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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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El SurEl Sur

Drama198394 minsDirector: Víctor Erice

Victor Erice’s second masterpiece, following The Spirit of the Beehive, is a rarely seen meditation on memory, deception and Spain’s 20th-century history.

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UndergroundUnderground

Comedy1995170 minsDirector: Emir Kusturica

Set against the backdrop of 50 turbulent years of Yugoslavian history, this deeply moving and masterful tragic-farce from director Emir Kusturica earned him his second Palme d'Or.

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The Secret in Their EyesThe Secret in Their Eyes

Thriller2009129 minsDirector: Juan José Campanella

A retired legal investigator revisits an unresolved case that still haunts him, in Juan José Campanella’s taut, Academy Award winning, thriller.

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MonsterMonster

Drama2023127 minsDirector: Hirokazu Koreeda

Not all is as it seems in Hirokazu Koreeda’s powerful drama told from shifting perspectives.

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ScrapperScrapper

Comedy202390 minsDirector: Charlotte Regan

A gorgeous and colourful heart-warming gem from Charlotte Regan, one of the best new voices in British film.

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BeastBeast

Drama2018106 minsDirector: Michael Pearce

The hunt for a Jersey serial killer sparks a dangerous awakening in a young woman (Jessie Buckley, in her feature debut) in this astonishing psycho-sexual thriller, which sets all the senses aflame.

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EOEO

Drama202286 minsDirector: Jerzy Skolimowski

The joint winner of the Cannes Jury Prize and Academy Award-nominated, EO is a strangely wonderful tale where the dark and light of humanity is laid bare.

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VarietyVariety

Drama1984101 minsDirector: Bette Gordon

Bette Gordon’s groundbreaking, gloriously subversive neo-noir thriller is one of the very best American underground films.

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IdaIda

Drama201482 minsDirector: Pawel Pawlikowski

The Best Film winner at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival is an exquisitely shot, moving drama about a Polish nun exploring her family past, from UK-based director Pawel Pawlikowski.

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BaitBait

Drama201989 minsDirector: Mark Jenkin

Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.

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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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Force MajeureForce Majeure

Drama2014120 minsDirector: Ruben Östlund

A gutless moment comes to define a man in this glorious comedy of unease from the creator of Triangle of Sadness.

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LeviathanLeviathan

Drama2014136 minsDirector: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Winner of Best Film at the 2014 London Film Festival, the latest film from Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena) is a gripping study of corrupt politics in modern Russia.

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Nil by MouthNil by Mouth

Drama1997129 minsDirector: Gary Oldman

Twenty-five years old and newly restored, Gary Oldman’s BAFTA-winning debut as writer-director remains a magnificent achievement.

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NakedNaked

Drama1993131 minsDirector: Mike Leigh

David Thewlis stuns as the motormouth predator of Mike Leigh's divisive masterpiece.

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The Eight MountainsThe Eight Mountains

Drama2022147 minsDirector: Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch

An epic journey of friendship and self-discovery set against a magnificent and breath-taking Italian landscape, winner of the 2022 Cannes Jury Prize.

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JoylandJoyland

Drama2022128 minsDirector: Saim Sadiq

A conservative family in Pakistan is torn apart when a son falls in love with a transgender erotic dancer, in Saim Sadiq’s riveting queer drama.

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The 400 BlowsThe 400 Blows

Drama1959100 minsDirector: François Truffaut

François Truffaut’s French New Wave landmark is one of the greatest movies about adolescence.

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MemoriaMemoria

Fantasy2021136 minsDirector: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Tilda Swinton stars in the first English-language feature from master filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul; a mesmerising and beautifully immersive work.

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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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19761976

Period drama202290 minsDirector: Manuela Martelli

An unnervingly brilliant portrait of the ways in which the Pinochet dictatorship realised its brute force and pervasive influence, from debut director Manuela Martelli. Winner of the 2022 BFI London Film Festival First Feature Competition.

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Fish TankFish Tank

Drama2009118 minsDirector: Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold's BAFTA winner and coming-of-age story starring newcomer Katie Jarvis as disaffected teen Mia and Michael Fassbender in one of his earliest film roles.

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Leap YearLeap Year

Drama201092 minsDirector: Michael Rowe

Michael Rowe’s outstanding, Cannes winning debut feature is a bold, minimalist study of a woman’s urban isolation and self-destructive acts.

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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 as gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them.

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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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The White RibbonThe White Ribbon

Drama2009143 minsDirector: Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke's Cannes prizewinner, set in a pre-WW1 German village, explores the oppressively strict social conditions that gave rise to Nazism

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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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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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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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DogmanDogman

Drama2018103 minsDirector: Matteo Garrone

Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone presents a masterful tale of twisted friendship, not-so-petty crime 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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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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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.

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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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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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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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The Last MetroThe Last Metro

Romance1979132 minsDirector: François Truffaut

Catherine Deneuve shines as the director and lead actor of a Parisian theatre struggling to survive under the Nazi occupation in Truffaut's wartime drama.

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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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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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Smiles of a Summer NightSmiles of a Summer Night

Comedy1955109 minsDirector: Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman’s Cannes prize-winning comedy assembles various couples in a country house in 1900.

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Wings of DesireWings of Desire

Fantasy1987128 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

In director Wim Wenders' (Paris, Texas) most metaphysical work, a guardian angel desires nothing more than to be human. Presented in a stunning new restoration.

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Rome, Open CityRome, Open City

Drama1945103 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 Man EscapedA Man Escaped

Drama1956101 minsDirector: Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson’s riveting tale of a Gestapo prisoner determined to regain his freedom, based on real events.

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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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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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Tokyo StoryTokyo Story

Drama1953136 minsDirector: Yasujirō Ozu

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

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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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FitzcarraldoFitzcarraldo

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.