20 July 2024

‘Social Justice’ Big Theme With 2020 BFI London Film Festival Line Up

Getting back to some normality maybe a bumpy ride in 2020, life must go on in some shape or form. 2020 has been a year of strife, trauma , Social Justice and today BFI London Film Festival announced their 2020 line up reflecting the year.

The festival has promised to be  the most accessible of all their previous festivals. Thanks to the current global pandemic the 64th Edition of the festival will be their most socially distance year. With 58 premieres getting an Digital premiere with the rest been shown at BFI Southbank and 13 films touring around the UK.

The line up includes films from over 40 countries with the previously announced, European Premiere of Steve McQueen’s Mangrove to open the festival with Francis Lee’s Ammonite closing the proceedings.

The line-up includes the latest offerings from Spike Lee, Miranda July,alongside the already mentioned Steve McQueen and Francis Lee.

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

This has been such a period of uncertainty and change across the industry and when we embarked on a radical new plans for our 2020 edition, we stepped into unknown territory”. said Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director “But we’ve been so encouraged by the adventurousness of filmmakers and rights holders, the unwavering support of our collaborators and the spirit of unity and experimentation. And I feel like we have accelerated so many of our longer term plans in just a few months – especially our desire to offer audiences across the UK greater access to the LFF. We all want to be back in cinemas, seeing films on the big screen, together, immersed. But we also want to keep seeing new cinematic storytelling from all parts of the world, hearing different voices and perspectives; this version of LFF delivers on both of those aims. I could not be prouder to work with so many amazing professionals, artists and creative businesses to make these absolutely cracking new films, series, talks and XR programmes available to audiences. ”

Related: Francis Lee’s Ammonite Closing 64th BFI London Film Festival

As in previous years, the feature film programme is organised by strand  with those strands Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Cult, Journey, Create, Experimenta, Family and Treasures.

Harry Macqueen’s introspective road movie Supernova, a deeply affecting and quietly provocative exploration of love in the face of tragedy, starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a couple with a long history and an uncertain future. In Miranda July‘s deadpan, offbeat love story.  Kajillionaire, Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger play a family of unusually creative grifters trying to scam the system Josephine Decker’s psychodrama Shirley, sees a brilliant Elizabeth Moss as writer Shirley Jackson, get the inspiration she needs for her novel about the disappearance of a local girl when two young newlyweds come to stay.

 © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Idiosyncratic auteur Abel Ferrara returns with Siberia, an extraordinarily vivid, visually dazzling and characteristically strange rumination on sex, dreams and death, starring Willem Dafoe. Bassam Tariq’s visceral directorial debut, Mogul  Mowgli, co-written with Riz Ahmed, follows a British-Pakistani rapper (portrayed by Ahmed) whose life spirals out of control when, on the cusp of success, he succumbs to a debilitating illness. Brandon Cronenberg’s nightmarish follow-up to 2012’s Antiviral, Possessor is an insanely enjoyable and graphically gruesome identity-swap thriller starring Andrea Riseborough as Tasya Vos, a psychic and possibly psychotic hitwoman-for-hire, who hijacks other people’s minds and manipulates them into carrying out undetectable murder-suicides. Three generations of women are plagued by a supernatural presence in Natalie Erika James’ immensely satisfying directorial debut Relic, which stars Emily Mortimer.

In Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, Frances McDormand illuminates  follow-up to The Rider, a humane and lyrical film about people living on the road in the American West. Spike Lee transforms David Byrne’s wildly popular Broadway show David Byrne’s American Utopia  into immersive, dynamic cinema.  Another knock-out animation from Pixar  with Soul , marking Director Pete Docter’s latest big-screen adventure since Inside Out. with an all-star cast led by Jamie Foxx, who plays  Joe Gardner, a musician who finds himself embarking on an unexpected journey of self-discovery to The Great Before.

Full details of all the films found in the strands, including late additions will be found on the Festival website – www.bfi.org.uk/lff.

Alphabetical list of features screening in the 64th BFI London Film Festival (programme details below)
V = Virtual Premiere / C = in cinemas across the UK

180° RULE | Farnoosh Samadi | Iran | 2020 | Debate | V
200 METERS | Ameen Nayfeh | Palestine | 2020 | Debate | V
A COMMON CRIME | Francisco Márquez | Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland 2020 | Dare | V
A DAY-OFF OF KASUMI ARIMURA | d. Hirokazu Kore-eda | w. Sakura Higa | Japan 2020 |Journey (Series) | V
AFRICAN APOCALYPSE | Rob Lemkin | UK 2020 | Debate | V
AFTER LOVE | Aleem Khan | UK 2020 | Love | V + C
AMMONITE | Francis Lee| UK 2020 | Closing Film | C
ANOTHER ROUND | Thomas Vinterberg| Denmark 2020 | Journey | V + C
BAD TALES | Fabio D’Innocenzo, Damiano D’Innocenzo | Italy 2020 | Dare | V
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKET | Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross | USA 2020 | Journey | V
THE CHEATERS | Paulette McDonagh | Australia 1929 | Treasures | V
THE CHESS GAME OF THE WIND | Mohammad Reza Aslani | Iran 1976 | Treasures | V
CICADA | Matt Fifer and Kieran Mulcare | USA 2020 | Love | V
DAYS | Tsai Ming-Liang | Taiwan 2020 | Love | V*
DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA | Spike Lee | USA 2020 | Create | V + C
THE DISCIPLE | Chaitanya Tamhane | India 2020 | Create | V
FAREWELL AMOR | Ekwa Msangi | USA 2020 | Love | V
FRIENDSHIP’S DEATH | Peter Wollen | UK 1987 | Treasures | V
GENUS PAN | Lav Diaz | Philippines 2020 | Journey | V
GOLD FOR DOGS | Anna Cazenave Cambet | France 2020 | Journey | V
HERSELF | Phyllida Lloyd | UK 2020 | Love | V + C
HONEYMOOD | Talya Lavie | Israel 2020 | Laugh | V
I AM SAMUEL | Pete Murimi | Kenya 2020 | Journey | V
IDENTIFYING FEATURES | Fernanda Valadez | Mexico-Spain 2020 | Journey | V
IF IT WERE LOVE | Patric Chiha | France 2020 | Love | V
INDUSTRY | d. Lena Dunham, Tinge Krishnan, Ed Lilly | w. Mickey Down, Konrad Kay | UK 2020 | Journey (Series) | V
THE INTRUDER | Natalia Meta | Argentina-Mexico 2020 | Dare | V
KAJILLIONAIRE | Miranda July | USA 2020 | Laugh | V
LIMBO | Ben Sharrock | UK 2020 | Journey | V
MANGROVE | Steve McQueen | UK 2020 | Opening Film (Series) | C
MOGUL MOWGLI | Bassam Tariq | UK 2020 | Dare | V + C
NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN | Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert | Poland-Germany | Laugh | V
NEW ORDER | Michel Franco | Mexico 2020 | Dare | V
NOMADLAND | Chloé Zhao | USA 2020 | Journey | C
NOTTURNO | Gianfranco Rosi | Italy-Germany-France 2020 | Journey | V
ONE MAN AND HIS SHOES | Yemi Bamiro | UK 2020 | Debate | V
THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF | Benjamin Ree | Norway 2020 | Create | V
POSSESSOR | Brandon Cronenberg | Canada-UK 2020 | Cult | V
THE REASON I JUMP | Jerry Rothwell | UK 2020 | V
RELIC | Natalie Erika James | Australia-USA 2020 | Cult | V
ROSE | Jennifer Sheridan | UK 2020 | Cult | V
THE SALT IN OUR WATERS | Rezwan Shahriar Sumit | Bangladesh-France 2020| Journey | V
SHADOW COUNTRY | Bohdan Sláma | Czech Republic 2020 | Debate | V
SHIRLEY | Josephine Decker | USA 2020 | Dare | V + C
SIBERIA | Abel Ferrara | Italy-Germany-Mexico 2020 | Dare | V
SOUL | Pete Docter, Kemp Powers | USA 2020 | Family | C
SOUND FOR THE FUTURE | Matt Hulse | UK-China 2020 | Experimenta | V
STRAY | Elizabeth Lo | USA 2020 | Journey | V
STRIDING INTO THE WIND | Wei Shujun | China 2020 | Create | V
SUPERNOVA | Harry Macqueen | UK 2020 | Love | V + C
THIS IS MY DESIRE (EYIMOFE) | Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri | Nigeria 2019 | V
TIME | Garrett Bradley | USA 2020 | Debate | V + C
ULTRAVIOLENCE | Ken Fero | UK 2020 | Debate | V
UNDINE | Christian Petzold | Germany 2020 | V + C
WILDFIRE | Cathy Brady | UK-Ireland 2020 | Dare | V
WOLFWALKERS | Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart | Ireland-Luxembourg-France 2020 |Family | V
ZANKA CONTACT | Ismaël El Iraki | France-Morocco-Belgium 2020 | Create | V

We will have a few writers covering the festival, keep an eye out for their coverage. The BFI London film festival runs from 7th until 18th October.

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