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BFI London Film Festival 2015

BFILFF2015-Banner1_576The 7th of October saw the beginning of this year’s London Film Festival (LFF) brought to us by the British Film Institute (BFI). A smaller counterpart to the larger and more established European film festivals like Cannes and Venice, but with a slightly stronger focus on showcasing movies of all description and promoting their filmmakers rather than glitz, glamour and prize-giving, as well a more informal feel and access to the public.

Ironic then that it’s the razzmatazz and celebrity power that seems to be necessary to grow these festivals and this year’s LFF did not disappoint on that front, with huge stars treading the red carpets across London’s iconic Leicester square.

You can see the full schedule of this year’s LFF and much more on the official BFI site @ http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff, here’s our breakdown of some of the 240 films shown this year.

 

Week 1

Galas & Screenings

Wednesday the 7th

Suffragette

Image Source: PA

LFF2015Articlepic-1In keeping with the themes of female empowerment and women in film, this year’s LFF and opening gala kicked off with director Sarah Gavron’sSuffragette’ which takes an intimate and gritty look at members of that movement in early 20th century Britain, you can see our review here.

In attendance gracing the red carpet were the film’s director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan along with actors Meryl Streep, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and star Carey Mulligan. They were unexpectedly joined by feminist protesters who threw smoke bombs and laid on the red carpet.

Suffragette full press conference (courtesy of HeyUGuys)

 

 

Thursday the 8th

He Named Me Malala

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-2Thursday at the LFF saw a screening of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary ‘He Named Me Malala chronicling the life so far of Nobel Prize-winning Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, from being shot by the Taliban for suggesting girls should be educated to moving to Britain and becoming a global ambassador for children’s education and gender equality.

Malala herself was not in attendance but her parents Toor Pekai and Ziauddin Yousafzai were along with director Davis Guggenheim, ‘He Named Me Malala’ is released on the 6th of November in the UK.

 

 

Trumbo

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-3We were also treated to a gala for the Jay Roach biographical drama ‘Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston as Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo who defied American authorities in the late 1940s and was blacklisted at a time of anti-communist persecution and paranoia.

Along with star Bryan Cranston in attendance were co-stars John Goodman, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Dame Helen Mirren, ‘Trumbo’ is out on the 6th of November in the US and 5th of February 2016 in the UK.

Trumbo full press conference (courtesy of PremiereScene)

 

 

Beeba Boys

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-4Indian writer/director Deepa Mehta’sBeeba Boysalso rolled into the LFF on Thursday, a violent and flashy crime drama about Indo-Canadian gang violence as Sikh gangs fight for power on the streets of Vancouver.

In attendance were writer/director Deepa Mehta and stars Gulshan Grover and Randeep Hooda.

Beeba Boys @ The BFI LFF (courtesy of Asiana.tv)

 

 

Friday the 9th

High-Rise

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-5A dash of star glamour was sprinkled on the LFF red carpet on Friday with the arrival of ‘High-Rise’, an action/drama about an isolated London society in a state-of-the-art high-rise building where a rigid hierarchy and fractured class system descends into decadence and anarchy for the residents, a commentary on class division and the corruptive nature of modern urban living in director Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel.

Many of the film’s makers and cast were present including stars Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller and Elisabeth Moss, there is not set release date yet but expect ‘High-Rise’ sometime in 2016.

High-rise full director & cast Q&A (courtesy of BFI)

 

 

Tangerine

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-6Friday also saw the arrival of the potentially revolutionary indie comedy/drama ‘Tangerine’ shot entirely on iPhones, the story of of a transvestite prostitute on a revenge mission across the streets of L.A. to find the pimp who cheated on her.

In attendance were star Mya Taylor and director Sean Baker among others, out now in the US and the 13th of November in the UK.

Tangerine Red Band trailer

 

 

A Bigger Splash

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-7The first Friday at this year’s LFF closed with director Luca Guadagnino’s comedy/drama ‘A Bigger Splash’ starring Tilda Swinton as a rock star whose break recovery on an Italian island with her partner is disrupted by the arrival of a flamboyant old flame and his daughter.

Along with director Luca Guadagnino in attendance was star Ralph Fiennes, ‘A Bigger Splash’  out on the 12th of February 2016 in the UK and 13th of May 2016 in the US.

A Bigger Splash full director & star Q&A (courtesy of BFI)

 

 

Saturday the 10th

The Program

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-8The highlight of Saturday’s schedule was the screening of the Stephen Frears journalistic drama ‘The Program’, chronicling the rise and spectacular fall of Lance Armstrong through his sophisticated doping program and the Times journalist determined to expose it, see our full review here.

In attendance were star Ben Foster and supporting cast Chris O’Dowd, Denis Ménochet and Kari Kleiv along with director Stephen Frears.

The Program Gala highlights (courtesy of BFI)

 

 

Bone Tomahawk

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-9British audiences also got a first look at the stark & gruesome Western/horror ‘Bone Tomahawk’ on Saturday, starring Kurt Russell who leads a group of men on a mission to rescue an abducted woman from savage cannibals, in attendance were the film’s producers and director S. Craig Zahler. Out this Friday in the US and December 11th in the UK.

Bone Tomahawk full director Q&A (courtesy of BFI)

 

 

Sunday the 11th

Black Mass

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-10Hollywood star power was on show in Sunday’s Gala to close out the 1st week at this year’s LFF in the form of the stars and director of the crime drama ‘Black Mass’, the extraordinary true story chronicling the rise and fall of notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger. You can see our full review here.

In attendance were director Scott Cooper with stars Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch along with their glamorous better halves. ‘Black Mass’ is out on November the 27th in the UK.

Black Mass director, producer & star intro (courtesy of BFI)

 

 

Room

Image Source: Getty Images

LFF2015Articlepic-11London audiences were also treated to a screening of American indie drama ‘Room’ about a mother who raises her 5-yeard-old son in a small room isolated from the world, only for them both break free and discover the majesty and peril of the real world.

Director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Emma Donoghue were at the LFF along with star Brie Larson, ‘Room’ is out on the 15th of January in the UK.

Room full director, writer & star Q&A (courtesy of BFI)

 

Week 2 at the BFI LFF 2015–>

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