The Festival Gala, in association with Time Out, features Sean Baker’s magical, magnificent and madcap follow up to Tangerine (LFF 2015), THE FLORIDA PROJECT, an instant classic about childhood innocence set against the backdrop of America’s failed economy.
More about Strand Galas can be found in each of the sections below but in 2017, they are: the Dare Gala, François Ozon’s AMANT DOUBLE; the Family Gala, Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert’s THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES; the Thrill Gala, Takashi Miike’s BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL; the Debate Gala, Samuel Maoz’s FOXTROT; the Laugh Gala in association with Empire, Noah Baumbach’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED); the Love Gala, Dominic Cooke’s ON CHESIL BEACH; the Create Gala, Michel Hazanavicius’ REDOUBTABLE; the Archive Gala, SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA; the Cult Gala, Joachim Trier’s THELMA and the Journey Gala, Todd Haynes’ WONDERSTRUCK.
Eight Special Presentations shine the spotlight on new work from major directors. The European Premiere of DARK RIVER is Clio Barnard’s searing, eloquent response to Rose Tremain’s novelTrespass in which two siblings struggle to come to terms with their inheritance following the death of their father. With HAPPY END, Michael Haneke ingeniously reworks and updates the enduringly relevant themes of all his previous films in one brief, brilliant, sometimes slyly satirical gem, whilst Sally Potter’s THE PARTY brings together a brilliant ensemble cast for a supremely entertaining satire on Britain’s political elite. Lucretia Martel makes an eagerly awaited follow up to 2008’s The Headless Woman with ZAMA, presented in association with Sight & Sound, a film charting the epic decline of an 18th century colonial empire ruled over by a distant Spain.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, the BFI Flare Special Presentation returns with A FANTASTIC WOMAN, Sebastián Lelio’s brilliant and avowedly queer drama about a transwoman navigating the death of her lover. The Documentary Special Presentation is the European Premiere of THE FINAL YEAR, recounting the final, momentous year of the Obama administration with extraordinary intimacy by Greg Barker, whose Manhunt screened in the LFF 2013 Documentary Competition, whilst the Experimenta Special Presentation, LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM sees the return of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat with a film-within-a-film about one of the Arab world’s greatest ever female vocalists. Finally, 2017 sees the first LFF Connects Special Presentation with the European Premiere of the first two episodes of MINDHUNTER, David Fincher’s sharply scripted Zodiac-style procedural, based on the men who first coined the phrase ‘serial killer’.
AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS
The BFI London Film Festival Awards celebrate the highest creative achievements of British and international filmmakers showcased in our Competitive sections, applauding extraordinary storytelling and inventive filmmaking across all the categories. The winners in each competition are selected by festival juries and announced at the LFF Awards, a high profile awards dinner held at Banqueting House on Saturday 14 October.
The Best Film Award is presented to the winner of the Official Competition; the Sutherland Award is presented to the winner of the First Feature Competition and the Grierson Award is presented to the winning film in the Documentary Competition. Each section is open to International and British films. The Jury for each category will be announced ahead of the opening of the Festival. Paul Greengrass will be presented with the BFI Fellowship award at this year’s Awards ceremony.
The Official Competition, recognising inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking, includes the following shortlisted titles:
- Robin Campillo, 120 BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE)
- Vivian Qu, ANGELS WEAR WHITE
- Majid Majidi, BEYOND THE CLOUDS (World Premiere)
- Nora Twomey, THE BREADWINNER (European Premiere)
- Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra, GOOD MANNERS
- Xavier Beauvois, THE GUARDIANS (European Premiere)
- Andrew Haigh, LEAN ON PETE
- Andrey Zvyagintsev, LOVELESS
- Azazel Jacobs, THE LOVERS (European Premiere)
- Warwick Thornton, SWEET COUNTRY
- Cory Finley, THOROUGHBRED (International Premiere)
- Annemarie Jacir, WAJIB
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION
Titles in consideration for the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition recognising an original and imaginative directorial debut are:
- Daniel Kokotajlo, APOSTASY
- Léa Mysius, AVA
- Michael Pearce, BEAST (European Premiere)
- Ofir Raul Graizer, THE CAKEMAKER
- Gilles Coulier, CARGO
- Kogonada, COLUMBUS
- Rungano Nyoni, I AM NOT A WITCH
- Léonor Serraille, JEUNE FEMME
- Ana Asensio, MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
- Carla Simón, SUMMER 1993
- Hlynur Pálmason, WINTER BROTHERS
- John Trengove, THE WOUND
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:
- Maryam Goormaghtigh, BEFORE SUMMER ENDS
- Elvira Lind, BOBBI JENE
- Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Behrouz Boochani, CHAUKA, PLEASE TELL US THE TIME (International Premiere)
- Radu Jude, THE DEAD NATION
- Shevaun Mizrahi, DISTANT CONSTELLATION
- Frederick Wiseman, EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
- Agnès Varda, JR, FACES PLACES
- Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth, GRAY HOUSE
- Brett Morgen, JANE (European Premiere)
- Lucy Cohen, KINGDOM OF US (World Premiere)
- Emmanuel Gras, MAKALA
- Sonia Kronlund, THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
SHORT FILM AWARD
The Short Film Award recognises short form works with a unique cinematic voice and a confident handling of chosen theme and content. This year the Festival is screening:
- Gabriel Abrantes, THE ARTIFICIAL HUMORS
- Phil Collins, DELETE BEACH
- Billie Pleffer, FYSH (International Premiere)
- Anna Cazenave Cambet, GABBER LOVER
- Karishma Dube, GODDESS
- Aegina Brahim, LAWS OF THE GAME
- Jonathan Vinel, MARTIN CRIES
- Patrick Bresnan THE RABBIT HUNT
- Moin Hussain, REAL GODS REQUIRE BLOOD
- Kibwe Tavares, ROBOT & SCARECROW
- Kazik Radwanski, SCAFFOLD
- Harry Lighton, WREN BOYS (World Premiere)
The Festival will announce its complete guest line up for all sections in early October.
The Festival programme is organised in sections to encourage discovery and to open up the Festival to new audiences. The strands are: Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Treasures and Experimenta.
The eclectic range of shorts this year will make audiences experience a range of emotions from euphoria to sadness as they cover all the different strands in the programme.
LFF CONNECTS & SCREEEN TALKS
The acclaimed LFF Connects series returns with a programme of agenda-setting talks from the world’s leading artists and thinkers who are working at the intersection of film and other creative industries, while the Festival’s acclaimed Screen Talks series will welcome some of the most exciting international actors and directors in contemporary cinema to discuss their body of work, including Cate Blanchett, David Fincher, and Ian Mcewan.
INDUSTRY & EDUCATION
The Festival offers a full benefits package for Industry delegates. This year’s industry programme, supported by the Mayor of London, via Film London, includes the LFF Connects strand which celebrates artists working at the intersection of film and other creative industries; the talent development programme NET.WORK@LFF; Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow 2017 and a host of other panels, talks and networking events.
This year’s Festival marks the second year of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. At £50,000, the Bursary is the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry, supporting exceptional new and emerging writers, directors and writer/directors resident in the UK, and premiering their first or second feature in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival. The full industry programme will be announced in September.
The Festival again hosts Press and Industry screenings at Picturehouse Central, the Digital Viewing Library, a host of delegate hubs, discounts at partner venues and numerous networking opportunities with delegates and filmmakers. Visit www.bfi.org.uk/lff/professional-delegates for further details.
The BFI London Film Festival Education programme is supported by funding contributors The Film Music Foundation and BFI Film Academy, and event partners Into Film, London Music Masters and no.w.here. It includes a diverse range of morning screenings of films selected from the festival programme and special events for schools, students and young people, all featuring a wide range of film industry professionals, as well as the opportunity to take part in one of our three Young Juries for students, secondary and primary schools. For students in Higher Education, the Festival also offers a Student Accreditation scheme and the Film School Programme presented in partnership with the National Film & Television School, London Film Academy, London Film School and Birkbeck College.
The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK-wide on BFI Player, the BFI’s VOD service, featuring a Festival digital channel showing regular red carpet action and film maker interviews. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the range of services on BFI Player – at player.bfi.org.uk/
The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®
4 – 15 October 2017
Tickets on sale:
- BFI Members: 10:00am 7 September
- Amex priority booking opens at 10.00am, 12 September
- General sale: 10:00am 14 September
For tickets, visit: www.bfi.org.uk/lff
Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 10:00 – 20:30
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 10:00 – 20:30