Steve McQueen’s Mangrove Opening 64th BFI London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival will launch in October (7th Until 18th) and today we learned the movie that will open this year’s festival. The honours go to Oscar winning British filmmaker Steve McQueen and his film Mangrove.

The film is one of five movies part of the Small Axe drama anthology movie which will be shown soon on BBC. The movie stars Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes and Malachi Kirby. Receiving its European premiere on Wednesday 7th October.

Marking 50 years since the events depicted in the film, Mangrove tells the true story of the Mangrove 9, the group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970 and their highly publicised trial that followed. The trial was the first judicial acknowledgement of behaviour motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police. Steve McQueen and Alastair Siddons have also co-written the script.

McQueen is no stranger to BFI London Film Festival. Widows a film adaptation of the Linda LaPlante novel premiered at the festival in 2018. Shame and 12th Years A Slave also playing at the festival too.

I couldn’t be happier that MANGROVE will open this year’s BFI London Film Festival. Although the themes are universal, MANGROVE is a London story. It may have happened fifty years ago, but it’s as relevant today as it was then.” said Steve McQueen.

BFI London Film Festival Director, Tricia Tuttle said: “This new series from Oscar-winning director and BFI Fellow Steve McQueen could not be more timely in the context of recent global protests around anti-Black racism and inequality, and McQueen has been a powerful voice in challenging the status quo and demanding inclusion within the British film industry. His Widows also opened the 62nd BFI London Film Festival in 2018 and we have never had the same filmmaker open the LFF twice in such a close time frame; that’s both a testament to the urgency of the film and potency of his filmmaking.

This year, Festival audiences will be invited to book tickets to preview the film for free at venues across the UK on Wednesday 7th October ahead of its broadcast on BBC One this autumn. The film is also part of the Festival’s programme along with 11 other films that will be screened, marking the most audience-accessible version of the Festival to date.

Small Axe will premiere on BBC One and iPlayer this autumn and air on Amazon Prime Video in the US.

The full Festival programme will be announced at an online launch on Tuesday 8th September 2020 and all tickets will be bookable via venue partners.

The 64th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 7th October-Sunday 18th October 2020.