THE 64th BFI London Film Festival (LFF) today announced the full programme of its reimagined and innovative new 2020 offering that will be delivered both virtually and via physical screenings.
Over the twelve days from October 7-18, the Festival will be its most accessible ever, presenting over 50 Virtual Premieres and a selection of highly-anticipated new feature film previews at BFI Southbank as well as in cinemas across the UK, offering audiences a unique chance to engage with the Festival in different ways.
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
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director
With work from more than 40 countries, the programme includes fiction, documentary, animation, artists’ moving image, short film, restored classics from the world’s archives as well as previews of several episodic/series-based works made for the small screen.
Every screening will be presented with an intro or Q&A from filmmakers and programmers.
The Festival also includes many ways audiences can engage with the Festival for free: LFF Opening screenings of Mangrove in cinemasacross the UK; selected feature films on BFI Player; an international programme of short films featuring established and breakthrough film talents; Screen Talks with major filmmakers and actors, as well as all online salons and Q&As across the Festival which will give audiences an opportunity to delve more deeply into themes and talking points emerging from the programme.
The recently announced LFF Expanded strand of XR and Immersive Art will also be free to access both virtually and at BFI Southbank for the duration of the Festival.
All films are geo-blocked to the UK while all the Festival talks and LFF Expanded are available to experience for free from anywhere in the world.
As is befitting this audience-facing and innovative edition, this year the Festival Awards are in the hands of the audience, who will take the place of the Festival’s Official Jury.
Viewers engaging with the Festival online will be invited to vote on Virtual LFF Audience Awards in four categories: Best Fiction Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Film, and Best XR.
The winners will be announced in a live online ceremony on the final weekend of the Festival. We will also announce The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI winner at the Awards Ceremony.
The Bursary benefits an outstanding first or second time British writer, director, or writer/director. The recipient of the award will receive £50,000, which is the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry and awarded annually.
Ben Roberts, CEO, BFI said: “Although it’s been born out of crisis, this year’s edition of the LFF will be our most accessible yet.
“Thanks to the many talented and dedicated teams across the BFI, and the encouragement of our partners and industry colleagues – we have shaped a festival that suggests a future for bringing filmmakers and film lovers together.”
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said: “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.
“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.”
She added: “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.”
FULL PROGRAMME AVAILABLE AT https://www.bfi.org.uk/explore-our-festivals/bfi-london-film-festival
FILMS CENTRED ON BLACK LIVES
Director: Rob Lemkin
Cast: Femi Nylander
Synopsis: British-Nigerian poet, activist and the film’s co-writer Femi Nylander travels to West Africa to uncover the secrets of a colonial killer whose spirit lives on.
Director: Spike Lee
Synopsis: Spike Lee documents the former Talking Heads frontman’s brilliant, timely 2019 Broadway show, based on his recent album and tour of the same name.
Director: Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
Cast: Emmanuel Adeji, Mary Agholor, Kemi Lala Akindoju
Synopsis: Set in Lagos, Nigeria Eyimofe (This is My Desire) follows the stories of Mofe, a factory technician, and Rosa, a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores. A passport, photos and a visa form recurring elements. The characters’ misfortunes are part of their everyday life and they are sketching out the need to leave Nigeria at the same time. At the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, status, money, gender, skin colour and family structures are inextricably connected. The longing for another life is but one thread in this complex mesh, a promise that floats above things at once near and far away.
Director: Ekwa Msangi
Cast: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah, Jayme Lawson
Synopsis: Reunited after 17 years, an Angolan immigrant is joined in the U.S. by his wife and daughter. Now strangers sharing a one-bedroom apartment, they discover a shared love of dance that may help them overcome the distance between them
I AM SAMUEL
Director: Peter Murimi
Synopsis: Filmed verite style over five years, I Am Samuel is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man torn between balancing duty to his family with his dreams for his future.
Writers: Mickey Down and Konrad Kay
Cast: Myha’la Herrold Marisa Abela, Harry Lawtey, David Jonsson, Nabhaan Rizwan , Freya Mavor, Will Tudor, Conor Macneill and Ken Leung
Synopsis: Ambitious twenty-somethings struggling to secure their futures in the cutthroat world of international finance. The characters compete for a limited set of permanent positions at a top investment bank in London — but the boundaries between colleague, friend, lover, and enemy soon blur as they immerse themselves in a company culture defined as much by sex, drugs, and ego as it is by deals and dividends.
Cast: Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes, Malachi Kirby, Rochenda Sandall, Jack Lowden, Sam Spruell, Gershwyn Eustache Jr., and Gary Beadle
Synopsis: “Mangrove” tells the “true story of the Mangrove 9, a group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970, and the highly publicized trial that followed. The trial was the first judicial acknowledgment of behavior motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police.”
Director: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Quest Love
Synopsis: A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.
Director: Garrett Bradley
Cast: Fox Rich
Synopsis: Fox Rich is an entrepreneur, author, and mother of six who has spent the last 21 years fighting for the release of her husband, Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence for an offense they both committed. She is assured and committed to sharing their story. When their sons speak to growing up without their father, they do so with a softer vulnerability than Fox can concede to. But home-video diaries she records for Rob offer unfettered glimpses into years of longing, pain, and hopeful anticipation of reuniting.
Director: Chuong Vo
Cast: Quinten Brown, Brendan Kelly, Josh Lacy
Synopsis: A family must work together to survive the night of a house invasion.
BLACK FILMMAKER’S WORK
Director Rob Lemkin as above
Director Spike Lee as above
Directors Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri as above
Director Ekwa Msangi as above
I AM SAMUEL
Director Peter Murimi as above
Writer Mickey Down as above
Director Steve Macqueen as above
Director Kemp Powers as above
Director Garrett Bradley as above