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BFI London Film Festival


Every October, as the leaves start to fall and the nights get darker, you’ll spot clusters of anoraked individuals with glasses and trendy haircuts, loitering around London’s cinemas with lanyards dangling. They’re not spotting trains, but screens.

It’s the BFI London Film Festival, an annual celebration of all things movie. This year it spans twelve days and in total there will be showing 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, 144 short films, including documentary, live action and animated works, as well as interviews, screen talks, Q&As and industry talks. Themed programmes, or Strands as they call them, include Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic, Family and Experimental.

It’s hard to choose, but highlights include the opening gala movie A United Kingdom, directed by Amma Asante, all about the love story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana) and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1948. Jim Jarmusch directs Paterson, in which Adam Driver plays a bus driver who also happens to write poetry in this low key indie piece. Orange Sunshine is the story of a bunch of free-spirited and optimistic Californian surfers wanting to bring about World Peace via LSD. And Worldly Girl is a coming of age story, uniquely set in the Jehovah’s Witness community.

Overflowing with celluloid goodness, this is a celebration of the moving image, creativity and the art of film to educate, entertain and connect. Popcorn not included.

Where: Various venues

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