BFI London Film Fest

BFI London Film Festival – London, United Kingdom #LFF2015

240 films. From 72 countries. 16 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.

FRED Film Radio is joining the BFI London Film Festival in the United Kingdom from the 7th to the 18th of October 2015.

This year, London’s premiere film festival returns for its 59th edition. The rich programme will be divided into a number of different sections.

The OFFICIAL COMPETITION, with the award recognizing inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking. The FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION strand and its main prize, the Sutherland Award recognizing the most original and imaginative directorial debut. The DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION, with its main award being the Grierson Award, and a programme made up of films with integrity, originality, and social or cultural significance. Then, there is also the SHORT FILM COMPETITION, with the Short Film Award recognizing short form works with a unique cinematic voice and a confident handling of chosen theme and content.

On top of the competitive strands, the rest of the programme is divided into further sections:

LOVE “Let’s celebrate the many forms of love – between childhood friends in Truman, ex-partners in The Valley of Love, a single mother and her son in James White, same-sex parents in Gayby Baby and a quartet of young women with a blood tie in Our Little Sister. Jacques Audiard’s Palme d’Or-winner Dheepan has a makeshift family trying to cement their bonds, while the real one in Svetla Tsotsorkova’s Thirst is tested to breaking point by dehydration. Meanwhile, decisions must be made in Viaje and The Romantic Exiles, which question the permanence of amorous bliss. Is love fleeting or does it last forever?”

DEBATE “Film festivals thrive on conversation, which is never more heated or engaged than when the world outside the cinema is reflected back at us. From a blackly comic Chilean film about the recent troubled history of the Catholic Church, to a sobering documentary detailing US law-enforcement policy in a climate of fear over home-grown extremism, Debate offers cinematic responses to the urgent issues of day, along with controversies from the past, in all their challenging complexities. Among our archive highlights we present a restored version of A Man for All Seasons, with Paul Scofield’s masterly performance as Sir Thomas More, doing his best to navigate a course through his own politically stormy waters. It’s a lively, provocative mix – join in the debate.”

DARE “Cinema is a risky business and Dare favours the brave. Here you’ll find filmmakers pushing the limits in myriad ways, to reward adventurous viewers. Chemsex gets us going with drug-fuelled orgies, Happy Hour does slow-burn with a 5-hour duration, Sunrise takes neo-noir to rain-lashed extremes, and Lucifer does it all in a circle. Buffy the talking hamster, as voiced by Isabella Rossellini in Closet Monster, is this year’s Dare spirit animal, Entertainment gives us a new king of anti-comedy, while Nicola Costantino, bathing with soap made of her own body fat, is our new queen. Buy a ticket. I dare you.”

LAUGH “This year’s strand encompasses richly diverse geography, subject matter and senses of humour. Generous ensembles from Italy (Latin Lover’s dueling divas Marisa Paredes and the late Virna Lisi) and Denmark (Mads Mikkelsen and co in Men & Chicken) highlight dysfunctional families, while Takeshi Kitano’s gleeful aging Yakuza farce Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen attacks a not-so-different squabbling clan. New comic talent emerges with Michael Larnell’s Spike Lee-esque Cronies and British director Chanya Button’s bittersweet women’s road trip Burn Burn Burn. And we welcome back veterans like Jaco Van Dormael with the divinely wicked satire The Brand New Testament and the great Lily Tomlin in full, unfettered flow as an unconventional Grandma.”

THRILL “In the fjords of Norway, the residents of a tiny village have ten minutes before an 80ft tsunami threatens to destroy them. In Spain, a corrupt banker discovers a bomb in his car that will explode if he gets out. In 1930s Korea, three assassins set out to change the course of history… Welcome to Thrill, the strand that captures the sight and sound of excitement, whether it’s stunt motorcyclist Evel Knievel trying to jump 13 London buses, Steve McQueen putting his life on the line for the ultimate F1 movie or an old man’s attempts to bring a war criminal to justice in Remember.”

CULT “Ever find yourself drawn to the dark side? Well, you’ll be in good company with the outcasts and reprobates taking centre stage in this year’s Cult crop. Get to know a budding sociopath in the form of Craig William Macneill’s The Boy, or even spend the night at the morgue courtesy of The Corpse of Anna Fritz. Elsewhere, you might encounter homicidal punk rockers (Green Room), rampaging talking turtles (Love and Peace), maniacal mannequins (Ghost Theatre), and of course that ultimate dark side ambassador himself, Darth Vader (Elstree 1976). Join our cult, if you dare.”

JOURNEY “This year’s Journey is about the temporal voyage. In Embrace of the Serpent and Aferim! history haunts protagonists. Others attempt to forget (Sworn Virgin, The Mud Woman) and hold on to former selves (Youth). Old and young are frozen between past and present (Red Leaves, Ixcanul (Volcano)), while geographical flux provokes dislocation (Exotica Erotica etc., Songs my Brother Taught Me) and creative inspiration (Sailing on a Sinking Sea). Flights into the past may prove personally painful, but the new documentary Sembene! and restored Black Girl beautifully illustrate how in the cinema it is often by looking back that one learns to see.”

SONIC “‘We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams’, so goes Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s 1873 poem Ode; and so goes this year’s Sonic strand, for it is a kind of dream, one that takes us from little-known hypnotic Cambodian rock and roll, to psychedelic counter culture 1970s Oklahoma, from the earliest recorded American folk songs to the inception of hip hop in New York, from a murderous, sexually-charged Manilla to a melancholy Paris, and on to the suppressed but indomitable musicians of Mali, all the way back to the Elephant and Castle. So turn on, tune in and join us for a sonic cinematic trip into pure unbridled creativity and love of music.”

FAMILY “This year’s Family section is a truly international affair and we are thrilled to present the best animated and live action films from around the world. With Studio Ghibli’s last film When Marnie was There, the World Premiere of new British title Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg, European Film Awards Young Audience award winner The Invisible Boy and Sanjay’s Super Team, the new short film from Pixar, there are films for all ages. And those of you who loved Wolf Children and The Girl who Leapt through Time will not be disappointed by The Boy and the Beast, the exquisite new film from Japan’s Mamoru Hosoda. There really is something for everyone.”

EXPERIMENTA “Experimenta screens films by artists from around the world that use the moving image to change the way we think of film and how it functions. The programme is accompanied by talks involving the artists. This year’s selection presents an astounding range of work from delicate archive programmes of Super8 films from the 1970s to the vision of a future apocalypse. These artists work in a variety of formats and styles to investigate not only the subject but the very medium itself, whether digital or celluloid, to challenge the distinction between form and content and to inspire us to new interpretations of our world and its construction through images.”

TREASURES “Revived and restored from the world’s archives – find these treasures throughout the programme.”

Click here to visit the official website of the 59th BFI London Film Festival