 minsDirector: Ben A. Williams

Russell Tovey stars as a Premier League footballer who shares a fumbled pass (of the sexual kind) with a teammate (Arinzé Kene), changing everything - both on and off the pitch.

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Minding the GapMinding the Gap

Documentary201894 minsDirector: Bing Liu

Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.

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The Australian DreamThe Australian Dream

Documentary2019105 minsDirector: Daniel Gordon

A thought-provoking documentary about the Australian Rules football star Adam Goodes that raises crucial questions about casual racism.

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High GroundHigh Ground

Action and Adventure2019105 minsDirector: Stephen Maxwell Johnson

A young Indigenous man teams up with a policeman to track down a warrior outlaw in this piercing exploration of justice and morality within the Australian settlement.

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BlindspottingBlindspotting

Comedy201895 minsDirector: Carlos López Estrada

While on probation, a man begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend, in this electrifying Sundance hit.

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PiliPili

Drama201881 minsDirector: Leanne Welham

An HIV+ mother has a chance to turn her life around when she's offered a market stall, in Leanne Welham's extraordinary drama.

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RealReal

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.

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FarmingFarming

Drama2018107 minsDirector: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

A fostered Nigerian boy growing up in Essex loses all sense of identity and joins a racist skinhead gang. Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz, Lost) directs this powerful drama based on his own, extraordinary upbringing.

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SelmaSelma

Biopic2014128 minsDirector: Ava DuVernay

David Oyelowo’s stunning performance as Martin Luther King Jr. adorns this gripping account of the campaign that changed the course of American civil rights.

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The WeekendThe Weekend

Comedy201694 minsDirector: Sheridan De Myers

Street-smart Hackney comedy about three friends whose unexpected cash windfall funds the mother of all parties; from the talents behind YouTube hit Mandem on the Wall.

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Sweet CountrySweet Country

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.

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For Colored GirlsFor Colored Girls

Drama2010134 minsDirector: Tyler Perry

An ensemble cast including Janet Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg bring to life Ntozake Shange's extraordinary 1975 play about the experiences of black women.

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The FitsThe Fits

Drama201572 mins

Toni, an eleven year-old tomboy, finds a new purpose when an epidemic of seizures strikes her dance class, in this riveting and psychological character portrait from filmmaker Anna Rose Holmer.

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Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel BasquiatBoom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Documentary201775 minsDirector: Sara Driver

The story of how one of the 20th century's most important artists emerged from the post-punk, b-boy and graffiti scenes of late '70s New York.

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Playing AwayPlaying Away

Sport1986102 minsDirector: Horace Ové

A cricketing comedy of manners exploring white and black stereotypes, from pioneering British filmmaker Horace Ové.

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Night of the Living DeadNight of the Living Dead

Horror196896 minsDirector: George A. Romero

Landmark film from 'zombie godfather' Romero, whose makeshift heroes fight for their lives against a new and terrifying enemy.

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RaceRace

Biopic2016135 minsDirector: Stephen Hopkins

The remarkable story of Jesse Owens, the grandson of a slave whose athletic feats defied Nazi ideology at the 1936 Olympics.

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Black GirlBlack Girl

Drama196559 minsDirector: Ousmane Sembène

The first major work by African master Ousmane Sembène, about a Senegalese maid’s despair, brims with both New Wave vitality and African heart.

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The Glass ShieldThe Glass Shield

Drama1994110 minsDirector: Charles Burnett

The first black recruit in his squad, rookie cop J.J. Johnson (Michael Boatman) struggles to adapt to life on the force, in this thrilling drama from acclaimed director Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep).

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Paul Robeson
Rentals collection

Paul Robeson

The African-American actor, singer and political activist who became a major star in British cinema of the 1930s.

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More related films in our Rentals collection, Black Britain on Film.