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.
Drama201694 minsDirector: Xavier Legrand
Myriam (Drucker) has recently left husband Antoine (Ménochet). She 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…
Drama201886 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.
Drama201892 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.
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).
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.
Documentary2018101 minsDirector: Steve Sullivan
Frank Sidebottom was a pillar of alternative comedy of the late 80s/early 90s, and this charming documentary remembers the man behind the papier-mâché head.
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.
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.
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.
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
Drama2017119 minsDirector: Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza
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.
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.
Drama201889 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.
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.
Crime2017111 minsDirector: Tarik Saleh
A murder investigation is mired by bureaucratic corruption in this dark Egyptian thriller, where everyone is on the make.
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.
Horror2017112 minsDirector: Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson
Two brothers who escaped a cult are drawn back in by a mysterious message… Acclaimed directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Spring) return with another hybrid piece of raging intensity.
Documentary2016193 minsDirector: Bertrand Tavernier
Director Bertrand Tavernier guides us on a fascinating voyage through French film history, from the 1930s through to the '70s.
Horror201895 minsDirector: David Freyne
Elliot Page stars in this inventive and surprising post-zombie film from Ireland, in which the rehabilitated undead are transitioned back into society.
Drama2015318 minsDirector: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
A group of thirty-something women find their friendship tested by their differing attitudes to work, love and sex in the city of Kobe, Japan.
Biopic201797 minsDirector: Pat Collins
A formally audacious account of the life and times of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney, combining ‘fictional’ drama, documentary footage and musical sequence
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.
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).
Drama201684 minsDirector: Mark Cousins
Neneh Cherry, director Mark Cousins and cinematographer Christopher Doyle's exquisite love song to the Swedish city.
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.
Drama2016118 minsDirector: João Pedro Rodrigues
A lone scientist in Portugal’s Douro region embarks on an unexpected transcendental journey. Beautiful, erotic and baffling.
Documentary201785 minsDirector: David Lachapelle and Steven Cantor
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.
Daisy Ridley narrates this inspiring documentary about a girl who causes a stir in her tribe in Mongolia by embracing the traditionally male role of Eagle Hunter.
Comedy201790 minsDirector: Alex Taylor
British teen cinema gets an injection of hallucinogenic imagination, plus a few unicorns and aliens, in Alex Taylor’s unclassifiable debut feature.
Crime201782 minsDirector: Gareth Tunley
A British indie crime film of great style and ingenuity, executive produced by Ben Wheatley and starring Tom Meeten and Alice Lowe.
Drama-documentary2017121 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.
Thriller201694 minsDirector: Mohamed Diab
Mohamed Diab’s Clash is an unforgettable portrait of Egypt on the brink as rival protesters find themselves locked up in a police van. Un Certain Regard official selection at Cannes 2016.
Drama2016108 minsDirector: Marco Berger and Martin Farina
A gorgeously photographed, teasingly libidinous exercise in latent homoeroticism set over a long hot summer in Buenos Aires.
Thriller2016103 minsDirector: Billy O'Brien
A teenage sociopath comes face to face with an evil force in this chilling and darkly humorous adaptation of Dan Wells’ acclaimed cult novel.
Action and Adventure2015124 minsDirector: Ciro Guerra
The spirit of Werner Herzog and Apocalypse Now imbue this majestic Oscar-nominated odyssey through the heart of the Amazon.
War2015101 minsDirector: Martin Zandvliet
The brutal and morally complex story of young German POWs faced with the deadly task of landmine clearance in postwar Denmark.
Documentary2015114 minsDirector: Stig Björkman
An illuminating portrait of the pioneering actress, crafted from her unique personal archive of home-movie footage, letters and diary extracts.
Documentary201596 minsDirector: David Evans
What if your father was a Nazi? This is the harrowing question raised in David Evans’ thought-provoking documentary.
Documentary201483 minsDirector: Edward Lovelace and James Hall
A moving and haunting account of singer Edwyn Collins’s long and difficult recovery from a stroke.
Drama201687 minsDirector: Josh Mond
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.
Comedy2014122 minsDirector: Damian Szifron
This Oscar-nominated, Almodóvar-produced anthology of six tales of ordinary madness is the most riotously enjoyable portmanteau film since Pulp Fiction.
Documentary201490 minsDirector: Frederic Tcheng
An astonishing behind-the-scenes documentary following the famed fashion house’s new artistic director as he prepares his first collection.
Drama2014111 minsDirector: Biyi Bandele-Thomas
Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in the acclaimed adaption of the Orange Prize-winning novel.
201683 minsDirector: Darren Thornton
Dry, sarcastic, maddening Mary must find a date for her best friend’s wedding in this Irish feel-good hit for misfits everywhere.
Documentary201682 minsDirector: Keith Maitland
An emotionally gripping and visually stunning account of the first American mass school shooting, in Texas in 1966, blending archive, animation and contemporary interviews.
Drama201594 minsDirector: Eva Husson
High-school students start a private orgy society in Eva Husson’s dazzlingly shot, no-holds-barred drama.
Documentary201686 minsDirector: George Amponsah
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.
Documentary2015101 minsDirector: Jon Spira
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.
Drama2015102 minsDirector: Magnus von Horn
A teenager attempts to integrate back into society following a spell in prison, but the community is unwilling to forgive him.
Documentary201191 minsDirector: Carol Morley
The power of kinship is explored in Carol Morley’s drama-documentary, drawn from real life and resonant with the way we live now.
Drama2012124 minsDirector: Robin Campillo
A gay pick-up turns into a dangerous game of betrayal and violence in this slyly subversive and compelling thriller.
Documentary2011103 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
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
Comedy2015110 minsDirector: Jaco van Dormael
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.
Drama201588 minsDirector: Sean Baker
A big-hearted film shot on a small phone, this LA tale of two transgender working girls out for vengeance fizzes with wild energy.
The Space in Between – Marina Abramović and BrazilThe Space in Between – Marina Abramović and Brazil
Documentary201688 minsDirector: Marco Del Fiol
A bold and unsettling mystical voyage in the company of the fearless Serbian artist, as she travels Brazil in search of spiritual healing.
The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not BrothersThe Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers
Animation & Artists Moving Image201695 minsDirector: Ben Rivers
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.
Drama201689 minsDirector: Esther May Campbell
Beth Orton stars in a fragile and subtly nuanced drama that explores the toll of physical and mental illness on a fractured family.
Drama201087 minsDirector: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
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
Drama2015100 minsDirector: Naji Abu Nowar
In 1916, a British soldier and two Bedouin boys embark on a treacherous journey across the desert, in this stunningly shot Arabian western.
Drama2014119 minsDirector: July Jung
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.
Horror2013102 minsDirector: Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani
Another giallo-inspired exercise in operatic violence from Belgian duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, directors of the acclaimed Amer.
Drama201486 minsDirector: Franco Lolli
A ten-year-old is packed off to live with his down-at-heel father in this touching, exquisitely observed Colombian drama.
Horror2015110 minsDirector: Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson
An American tourist in Italy falls for a stunning local woman with a dangerous secret, in this startling horror-romance.
Science Fiction2015119 minsDirector: Tom Green
The pyrotechnic sequel to Gareth Edwards’ cult sci-fi follows US soldiers attempting to police alien-infested zones while also battling human insurgents.
Drama201485 minsDirector: Ester Martin Bergsmark
A striking 21st-century love story about the passionate relationship between a transgendered teen and a straight man.
Drama201399 minsDirector: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
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.
Drama201491 minsDirector: Gregg Araki
Shailene Woodley and Eva Green star in Gregg Araki’s lyrical and impressionistic adaptation of Laura Kasischke’s novel.
Drama2013123 minsDirector: Ari Folman
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.
Drama201271 minsDirector: Danis Tanovic
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.
Drama201391 minsDirector: Nanouk Leopold
Reflective calm and ambient beauty suffuse this tale of silent sexuality, as a lonely farmer’s quiet existence is interrupted by desire.
Science Fiction199784 minsDirector: Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky’s magisterial monochrome mystery concerns a mathematician whose discovery of a powerful number leads to the dark side.
Horror2012108 minsDirector: Brandon Cronenberg
Body horror and celebrity satire are served ice cold in this extreme offering from Brandon Cronenberg (son of David).
Drama200995 minsDirector: Jessica Hausner
Jessica Hausner’s cool, compassionate exploration of religious faith follows various believers and non-believers hoping for miracle cures in Lourdes
Documentary2010101 minsDirector: Janus Metz
Balanced, insightful and compassionate documentary about troops and civilians in and around a Danish-British base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Drama200990 minsDirector: Shamim Sarif
Sweeping romantic drama about two Indian women who fall for each other in the hostile environment of apartheid South Africa.
Drama200872 minsDirector: Gianni Di Gregorio
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
Fantasy200998 minsDirector: Gerald McMorrow
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.
Drama200893 minsDirector: Pablo Larraín
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
Documentary201184 minsDirector: Gillian Wearing
Artist Gillian Wearing’s ‘documentary’ observes seven people creating (fantasy?) identities in collaboration with a drama teacher. Raw and revealing.
Documentary201496 minsDirector: Ron Mann
An illuminating documentary about American cinema’s maverick genius Robert Altman, featuring unseen home movies and extensive interviews.
Drama200996 minsDirector: Shirin Neshat
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
Animation & Artists Moving Image201398 minsDirector: Ben Rivers and Ben Russell
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.