66th BFI London Film Festival – Full list of premieres announced

The 66th BFI London Film Festival has announced the line-up of world premieres for this year’s festival.

In addition to the previously announced opening night gala, the rousing big screen adaptation of the smash-hit, Olivier-winning stage musical ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICAL, the festival will also launch dazzling stop-motion animation GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO as well as CREATURE, a new collaboration between acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan and Oscar-winner, Asif Kapadia, and MY FATHER’S DRAGON, family animation from Award-winning Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner) and Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon (WolfwalkersThe Song of the Sea).

The series and episodic selection, now in its second year, has a thrilling range of stories for audiences to see on the big screen. LFF’s Series Special Presentation in 2022 will be the World Premiere of THE ENGLISH, starring Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer, a sweeping tale of romance and revenge from award-winning television auteur Hugo Blick (An Honourable Woman, Black Earth Rising). Also premiering in the episodic selection is comedy-drama MAMMALS, a clever dissection of monogamy written by Olivier and Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Jez Butterworth and starring James Corden and Sally Hawkins; and A SPY AMONG FRIENDS which explores MI6 agent Kim Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union and stars Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis, the latter reuniting with showrunner Alexander Cary, following their previous collaboration on Homeland.

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The BFI London Film Festival shines a spotlight on the impressive range of creative talent within the UK, and will launch a rich and varied selection of homegrown world premieres. In addition to the three UK productions World Premiering as part of the episodic strand, the Festival will present the claustrophobic whistleblower comedy KLOKKENLUIDER, the directorial debut of actor Neil Maskell (Kill List) which stars Amit Shah, Tom Burke and Jenna Coleman, and Welsh filmmaker Jamie Adams’ bittersweet part-improvised love story SHE IS LOVE, starring Sam Riley (Control) and Haley Bennett (Cyrano). Award-winning short filmmaker Dionne Edwards delivers on the promise of early work with her heart-swelling debut, PRETTY RED DRESS, which investigates Black masculinity and family dynamics. Other UK debuts launching at the Festival include Andrew Cumming’s wildly inventive Palaeolithic low-budget horror, THE ORIGIN; Fridjof Ryder’s dark thriller INLAND, starring Mark Rylance and acclaimed British-Kenyan artist, Grace Ndiritu’s long-form debut, BECOMING PLANT.

UK Documentary cinema is also well represented with world premieres including the rapturous NAME ME LEWAND by Edward Lovelace (The Possibilities Are Endless) that explores the experience of a deaf Kurdish boy, IF THE STREETS WERE ON FIRE, an exhilarating portrait of London’s BikeStormz community which was featured in LFF’s Works-in-Progress showcase as part of UK New Talent Days 2021, and two new films KANAVAL: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF HAITI IN SIX CHAPTERS and BLUE BAG LIFE, produced by Natasha Dack-Ojumo, co-Founder of Tigerlily Films (BIFA-Winning company behind, Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché). Yemi Bamiro also returns to LFF with his follow-up to Michael Jordan portrait, One Man and His Shoes with SUPER EAGLES ’96 about the Nigerian football team.

The total number of world premieres screening in LFF has increased slightly year on year since 2019, from 11% to 15% of the feature programme.

The 66th BFI London Film Festival takes place from Wednesday 5th October – Sunday 16th October 2022. The BFI LFF Programme Launch will take place on Thursday 1st September 2022 with MARKMEETS VIP members in attendance.

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