This year’s LFF programme comprises 39 per cent female and 40 per cent ethnically diverse directors/creators.
Following an all-virtual affair in 2020, the BFI London Film Festival will return to its full glory for its 65th edition, welcoming 159 features from around the world to its flagship venue BFI Southbank and the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, as well as select cinemas in London’s West End and 10 satellite venues across the UK.
As previously announced, the LFF will open on 6 October with the world premiere of Jeymes Samuel’s Black western The Harder They Fall, with Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth closing proceedings on 17 October. Across those 12 days audiences will be able to soak up some of the best new films from this year’s festival circuit as well as 21 world premieres.
Most excitingly, the main programme is comprised of 39 per cent female-created work, with 40 per cent made by ethnically diverse directors. And as before, BFI Player will host virtual screenings alongside LFF for Free, an open access programme of short films, immersive artworks and screen talks.
Among the headline galas are Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II, Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta, Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, Pablo Larraín’s Spencer, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, Eva Husson’s Mothering Sunday, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s King Richard, and Sarah Smith and Jean Philippe-Vine’s Ron’s Gone Wrong.
There’s also special presentations of Clio Barnard’s Ali & Ava, Terence Davies’ Benediction, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria, Julia Ducournau’s Titane, Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13th District, Todd Haynes’ The Velvet Underground, Craig Roberts’ The Phantom of the Open, Sebastian Meise’s Great Freedom, Andrea Arnold’s Cow, Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island, Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World, Sean Baker’s Red Rocket and a BFI Flare screening of Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee.
This year also sees the return of LFF Expanded, which features work from a host of UK and international artists working in virtual, augmented and mixed reality media. And in a first for the festival, a new strand dedicated to television will showcase the hotly-anticipated third season of Succession. The regular feature film programme is organised as ever by themed strands – Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Experimenta, Family and Treasures – to encourage audience discovery.
Festival Director Tricia Tuttle had this to say about today’s announcement: “After this last 18 months so many of us are eager for opportunities to connect around shared cultural events, and we’re looking forward to bringing people together over the 12 days of the LFF to view this truly exceptional programme of film, series and immersive art.
“These are works which have moved us, provoked us, made us think and feel, and made us look at the world a little differently this year. There is absolutely something for everyone here and we can’t wait for people to join us for BFI London Film Festival – whether in London, around the UK or at home.”
Tickets go on sale 20 September. For full programme details visit bfi.org.uk/lff
Published 7 Sep 2021
Jane Campion doesn’t so much dissect masculinity as explode it in her dirt-smudged adaptation of Thomas Savage’s western.
Jeymes Samuel’s outlaw western will receive its world premiere at the festival in October.