The clue is in the film-within-the-film’s title: No Self. It’s perhaps no surprise that the imminent release of Benjamin’s sophomore feature plunges him into existential crisis. In this heightened state of insecurity, even meeting his potential dream match, young French musician Noah, doesn’t soothe Benjamin’s fears and self-loathing. And that’s before he has to screen his film to the merciless audiences of the BFI London Film Festival…
Amstell is working in a low-key, intimate vein here, exposing the contradictions of a London-centric creative culture whilst adroitly balancing drama and comedy. If it’s less suggestively autobiographical than his TV series Grandma’s House (Colin Morgan makes an endearing doppelgänger here), it’s also more cinematic and shows Amstell’s growing confidence as a skilled and nuanced filmmaker.
Comedy 2019 107 mins Director: Richard Wong
Three young men with disabilities flee their overbearing parents on a road trip to a brothel in Montreal catering to people with special needs.
Comedy 2014 108 mins Director: 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.
Comedy 2019 86 mins Director: 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.
Drama 2019 106 mins Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in this inspirational story about the infamous 1970 Miss World contest.
Comedy 1954 94 mins Director: John Huston
Humphrey Bogart stars in this classic adventure comedy directed by John Huston and written by Truman Capote.
Comedy 2019 97 mins Director: Michael Schwartz
Effortlessly charming buddy movie about a young man with Down's syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) in pursuit of his dreams, with Shia LaBeouf.
LGBTIQ+ Best of 2019
Drama 2017 92 mins Director: Desiree Akhavan
Desiree Akhavan’s award-winning follow-up to Appropriate Behaviour, with Chloë Grace Moretz as a teen sent to a gay conversion camp.
Drama 2018 99 mins Director: 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.
Drama 2018 83 mins Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Romantic sparks fly between the daughters of two opposing politicians in Wanuri Kahiu’s neon-bright story of forbidden love in Kenya.
Drama 2018 95 mins Director: 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.
Drama 2018 102 mins Director: Ondi Timoner
Matt Smith stars as legendary photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in this full-frontal homage to the devilish bad boy, whose sex life fuelled his career.
Drama 2019 111 mins Director: Marco Berger
A tentative friendship blossoms into a beautiful romance in this erotically-charged yet disarmingly sweet-natured offering from Marco Berger (Taekwondo).
Featuring Colin Morgan
Biopic 2018 105 mins Director: Rupert Everett
Rupert Everett astounds as Oscar Wilde, depicting the fallen star in the final years of his life, in this heartfelt and captivating passion project.
Drama 2014 130 mins Director: James Kent
Alicia Vikander brings to life the extraordinary life of Vera Brittain, whose affair with a dashing friend (Kit Harington) is cruelly cut short by the onset of war.
Featuring Phénix Brossard
Drama 2015 108 mins Director: Andrew Steggall
Andrew Steggall’s deft and delicate drama about a teenage dreamer who falls for the rough beauty of local boy while staying in France.
Documentary 2019 81 mins Director: 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.
Drama 2019 84 mins Director: Nathalie Biancheri
A teenage girl forms a mysterious relationship with an older man in this atmospheric debut from director Nathalie Biancheri.
War 2019 169 mins Director: 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.
Romance 2019 78 mins Director: 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.
Documentary 2015 75 mins Director: Angela Spielsinger
Ground-breaking documentary that uses archive film to tell the story of the British Deaf community’s fight for civil rights.
Drama 2018 71 mins Director: Alex Moratto
A teenage orphan is forced to grow up quickly in this captivating story of resilience in the face of hardship.