The 66th BFI London Film Festival (LFF) in partnership with American Express today announces the full programme line-up, which will be presented in cinemas and online, across the UK.
Over twelve days from 5 – 16 October, the LFF will return to its fantastic flagship venues in the heart of London – BFI Southbank and the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, which between them host Galas, Special Presentations and Official Competition. Films and series from all strands of the Festival screen in many of central London’s iconic cinemas with a curated selection of features showcased at 10 partner venues across the UK.
The full programme features films, series and immersive art works from over 63 countries with 41% of the programme made by female and non-binary directors/creators or co-directors/creators and 34% made by ethnically diverse directors/creators.
An impressive number of major alumni filmmakers return to LFF including: Darren Aronofsky, Noah Baumbach, James Benning, Marco Bellocchio, Bertrand Bonello, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Richard Eyre, Kevin Jerome Everson, Patricio Guzmán, Mani Haghighi, Mia Hansen-Løve, Joanna Hogg, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Rian Johnson, Asif Kapadia, Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy, Sebastián Lelio, Sébastien Lifshitz, Tobias Lindholm, Edward Lovelace, Martin McDonagh, Santiago Mitre, Michel Ocelot, Ruben Östlund, François Ozon, Park Chan-wook, Alexandre O. Philippe, Laura Poitras, Sarah Polley, Lucía Puenzo, João Pedro Rodrigues, Jerzy Skolimowski, Paolo Taviani, Guillermo del Toro, Lars von Trier, Nora Twomey. Major emerging alumni returning to LFF with new features include: Ali Abassi, Fyzal Boulifa, Lukas Dhont, Alice Diop, Sally El Hosaini, Soudade Kaadan, Hlynur Pálmason, with the Festival also introducing audiences to a thrilling new generation of international filmmakers with 39 debut features in LFF.
Every feature and series screens to audiences in the UK for the very first time, with many shown publicly to for the first time ever anywhere in the world. Premieres include 23 feature film and 3 series World Premieres, 6 feature film International Premieres and 15 feature film and 2 series European Premieres.
As previously announced the LFF Expanded programme of Immersive Art features 6 World Premieres. World Premieres from filmmakers and artists include: GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO; a new series from television auteur Hugo Blick, THE ENGLISH, starring Emily Blunt and a brand new commission AR from acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin, HAUNTED HOTEL: A MELODRAMA IN AUGMENTED REALITY. International Premieres include SHE SAID, starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan and based on the booked from New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and award-winning documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner’s LAST FLIGHT HOME. Major European Premieres include: EMPIRE OF LIGHT from Sam Mendes; GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY from Rian Johnson; MY POLICEMAN, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Emma Corrin, Harry Styles and Rupert Everett; Chinonye Chukwu’s TILL, starring Danielle Deadwyler and Whoopi Goldberg; ALLELUJAH, directed by Richard Eyre adapted from Alan Bennett’s play, with stars including Judi Dench and Jennifer Saunders; Frank Berry’s AISHA starring Letitia Wright and Josh O’Connor, and LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER, directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and also starring Emma Corrin alongside Jack O’Connell. LFF will host the European Premieres of several major new filmmaking voices: Sundance award-winner Nikyatu Jusu with NANNY; acclaimed theatre director Lila Neugebauer’s CAUSEWAY starring Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry and photographer and documentarian Elegance Bratton’s THE INSPECTION.
Audiences will enjoy a rich programme of fiction, documentary, animation, artists’ moving image, short film, newly restored classics from the world’s archives, and exciting international works made in immersive and episodic forms. LFF for Free will return to BFI Southbank with a programme of in-person events and screenings as well as a programme of free short films and events that will be available across the UK virtually. The Festival will also be accessible UK-wide via a specially curated programme of feature and short films on BFI Player, which viewers will be able to enjoy for a full week after the Festival (from 14 – 23 October).
Ben Roberts, CEO, BFI said: “I’m immensely proud of the BFI London Film Festival and the talented team who take it from strength to strength every year. They continue to find creative ways of reaching new audiences across the UK, including through our free programme and a wider range of work, including our Series and VR and immersive works. The LFF provides a vital platform for global filmmakers to showcase their work and I’m excited to see such a bold and expansive range of films, more World Premieres than ever and an incredible range of debuts from UK directors. We couldn’t do it without our loyal supporters, including our principal partner of 13 years American Express, so huge thanks to them and our many other sponsors, funders, partners, including the UK Government and the UK’s National Lottery players who do so much to enable both the Festival and our work throughout the year.”
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said: “If there is something that unites these brilliant but disparate works, it’s the boldness and ambition of their filmmakers and creators. As we emerge from an unprecedented period of disruption and change – a global health crisis, instability, climate change – artists are our North Star, helping guide us and shape our understanding in a complex and often confusing world. And the work here reminds me again of why we love films, television, visual storytelling of all kinds…it has the power to help us see. We are so grateful to these artists for their incredible films, series and immersive works and can’t wait to share it with audiences.“