From La La Land To Birth Of A Nation BFI London Film Festival Unveils 2016 Line up

La La Land

When you reach landmark birthday you’ve always got to celebrate in style and next month BFI London Film Festival will be doing that  in style. This morning at the Odeon Leicester Square BFI London Film Festival announced it’s 60th programmed line up, one that will take us from A Birth Of A Nation to La La Land.

From 5th until the 16th October cinephiles from around the world will head London for 12 days celebrating all great things called film. In total, there will be 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, of which 18 will be world premieres (8 International, 39 European Premieres). As the feature-length treat, 144 short films will also be shown making sure everyone will be catered for at UK’s leading international festival.

This year’s festival includes an agenda-setting Symposium event that heralds the BFI’s Black Star project, the UK’s biggest ever season of film and television dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors A United Kingdomcoming in late October. Films within the Festival programme will amplify the season, while the Symposium will ask searching questions about the continued under-representation of black actors on screen, probing why opportunities for black actors in the US and the UK remain limited and aiming to drive forward a progressive agenda by spotlighting and exploring key issues for the film industry.

Previously announced the European Premiere of Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom ties in with BFI’s Black Star. a film that tells the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. The film stars David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.

The Closing gala will see Ben Wheatley bring his third film to London Film Festival Free Fire a homage to the 1970s crime films from greats such as Martin Scorsese (exec producer on this), Sam Peckinpah.

Other Films that will excite cinephiles, will be Nate Parker‘s Sundance award winning historical drama A Birth Of A Nation. Showing Londoners why it’s an early front runner for next year’s Oscars a gruelling account of  the life of Free Fire (Credit Kerry Brown & Copyright Rook Filmsan enslaved African-American who led a slave revolt in Virginia in 1831. It’s Expected Nate will introduce the film too. Recently Venice Premiered  Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land will be dancing it’s way  to a UK premiere. The film marks the director’s follow up to the critically acclaimed Whiplash.

Garth Davis‘ directorial feature debut Lion starring Dev Patel plays an young Indian man who was adopted as a boy by Nicole Kidman.25 years later attempts to reconnect to his real parents, Rooney Mara also stars. Oliver Stone‘s Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden will get it’s UK premiere.

Other highlight’s include Dennis Villeneuve‘s Arrival emotionally arresting, visually inventive science fiction

Dev Patel and Rooney Mara star in LION Photo: Mark Rogers
Dev Patel and Rooney Mara star in LION
Photo: Mark Rogers

movie, based on the award-winning Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang stars Amy Adams. Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester By The Sea, a visually eloquent and emotionally devastating exploration of grief and redemption. Film stars Casey Affleck. J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls, a highly moving  sublime fantasy film gets’s a MayFair Hotel premiere and Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals ,a dark, sophisticated adaptation of Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan.

Other  London Film Festival films that catch our attention (as well as some recent film festivals in 2016) are Miles Teller‘s Bleed For This, Jim Jarmusch‘s PattersonSpike Lee’s Chi-Raq , Park Chan-wook’s The HandmaidenXavier Dolan’s It’s Only The End Of The World ,Andrea Arnold‘s American Honey and the family gala been Dreamwork’s Trolls.

The 60th BFI London Film Festival will kick-off on 5th October until 16th October and we do hope to cover as much as the festival we can, so stay tuned.

For the full list of screenings, talks and events happening, visit bfi.org.uk

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