62nd BFI London Film Festival 2018

Report by Carlie Newman

There is an exciting line up of films for this year’s London film festival 10-21 October, with almost half of the films directed by women.

This year sees 21 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres and 29 European Premieres. The 225 feature programmes screening at the Festival include: 46 documentaries, 4 animations, 18 archive restorations and 7 artists’ moving image features. The programme also includes 160 short films, and 77 countries are represented across short film and features.

There are a number of Gala presentations and films in Official Competition at cinemas in and near Leicester Square as well as the 800-seat Embankment Garden Cinema, a bespoke temporary venue which was first built for the Festival in 2016.

Several key events will also be cinecast to cinema venues around the UK, including the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD, which will be simultaneously screened, in 2D and 3D to cinemas and special venues across the UK and for the first time ever, an LFF premiere outside London – the LFF Special Presentation of Mike Leigh’s PETERLOO will take place at HOME, Manchester.

Audiences can attend Screen Talks, a series of in-depth interviews with leaders in contemporary cinema. Participants confirmed so far include Keira Knightley, Alfonso Cuarón, David Hare, Lee Chang-dong and Simon Amstell.

The Festival opened with the European Premiere of Academy Award®- winner Steve McQueen’s WIDOWS, on Wednesday 10 October. This had a press screening and is well-worth catching at one of the LFF screenings. The Festival closes with the World Premiere of STAN & OLLIE on Sunday 21 October.

In between there are other Galas including films which are not to miss: Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE FAVOURITE; The Coen Brothers return to the Festival with the UK Premiere of THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS. Worth catching too are Wash Westmoreland’s COLETTE; THE FRONT RUNNER by director Jason Reitman’s; LIFE ITSELF; A PRIVATE WAR; SUSPIRIA and Academy Award®-winner Barry IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK.

Ten Special Presentations show new work from major directors. Tinge Krishnan returns to the Festival with her second feature BEEN SO LONG, a brilliantly refreshing contemporary musical set on the streets of Camden Town. FAHRENHEIT 11/9 finds Michael Moore examining Donald Trump in his own inimitable manner! THE HATE U GIVE, George Tillman Jr’s coming-of age social drama looks at the contemporary black experience in America.

Presenting the first two episodes of sharp, sexy and wickedly intelligent spy thriller, THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL is given an impactful theatrical treatment by Park Chan-wook. Carol Morley returns to the LFF with OUT OF BLUE, while director Mike Leigh gives us PETERLOO, about Manchester’s infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre. The screening in Manchester is the first time the BFI London Film Festival has premiered a film outside of the capital.

Another Special Presentation marks the centenary of the First World War with the World Premiere of director Peter Jackson’s passion project THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD, using original, archive footage from the Imperial War Museum’s film archive and audio from BBC archives. The film will be presented by Peter Jackson.

With documentaries, appearances by film luminaries and many other special film showings and events, you need to get hold of the Programme booklet or go online as quickly as possible and get booking!

Bfi.org.uk/lff 020 7928 3232

Carlie Newman

Author: Carlie Newman

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