Guillermo Del Toro Pinocchio

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio One Of BFI London Film Festival World Premiere’s

In 5 weeks time we’ll be heading London to attend the 66th BFI London Film Festival. Ahead of tomorrow’s official programme launch the BFI have unveiled their World Premiere line-up.

The Festival will host 22 feature film world premieres including new films from Guillermo del Toro, Asif Kapadia, Edward Lovelace, Neil Maskell and Nora Twomey and Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon

LFF will also host the world premieres of 3 major new series made for television including work from Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem), Alexander Cary (Homeland) and Hugo Blick (An Honourable Woman, Black Earth Rising).

A further 22 short films will be launched at the Festival along with 6 new Immersive works, as previously announced.

Along with the previously announced opening night gala, the  big screen adaptation of the smash-hit, Olivier-winning stage musical Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, the festival will also launch dazzling stop-motion animation Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio as well as Creature, a new collaboration between acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan and Oscar-winner, Asif Kapadia. My Father’s Dragon, family animation from Award-winning Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner) and Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon (Wolfwalkers, The Song of the Sea).

FEATURE FILMS
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO (dirs. Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, USA) – Carlo Collodi’s dark fable about a naive wooden puppet Pinocchio is presented in dazzling stop-motion animation by Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro and award-winning director Mark Gustafson.

CREATURE (dir. Asif Kapadia, UK) – Acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan’s new creation is captured by Academy Award winner Asif Kapadia in the immersive and visceral CREATURE.

THE ESTATE (dir/scr. Dean Craig, USA) – Anna Faris and Toni Collette’s sisters plot to win the inheritance of Kathleen Turner’s cantankerous, terminally ill aunt, but find other relatives have equally devious designs on the family fortune. Crack ensemble also features Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston and David Duchovny. .

BECOMING PLANT (dir. Grace Ndiritu, UK-Denmark-Norway) – the debut feature-length from artist Grace Ndiritu presents an inquisitive choreographic and therapeutic group experiment with psychedelics augmented by the soundtrack from multi-talented artist and musician GAIKA.

BLUE BAG LIFE (dir. Lisa Selby, Rebecca Hirsch Lloyd-Evans, Alex Fry) – Artist Lisa Selby’s audacious and deeply personal odyssey through love, artistry and selfhood illuminates the uncompromising and powerful BLUE BAG LIFE, a documentary portrait of a life touched by addiction.

IF THE STREETS WERE ON FIRE (dir. Alice Russell, UK) – Russell shows London from an exhilarating, rarely seen perspective. While knife violence rises, BikeStormz is a space of liberation and creative freedom for young people across the city to be free and express themselves

INLAND (dir/scr. Fridjof Ryder, UK) – Ryder makes a striking, boldly cinematic debut with this intense puzzle piece, an intense thriller recalling Roeg and Lynch, and starring Mark Rylance in a story of a young man returning to his hometown in the wake of his mother’s disappearance.

KLOKKENLUIDER (dir/scr. Neil Maskell) – Combining pitch-black gallows humour, sharply amusing dialogue and perceptive characterisation, Maskell’s debut is an edgy and claustrophobic comic thriller in which a hapless government whistleblower and his partner hide out in a remote Belgian cottage, accompanied by two eccentric bodyguards.

NAME ME LEWAND (dir. Edward Lovelace) – Lovelace returns to LFF following 2014’s THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS, here exploring the power of communication and community with a rapturous coming of age story about a young deaf Kurdish boy living in Derby in the UK .

PRETTY RED DRESS (dir/scr. Dionne Edwards, UK) – BRIT Award-nominated singer and West End stage star, Alexandra Burke, stars this charmer that sees one dress change everything for a family in Edwards’ spirited, heart-warming debut.

SHE IS LOVE (dir/scr. Jamie Adams, UK) – Sam Riley and Haley Bennett shine as estranged lovers meeting a decade after their split in this intense and involving drama, from prolific Welsh filmmaker Jamie Adams’ (Black Mountain Poets, Bittersweet Symphony).

SUPER EAGLES ’96 (dir. Yemi Bamiro, UK-Nigeria) – Bamiro follows up 2020’s One Man and His Shoes with this engrossing history of the Nigerian national football team and its importance in the country’s political and cultural landscape..

THE ORIGIN (dir. Andrew Cumming, UK) – Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘period film’, Cumming’s Paleolithic low budget horror, THE ORIGIN, is a true original. Shot in the Scottish Highlands during the pandemic, this visionary survival horror is a masterclass in expansive world-building.

THE BLUE ROSE OF FORGETFULNESS (dir. Lewis Klahr, USA) – an exquisite collage film which manipulates fragments of comics, creating a narrative of unfulfilled romantic longing.

THE GIRL FROM TOMORROW (dir. Scr. Marta Savina, Italy-France) – Savina’s impressive debut is based on the true story of a young woman violently forced into marriage fighting for justice in 1960s Sicily.

THE BLAZE (dir. Quentin Raynaud, France) – a man and his father flee from a wildfire in this French eco-thriller that could have been ripped from the charred pages of this year’s headlines.

KANAVAL: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF HAITI IN SIX CHAPTERS (dirs. Lean Gordon, Eddie Hutton Mills, Haiti-UK) – Haitian history is presented through an explosion of colour, dance and music, as the country prepares for its legendary carnival. .

MY FATHER’S DRAGON (dir. Nora Twomey, Ireland) – an irresistible animated fable from the award-winning director Nora Twomey and acclaimed Irish animation Studio Cartoon Saloon, about a boy and a young dragon stranded on an island full of untamed beasts.

XALÉ (dir. Moussa Sene Absa, Senegal-Ivory Coast) – Artist, musician and filmmaker, Moussa Sene Absa (Yoole, The Sacrifice) deliver a powerful female-centred revenge drama, XALÉ , which unfolds across two time frames and details the fallout of a devastating incident

THE STORE (dir/scr. Ami-ro Sköld, Sweden-Italy) – this inventive and provocative social realist drama boldly uses live-action and stop-motion animation to explore what living in our zero-hours-contract, consumer society might look like in the very near future.

SHTTL (dir/scr. Ady Walter, Ukraine-France) – set in a Jewish village prior to the Nazi invasion of Ukraine in 1941, a filmmaker returns from Kyiv in search of his intended Bride.Walter’s striking debut, crafted as a stunning black and white ‘single-shot’ drama is in Yiddish and stars Saul Rubinek, Moshe Lobel and Antoine Millet.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, said: “Galas, competitive features, short films – across all sections of the programme, this is perhaps the richest overall selection of world premieres we have had the privilege of hosting at BFI London Film Festival, and we want to give these artists a moment in the sun before the full programme launch. Securing world premieres for their own sake is never an aim of our audience-facing Festival, but it is an honour that these filmmakers and artists entrust us help them to launch their beautiful work. And this is, at least in part, down to the passion and commitment of our audiences!

The 66th BFI London Film Festival takes place from Wednesday 5th OctoberSunday 16th October. The Programme Launch will take place on Thursday 1st September, we’ll bring you the details when we get them.