The bastion of British Cinema and the jewel in the crown of the British festival scene The BFI London Film Festival is returning for it’s 58th year making it one of the longest running film festivals in the world.

Opening with the European Premiere of ‘The Imitation Game’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley on Wednesday 8 October. Closing with the European Premiere of David Ayer’s WW2 actioner ‘Fury’ starring Brad Pitt on Sunday 19 October.

Along with these Premiere’s there are also gala screenings of Bennett Miller’s ‘Foxcatcher’ starring Steven Carell and Channing Tatum – the story of an eccentric millionaire’s relationship with two wrestling brothers. The intense looking ‘Whiplash’ with J.K. Simmons. Jason Reitman’s ‘Men, Women & Children’ starring Adam Sandler and Ansel Elgort. Reese Witherspoon in ‘Wild’ written for the screen by Nick Hornby.

The festival is also programmed into categories under the themes of Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic and Family. Some of these include Charlotte Gainsbourg in ‘3 Hearts’, ‘Love is Strange’ with Alfred Molina and John Lithgow, a re-stored version of the classic documentary ‘Hoop Dreams’. Jean Luc Goddard’s ‘Goodbye to Language’, Abel Ferrera’s biopic of ‘Pasolini’ with Willem Dafoe. The epic ‘Hard to be a God’ by Aleksei German, completed by his wife and son after his death. The awesome looking western ‘Salvation’ with Mads Mikkelsen. ‘The Drop’ with Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini. Yakuza gangster film/hip-hop musical ‘Tokyo Tribe’. This year’s Canne’s Palme D’ Or winner ‘Winter Sleep’ to name but a few.

Along with the festival programme there is of course the awards and competition. The contenders look like this:

AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS

The Best Film Award will again be handed out in Official Competition; the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition and the Grierson Award in Documentary Competition. Each section is open to international and British films.

OFFICIAL COMPETITION

The Official Competition line-up, recognising inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking, includes the following:

·         Peter Ho-Sun Chan, DEAREST

·         Peter Strickland, THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY (European Premiere)

·         Carol Morley, THE FALLING (World Premiere)

·         Ana Lily Amirpour, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT

·         Céline Sciamma, GIRLHOOD

·         Daniel Barber, THE KEEPING ROOM (European Premiere)

·         Andrey Zvyagintsev, LEVIATHAN

·         François Ozon, THE NEW GIRLFRIEND

·         Christian Petzold, PHOENIX

·         Mohsen Makhmalbaf, THE PRESIDENT

·         Julius Avery, SON OF A GUN (European Premiere)

·         Abderrahmane Sissako, TIMBUKTU

FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION

Titles in consideration for the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition recognising an original and imaginative directorial debut are:

·         Yann Demange,71

·         Josephine Decker, BUTTER ON THE LATCH

·         Daniel Wolfe, Matthew Wolfe, CATCH ME DADDY

·         Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, DIFRET

·         Franco Lolli, GENTE DE BIEN

·         Guy Myhill, THE GOOB

·         Adityavikram Sengupta, LABOUR OF LOVE

·         Sudabeh Mortezai, MACONDO

·         Debbie Tucker Green, SECOND COMING

·         Ester Martin BergsmarkSOMETHING MUST BREAK

·         Naji Abu Nowar, THEEB

·         Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, THE TRIBE

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

The Grierson Award in the Documentary Competition category recognises cinematic documentaries with integrity, originality, and social or cultural significance. This year the Festival is screening:

·         Nadav Schirman, THE GREEN PRINCE

·         Jean-François Caissy, GUIDELINES

·         Randall Wright, HOCKNEY (World Premiere)

·         Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado, THE IMMORTALISTS (European Premiere)

·         Ulrich Seidl, IN THE BASEMENT

·         Sergei Loznitsa, MAIDAN

·         Frederick Wiseman, NATIONAL GALLERY

·         Sabine Lubbe Bakker & Niels van Koevorden, NE ME QUITTE PAS

·         Edward Lovelace & James Hall, THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS (European Premiere)

·         Ossama Mohammed & Wiam Simav Bedirxan, SILVERED WATER, SYRIA SELF-PORTRAIT

·         Debra Granik, STRAY DOG

·         Lynette Wallworth, TENDER (European Premiere)

BEST BRITISH NEWCOMER

Closing the Awards section is the prize for Best British Newcomer which highlights new British talent and is presented to an emerging writer, actor, producer or director. This year’s nominees are:

1.      Guy Myhill – Writer/Director THE GOOB

2.      Florence Pugh – Supporting Actor THE FALLING

3.      Sameena Jabeen Ahmed – Actor CATCH ME DADDY

4.      Rebecca Johnson – Writer/Director HONEYTRAP

5.      Taron Egerton – Actor TESTAMENT OF YOUTH

6.      Daniel Wolfe & Matthew Wolfe – Writers/Directors CATCH ME DADDY

7.      Alex Lawther – Supporting Actor THE IMITATION GAME