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11 films including UK Premieres of highly anticipated new films from Paul Verhoeven,  Andrea Arnold, Céline Sciamma, Mia Hansen-Løve and Joachim Trier

PICTURE (From Left to Right: Faya Dayi; Lamb; Benedetta; Lingui, The Sacred Bonds)

65th BFI London Film Festival selection of feature films and documentaries from around the world

The festival will see eleven UK Premieres including Andreas Fontana’s Azor (Sutherland (First Feature)),Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta (Headline Gala), Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island (Create), Andrea Arnold’s Cow (Competition – Grierson (Documentary)), Jessica Beshir’s Faya Dayi (Competition – Grierson (Documentary)), Sebastian Meise’s Great Freedom (Special Presentation), Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Lamb (Cult), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Lingui, The Sacred Bonds (Competition – Best Film),Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman (Love), Tatiana Huezo’s Prayers for the Stolen (Sutherland (First Feature)) and Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World (Love).

Please see below for the full list of titles and details: 

Screening in Competition – Sutherland (First Feature)

Wednesday, 13th October at 20:55 / NFT1
Director: Andreas Fontana
Cast: Fabrizio Rongione , Stéphanie Cléau, Elli Medeiros, Alexandre Trocki

Argentina, the late 1970s. Private banker Yvan (Fabrizio Rongione) arrives from Geneva with his wife Ines (Stéphanie Cléau) to replace a colleague who has mysteriously disappeared in military-ruled Buenos Aires. Moving through the smoke-filled lounges and lush gardens of a society under intense surveillance, he finds himself untangling a sinister web of colonialism, high finance, and a nation’s “Dirty War”.

In his remarkably assured debut, Swiss director Andreas Fontana invites us into this seductive, moneyed world where political violence simmers just under the surface. Co-written by Argentinian filmmaker Mariano Llinás (La Flor), Azor is a riveting look at international intrigue worthy of John le Carré or Graham Greene.

 *Available for interviews, pending approval: Andreas Fntana and Fabrizio Rongione (Two Days, One Night, The Kid With a Bike)

Headline Gala

Saturday, 16th October at 21:15 / Royal Festival Hall
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Daphne Patakia, Lambert Wilson, Olivier Rabourdin, Louise Chevillotte, Hervé Pierre, Clotilde Courau

In the late 17th century, with plague ravaging the land, Benedetta Carlini (Virginie Efira) joins the convent in Pescia, Tuscany, as a novice. Capable from an early age of performing miracles, Benedetta’s impact on life in the community is immediate and momentous.

 *Available for interviews, pending approval: Paul Verhoeven, Virginie Efira (Elle, It Boy)


Thursday, 7 October at 18:00 / Curzon Mayfair

Screening inCreate
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Cast: Tim Roth, Vicky Krieps, Anders Danielsen Lie, Mia Wasikowska, Melinda Kinnaman and Joel Spira

A filmmaking couple living in America, Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth), retreat to the mythical Fårö island for the Summer. In this wild, breathtaking landscape where Bergman lived and shot his most celebrated pieces, they hope to find inspiration for their upcoming films. As days spent separately pass by, the fascination for the island operates on Chris and souvenirs of her first love resurface. Lines between reality and fiction will then progressively blur and tear our couple even more apart.

Screening in Competition – Grierson (Documentary)

Saturday, 9 October at 14:25 / NFT1
Director: Andrea Arnold

This film is an endeavour to consider cows. To move us closer to them. To see both their beauty and the challenge of their lives. Not in a romantic way but in a real way. It’s a film about one dairy cow’s reality and acknowledging her great service to us.

 *Available for interviews, pending approval: Andrea Arnold


Screening in Competition – Grierson (Documentary)

Saturday, 9 October at 17:30 / NFT3

Director: Jessica Beshir

Audience Award winner at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

Ethiopian legend has it that khat, a stimulant green leaf, was found by Sufi Imams in search of eternity. Inspired by this myth, Faya Dayi is a spiritual journey into the highlands of Harar immersed in the rituals of khat, a stimulant green leaf, that for centuries Sufi Muslims chewed for religious meditations and has become Ethiopia’s most lucrative cash crop today. Through the prism of the khat trade, Faya Dayi weaves a tapestry of intimate stories of people caught between violent government repression, khat-induced fantasies and treacherous journeys beyond their borders, and offers a window into the dreams of the youth hunted by a repressive regime.

*Available for interview, pending approval: Jessica Beshir


Screening in Special Presentation

Saturday, 9 October at 20:30 / Curzon Mayfair
Director: Sebastian Meise
Cast: Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich, Anton von Lucke, Thomas Prenn

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2021

In postwar Germany, Hans is imprisoned again and again for being homosexual. Due to paragraph 175, his desire for freedom is systematically destroyed. The one steady relationship in his life becomes his long time cellmate, Viktor, a convicted murderer. What starts as revulsion grows into something called love.

*Available for interview, pending approval: Sebastien Meise and Georg Friedrich (Wild Mouse, Bright Nights)

Screening in Cult

Friday, 15 October at 20:45 / Prince Charles
Director: Valdimar Jóhannsson
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson

Winner of Un Certain Regard – Prize of Originality at Cannes Film Festival 2021

A childless couple in rural Iceland make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn. They soon face the consequences of defying the will of nature, in this dark and atmospheric folktale, the striking debut feature from director Valdimar Jóhannsson.

*Available for interview, pending approval: Valdimar Johannsson, Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus)


Screening in Competition – Best Film

Monday, 11 October at 17:50 / NFT1
Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Cast: Achouackh Abakar, Rihane Khalil Alio

On the outskirts of N’djamena in Chad, Amina lives alone with her only 15-year-old daughter Maria. Her already fragile world collapses the day she discovers that her daughter is pregnant. The teenager does not want this pregnancy. In a country where abortion is not only condemned by religion, but also by law, Amina finds herself facing a battle that seems lost in advance…

*Available for interview, pending approval: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Screening in Love

Friday, 15 October at 18:30 / NFT1
Director: Céline Sciamma

Cast: Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Nina Meurisse, Stéphane Varupenne         

The much-anticipated latest treasure from Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Girlhood), PETITE MAMAN is a sublime modern fairytale about the quiet wonder of mother-daughter relationships. After the death of her beloved grandmother, eight-year-old Nelly meets a mysterious friend in the woods. Together they embark on a fantastical journey of discovery which helps Nelly come to terms with this newfound loss. A favourite of the 2021 Berlin Film Festival, Sciamma’s new masterwork examines childhood, memory and loss with a typically delicate touch, elegantly weaved together into an enchanting and moving depiction of love and acceptance.

*Available for interview, pending approval: Céline Sciamma

Screening in Sutherland (First Feature)

Thursday, 14 October at 20:50 / Curzon Mayfair
Director: Tatiana Huezo
Cast: Mayra Batalla, Norma Pablo, Olivia Lagunas

Winner of a Special Mention in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes Film Festival 2021

In a solitary town nestled in the Mexican mountains, the girls wear boyish haircuts and have hiding places underground. Ana and her two best friends take over the houses of those who have fled and dress up as women when no one is watching.

In their own impenetrable universe, magic and joy abound; meanwhile, their mothers train them to flee from those who turn them into slaves or ghosts. But one day, one of the girls doesn’t make it to her hideout in time. Liberally adapted from Jennifer Clement’s eponymous 2014 novel.

Screening inLove
Friday, 8 October at 20:45 / NFT1
Director: Joachim Trier
Cast:  Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Maria Grazia Di Meo, Renate Reinsve, Hans Olav Brenner, Herbert Nordrum, Helene Bjørnebye, Sofia Schandy Bloch
Winner of Best Actress (Renate Reinsve) at Cannes Film Festival 2021

Julie is turning thirty and her life is an existential mess. Several of her talents have gone to waste and her older boyfriend, Aksel – a successful graphic novelist – is pushing for them to settle down. One night, she gatecrashes a party and meets the young and charming Eivind. Before long, she has broken up with Aksel and thrown herself into yet another new relationship, hoping for a new perspective on her life. But she will come to realize that some life choices are already behind her.



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Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
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