In Helmand province, a unit of British paratroopers become trapped in a minefield, unable to move or offer assistance to those that are injured, and uncertain of how to escape. Paul Katis’ unbearably tense thriller cleverly conveys a horrific and almost absurd scenario of being claustrophobically confined in wide open space.
Tom Williams’ taut script also cleverly develops almost imperceptible tonal shifts, with the story almost resembling a macabre horror-comedy as the soldiers’ gruesome predicament degenerates. Having drawn comparison with films like Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land, Kajaki looks set to be considered one of the defining films of Britain’s Afghanistan’s involvement. The fact that it was produced entirely outside of the UK’s traditional streams of feature film funding only adds to its impressiveness.
Drama 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.
Drama 2019 100 mins Director: Jessica Swale
Gemma Arterton stars in acclaimed theatre director Jessica Swale’s moving Second World War drama, as a woman rediscovering her ability to love.
Drama 2018 124 mins Director: Christiaan Olwagen
A Boy George-obsessed smalltown boy joins the South African Defence Force army choir, in this quirky Apartheid-era musical drama.
Drama 2017 108 mins Director: 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.
Romance 1950 99 mins Director: Anthony Bushell
Anthony Bushell directs this 1950 British drama about the rise and fall of a family of Austrian piano-makers in Vienna.
War 1931 89 mins Director: E.A. Dupont
An Austrian officer falls in love with a Jewish villager in this early sound epic set during WWI
British Independent Film Awards
Drama 2019 84 mins Director: Eva Riley
An aspiring teen gymnast’s world is turned upside down with the arrival of the half-brother she never knew she had.
Drama 2018 91 mins Director: Rene Pannevis
A young thief balances nocturnal thrills with caring for his chronically ill father, in this thrilling yet thoughtful crime drama.
Romance 2020 86 mins Director: Zeina Durra
Andrea Riseborough stars as an aid worker processing the trauma of working on the frontline on the Jordanian-Syrian border.
Thriller 2019 104 mins Director: Ladj Ly
Ladj Ly’s extraordinary Cannes Jury Prize-winning debut obliterates the myth of cultural integration in France.
Drama 2019 118 mins Director: Shannon Murphy
Seriously ill Milla (Eliza Scanlen) clashes with her parents, who disapprove when she brings home her sketchy new boyfriend Toby, in this tragicomic debut from Shannon Murphy.
Horror 2019 81 mins Director: Rose Glass
A mysterious nurse becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient in director Rose Glass’ divine debut.
Featuring Liam Ainsworth
Drama 2015 96 mins Director: Helen Walsh
In this spiky and stylish debut from novelist Helen Walsh, two girls from different backgrounds form an unlikely bond, setting off on a dangerous course.
Drama 2020 118 mins Director: Agnieszka Holland
Agnieszka Holland’s fascinating biopic of Jan Mikolášek, a 20th century Czech herbalist whose great success masked the grimmest of secrets.
Documentary 2021 86 mins Director: Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Creative dual-portrait documentary of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, two of the greatest figures in 20th Century American Literature.
Romance 2020 116 mins Director: Boaz Yakin
Incorporating expressive and exultant dance sequences, Aviva is a restless modern love story that explores the complexities of gender dynamics.
Comedy 2020 106 mins Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
At a remote lake house, a filmmaker plays a calculated game of desire and jealousy in the pursuit of a work of art that blurs the boundaries between autobiography and invention.
Documentary 2020 86 mins Director: Lisa Rovner
The remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to transform how we produce and listen to music today.
Documentary 2019 105 mins Director: Pat Collins
Director Pat Collins’ sublime portrait of the renowned American folklorist and ethnologist, Henry Glassie, who has spent a half century documenting the artistic processes of traditional craftspeople.