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Award Winning

With garlands and glamour, cinema’s spirit of self-congratulation has long fascinated, allowing great works to gain recognition and reach wide audiences.

The famous example is Kurosawa’s Rashomon, which astounded Venice and thrust Japanese cinema on the world stage. But awards still have the power to elevate films and help secure their place in the pantheon. Our collection highlights the films that have won the praise of peers over the years, from Palme d’Or recipients to prize-winners from the BFI London Film Festival.

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Wild TalesWild Tales

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.

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Room at the TopRoom at the Top

Drama1958117 minsDirector: Jack Clayton

Jack Clayton directs this romantic, love-triangle drama featuring Simone Signoret in an Oscar-winning performance.

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The SquareThe Square

Comedy2017151 minsDirector: Ruben Östlund

From director Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) comes a satire on the hypocrisy of the art world, starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West. Winner of the Palme d'Or.

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Rome, Open CityRome, Open City

War1945103 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Rossellini’s landmark of Italian neorealism often cited as one of the greatest films ever made.

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A SeparationA Separation

Drama2011123 minsDirector: Asghar Farhadi

A powerful tale of a middle-class marriage in crisis, and winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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Bicycle ThievesBicycle Thieves

Drama194889 minsDirector: Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica’s story of a father and son searching for a stolen bicycle on the streets of Rome is a classic of post-war Italian cinema.

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Malcolm XMalcolm X

Biopic1992202 minsDirector: Spike Lee

Denzel Washington takes the lead in one of the great screen biopics, directed by Spike Lee.

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PaisàPaisà

War1946126 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini

Roberto Rossellini’s ambitious and enormously moving follow-up to his breakthrough Rome, Open City.

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Jesus of MontrealJesus of Montreal

Drama1989120 minsDirector: Denys Arcand

Denys Arcand's brilliant and provocative drama follows an actor whose unorthodox passion play faces accusations of blasphemy.

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Cinema ParadisoCinema Paradiso

Drama1988124 minsDirector: Giuseppe Tornatore

A boy strikes up a friendship with a projectionist in this timeless and charming love letter to cinema from Giuseppe Tornatore.

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Distant Voices, Still LivesDistant Voices, Still Lives

Biopic198884 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.

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CaravaggioCaravaggio

Biopic198693 minsDirector: Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman’s unique biopic of the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio is a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art.

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Tokyo StoryTokyo Story

Drama1953136 minsDirector: Yasujirō Ozu

A constant fixture in critics' polls, Yasujiro Ozu's most enduring masterpiece is a beautifully nuanced exploration of filial duty, expectation and regret.

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My Brother the DevilMy Brother the Devil

Drama2012107 minsDirector: Sally El Hosaini

Sally El Hosaini's feature debut tells of the love and disenchantment of two British-Egyptian brothers. Gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them

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The Battle of AlgiersThe Battle of Algiers

Drama1966121 minsDirector: Gillo Pontecorvo

Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece about the last years of French colonial rule in Algeria, seen from the perspective of both the revolutionaries and the French authorities.

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RashomonRashomon

Crime195088 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Credited with bringing Japanese cinema to worldwide audiences, Akira Kurosawa’s breakthrough tells the story of a murder in the woods from four differing perspectives.

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After LoveAfter Love

Drama202090 minsDirector: Aleem Khan

In this knockout feature debut from Aleem Khan, Bafta-winner Joanna Scanlan is the woman who discovers her late husband’s secrets.

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Salaam Bombay!Salaam Bombay!

Drama1989114 minsDirector: Mira Nair

Mira Nair’s powerful, Oscar-nominated portrayal of child poverty on the streets of Mumbai.

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Spanking the MonkeySpanking the Monkey

Comedy199495 minsDirector: David O. Russell

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) made his feature debut in 1994 with this biting black comedy, which caused a stir with its incestuous subplot and portrayal of adolescent restlessness.

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Frozen RiverFrozen River

Crime200893 minsDirector: Courtney Hunt

Nominated for two Oscars (Best Actress – Melissa Leo - and Best Original Screenplay) Frozen River is a riveting thriller that raises questions about the borders we construct, between countries, communities and each other.

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Marriage Italian StyleMarriage Italian Style

Comedy196497 minsDirector: Vittorio De Sica

Sophia Loren and Marcelo Mastroianni are irrepressible as a long-married couple in this exquisite and timeless comedy of our all-too-human foibles.

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Yesterday, Today and TomorrowYesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Comedy1963118 minsDirector: Vittorio De Sica

Irrepressible Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves) directs this Oscar-winning film of three comic tales of love and sex in three cities.

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A Special DayA Special Day

Drama1977106 minsDirector: Ettore Scola

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni deliver the finest and most nuanced performances of their careers in this understated masterpiece from director Ettore Scola.

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Red RoadRed Road

Thriller2006110 minsDirector: Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold’s highly acclaimed film, winner of top prizes at Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival, is a haunting drama about a woman confronting past demons.

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The ArborThe Arbor

Biopic201090 minsDirector: Clio Barnard

Clio Barnard's film about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar mixes reconstruction, interviews (performed by actors) and scenes from the plays.

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In a Better WorldIn a Better World

Drama2010113 minsDirector: Susanne Bier

Susanne Bier’s sumptuous, Oscar-winning drama explores the duality of a doctor working in a Sudanese refugee camp and his troubled family life in rural Denmark.

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The HousemaidThe Housemaid

Thriller2010107 minsDirector: Im Sang-soo

An enigmatic housemaid and her wealthy, totalitarian employer begin an affair that will have disastrous consequences for them both.

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Sympathy for Mr. VengeanceSympathy for Mr. Vengeance

Drama2002121 minsDirector: Park Chan-wook

Acclaimed director Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden, Oldboy) kicks off his celebrated ‘Vengeance trilogy’ with this dazzling, shocking tale of kidnapping, organ transplants and revenge.

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The Wayward CloudThe Wayward Cloud

Comedy2004114 minsDirector: Tsai Ming-liang

Ming-Liang Tsai's outrageous blend of sex, comedy, musical and drama is a daring, controversial and hilarious smorgasbord from one of Taiwan's most acclaimed directors.

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My 20th CenturyMy 20th Century

Drama198999 minsDirector: Ildikó Enyedi

Ildikó Enyedi's magical tale of twin girls born in Budapest at the very moment that Edison’s wondrous electric light-bulb is unveiled to the world.

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Drama1963138 minsDirector: Federico Fellini

Fellini triumphantly conjured himself out of writer's block with this magnum opus about a film director experiencing his own creative crisis.

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FitzcarraldoFitzcarraldo

Historical drama1981157 minsDirector: Werner Herzog

One of Werner Herzog's most acclaimed and audacious films, Fitzcarraldo tells the incredible story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an opera-loving fortune hunter who dreams of bringing opera to the heart of the Peruvian jungle.

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The CrematorThe Cremator

Comedy196896 minsDirector: Juraj Herz

This story of a professional cremator whose increasingly deranged impulses are given free reign during Prague's Nazi occupation, is a brilliantly chilling mix of Dr Strangelove and Repulsion.

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L'avventuraL'avventura

Drama1960137 minsDirector: Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni’s masterpiece of modern alienation, with Monica Vitti as the young woman searching for her friend who's inexplicably disappeared.

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Taxi TehranTaxi Tehran

Drama201581 minsDirector: Jafar Panahi

Following a personally difficult but artistically rewarding spell making films under house arrest, Jafar Panahi is back on the streets of Tehran.

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La notteLa notte

Drama1961122 minsDirector: Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece stars Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau as a couple re-examining their emotional bonds.

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Winter SleepWinter Sleep

Drama2014197 minsDirector: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Modern master filmmaker Nuri Bilge Celyan’s Palme d’Or winner: an extraordinary, epic drama.

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Stranger by the LakeStranger by the Lake

Drama2013100 minsDirector: Alain Guiraudie

A young man witnesses a violent crime at a gay cruising ground and becomes obsessed with the killer in Alain Guiraudie’s acclaimed mystery-thriller.

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Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaOnce Upon a Time in Anatolia

Crime2011151 minsDirector: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

A modern masterpiece from major filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, following police and prosecutors as they escort a murderer through the bleak Anatolian steppes in search of a buried body.

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Merry Christmas Mr. LawrenceMerry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

War1982123 minsDirector: Nagisa Oshima

An unflinching study of brutality and resistance, fear and desire in a Japanese WWII POW camp, directed with verve by Oshima and starring David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tom Conti.

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DogtoothDogtooth

Drama200993 minsDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos

Yorgos Lanthimos' scary, witty tale of a dysfunctional Greek family is original, ingenious and sadly relevant as a study of parent-child relationships

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The WoundThe Wound

Drama201788 minsDirector: John Trengove

A traditional rite of passage ritual forms the backdrop for this tough and complex tale of closeted sexuality in South Africa.