This dramatic reconstruction of two decisive naval battles from the First World War is one of the finest films of the British silent era. Walter Summers’ film was originally released on Armistice Day 1927 to act as a memorial to the thousands who died in the Battle of Coronel, triumph for German Admiral von Spee, and the retaliatory strike by ace British tactician Admiral Fisher six weeks later.
Filmed on real battleships supplied by the Admiralty, this monumental production was shot mostly at sea near Malta, with the Scilly Isles a convincing stand-in for the Falklands. It is an astonishingly effective piece of filmmaking, which glories, like Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, in the power and beauty of the machine. Scrupulously fair in its treatment of the enemy, this stirring film is presented with a newly commissioned score composed by Simon Dobson and performed by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. Restoration supported by Matt Spick. Score commission and recording supported by the Gosling Foundation, the Hartnett Conservation Trust, PRS for Music Foundation and the Charles Skey Charitable Trust.
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.
Romance 1942 103 mins Director: Michael Curtiz
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star in the eternal story of love, loss and redemption; the ultimate testament to the brilliance of Golden Age Hollywood.
War 1987 117 mins Director: Stanley Kubrick
Recruits move from the brutal US Marine training bootcamp – into the nightmare of war.
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
Festival Archive Treasures
Romance 1928 93 mins Silent Director: Anthony Asquith
The BFI National Archive restoration of one of Anthony Asquith's finest silent films set in London's Underground, with a new score.
Drama 1954 86 mins Director: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini's acerbic but finally very moving masterpiece about marital crisis boasts great performances from Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders
Fantasy 1946 95 mins Director: Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau’s ravishingly restored 1946 film is a cinematic classic. “Five stars. [This] magical exploration of the fairytale is a compelling and bizarre masterpiece” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Drama 1961 100 mins Director: Basil Dearden
This thought-provoking classic stars Dirk Bogarde as a homosexual lawyer who risks his career to hunt down a blackmailer.
Historical drama 1975 96 mins Director: Kevin Brownlow
An authentic historical drama about the visionary Gerrard Winstanley who led a group of impoverished 'Diggers' to assert their common rights.
Directed by Walter Summers
1932 19 mins Director: Walter Summers
Take to the skies in this eccentric short starring the newlywed darlings of British aviation, Amy Johnson and Jim Mollison.
War 1926 110 mins Silent Director: Walter Summers
Arrival of the British Army in France
War 1925 79 mins Silent Director: Walter Summers
Battle film made as a memorial to the dead of WWI, documenting events at Ypres using reconstructed and genuine footage.
Melodrama 1930 75 mins Director: Richard Eichberg
Chinese-American star Anna May Wong dazzles as a Chinese dancer forced to give herself to a Russian General in order to save her brother.
Documentary 2020 83 mins Director: Yemi Bamiro
South Londoner Yemi Bamiro’s pacey, engrossing Michael Jordan documentary reveals the darker side of marketing trainers.
Documentary 2020 124 mins Director: Alex Gibney
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney details the Trump's administration's failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drama 2020 91 mins Director: Lucy Brydon
Lucy Brydon’s powerful debut feature sensitively explores the impact of an eating disorder on a family.
Drama 2018 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 2019 94 mins Director: Craig Roberts
Sally Hawkins gives a standout performance as a fragile young woman in Craig Roberts’ humane depiction of mental illness.
Documentary 2016 86 mins Director: Tomer Heymann
A heartfelt exploration of one man’s struggle to reconcile with his Israeli family, while finding a new ‘family’ in London Gay Men’s Chorus.