Review: ‘Amulet,’ starring Alec Secareanu, Carla Juri and Imelda Staunton

July 24, 2020

by Carla Hay

Alec Secareanu and Carla Juri in “Amulet” (Photo by Rob Baker Ashton/Magnet Releasing)

“Amulet” 

Directed by Romola Garai

Culture Representation: Taking place in England and unnamed European countries in unspecified modern time periods, the horror film “Amulet” has an almost all-white cast of characters representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash:  A former soldier-turned-Ph.D. philosophy student takes a job in London as a live-in handyman in a creepy house that’s occupied by a young woman and her mysterious mother, who lives as a recluse in the house’s attic.

Culture Audience: “Amulet” will appeal primarily to people who like horror movies that excel in creating a foreboding atmosphere, but makes viewers watch a lot of extremely slow-paced scenes to get to the movie’s underlying messages and plot twists.

Imelda Staunton in “Amulet” (Photo by Rob Baker Ashton/Magnet Releasing)

The horror film “Amulet” (written and directed by Romola Garai) makes a bold effort to flip a lot of tropes and shatter a lot of stereotypes that are seen all too often in psychological thrillers. But in doing so, the movie’s execution falls short of being completely engaging, since it’s bogged down by extremely slow pacing. And making matters worse, several parts of the movie have dialogue and reactions that are so simple-minded, it makes you question the intelligence of the Ph. D. student who’s one of the movie’s main characters.

People who hate movies that have flashbacks that might be confusing, be warned: “Amulet” is full of these types of flashbacks. The gist of the story is that there’s a former war soldier from an unnamed continental European country who has ended up in a haunted house in London. The movie never states what war he was in, but he keeps having nightmare flashbacks to that war, where he worked for a time as a lone soldier manning a checkpoint booth on a very deserted road in a wooded area.

The former soldier’s name is Tomaz (played by Alec Secareanu), and somehow he’s ended up in England, where he’s enrolled in a doctorate program for philosophy. Tomaz (who has a beard in the present day) keeps having nightmares about his time as a soldier, when he didn’t have a beard. (It’s one of the ways that the movie distinguishes between the past and the present.)

Tomaz’s nightmares are shown as flashbacks in non-chronological order, so viewers have to piece together the puzzle of this story. It might be a challenge for viewers who have short attention spans or who are watching this often-dull movie with other distractions.

The most important things to know about the flashbacks are that while Tomaz was a soldier, he found an amulet buried in the woods, and he got to know a woman in distress whom he met when she ran to the checkpoint and collapsed in front of him. The checkpoint is located in the same wooded area where Tomaz found the amulet.

The woman’s name is Miriam (played by Angeliki Papoulia), and when Tomaz first saw her running toward the checkpoint, he yelled at her to stop and that if she didn’t stop, he was going to shoot. Just as Tomaz raised his gun to shoot her, she collapsed in front of him. It’s shown in flashbacks that after Miriam regained consciousness with Tomaz’s help, they began having conversations and he became her protector, since she apparently needed food and shelter.

Flash forward to the present day. While Tomaz has been working on his dissertation in London, he’s ended up living with some homeless people in an abandoned church. A fire breaks out at the church, so the homeless people scatter.

The next thing you know, a bloodied Tomaz is being treated at a hospital. A nurse asks him, “Who tied you up?” He replies, “Friends. It was a joke.” Tomaz then mentions that he had a bag with him but it’s now missing.

The nurse tells him that Tomaz needs to speak to the orderly, who has the bag and a message for him. While on his way to retrieve his bag, Tomas passes by a room where he sees a pregnant woman sitting on a floor, and she’s crying out in pain because she’s in labor. The only purpose of this deliberately confusing scene is to set the tone for themes of some very female-centric pain that’s shown later in the story.

Why is Tomaz homeless? The movie might answer that question, but in the meantime, Tomaz finds a new place to live when a nun from the local diocese, who knows that Tomaz was one of the squatters in the burned church, tells him about a house that needs a live-in handyman.

The nun’s name is Sister Claire (played by Imelda Staunton), and she tells Tomaz that the people in the house are offering free room and board in exchange for him doing repairs and renovations. And because this is a horror movie, you can bet that some very bad things are going to happen in this house.

The cottage-styled house looks quaint and charming on the outside, but on the inside there’s a lot of emotional rot and turmoil. There are two people who live in the house: Magda (played by Carla Juri), a woman in her 20s and her unnamed mother (played by Anah Ruddin), who lives as an ailing recluse upstairs in the attic. The mother can often be heard moaning in pain, and Tomaz tries to avoid being in contact with her as much as possible.

As Tomaz gets to know Magda, he begins to see that she is a very naïve, sheltered and passive woman. She says she hasn’t traveled outside of the city, nor does she show an interest in traveling or going outside her comfort zone. And there are signs that she doesn’t have much experience with romance or dating.

But what disturbs Tomaz the most is that Magda’s mother appears to be physically abusing Magda. (He sees Magda secretly covering her bruises and possible bite marks with bandages.) And Tomaz is also starting to get creeped out by strange things that are happening in the house.

He finds a mysterious white bat-like creature in the bathroom toilet, which is filled with a disgusting dark liquid. Tomaz kills the creature by stomping on it. Magda is there too, but she oddly doesn’t seem as frightened by this bat-like creature in the same way as Tomaz.

And when Tomaz does some ceiling repairs, he sees (or is it hallucinates?) that the ceiling has engravings that look a lot like the engravings on the amulet he found in the woods. It startles him so much that falls off a ladder while he’s looking at the ceiling. Tomaz believes that the engravings are to ward off evil spirits.

Magda doesn’t see a lot of the same things in the house that Tomaz does, so he begins to wonder if he’s going crazy. Tomaz has also seen what Magda’s mother looks like, and she’s decrepit-looking old woman who would be a stereotypical example of what a witch is supposed to look like. Is it any wonder that Tomaz thinks that maybe Magda’s mother is behind some of the eerie things that he’s experiencing in the house?

Tomaz tells his suspicions to Sister Claire and says that he thinks Magda’s mother doesn’t want him in the house. The nun replies: “What we want isn’t always what we need.” At least once during the story, Tomaz threatens to quit.

Meanwhile, the relationship between Tomaz and Magda starts to become more emotionally intimate. It’s obvious that she wants something sexual to happen between them. However, Tomaz is very resistant and tries to let Magda down easy without insulting her. (After all, she’s technically one of his bosses.)

Unfortunately, the Magda character is written in such a simple-minded way, that the conversations she has with Tomaz are excruciating to watch. Magda says things like this to Tomaz about his soldier past: “Did you kill people? It’s a sin to waste your life.” And when the emotionally stunted Magda starts to show a romantic interest in Tomaz, it’s like watching an adolescent girl trying to be sexually attractive to a grown man. Very cringeworthy.

Sister Claire is an interesting character (and Staunton is by far the best actor in this cast), but she isn’t in the movie enough to bring more energy to this often-listless story. Because “Amulet” is told from Tomaz’s perspective, he spends most of the movie being confused about what’s going on in the house while dealing with his nightmare flashbacks that appear to seep into his current life. Therefore, viewers have to figure out what might be “real” and what might be a “delusion.”

“Amulet” is the first feature film for Garai as a writer/director. She is also known as an actress who’s appeared in British TV series such as “The Hour” and the 2009 miniseries adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” which starred Garai in the title role. Most of the actors in “Amulet” are well-cast in this movie, except for Juri, who gives a very annoying performance.

Although the production design, cinematography, visual effects and cinematography suit this horror film very well, the weak links are the movie’s screenplay, editing and overall direction. The characters often speak with long pauses, which might work for a play on stage. But this is a horror movie, and lethargic dialogue and sluggish pacing are antidotes to the type of suspense that’s crucial for any good horror flick.

“Amulet” certainly deserves a lot of credit for having some twist-filled elements that add intrigue to the story. It’s too bad that these plot twists arrive so late in the film, that a lot of bored viewers might stop watching the movie before getting to the film’s shock-intended conclusion.

Magnet Releasing released “Amulet” in select U.S. cinemas, on digital and on VOD on July 24, 2020.

Review: ‘Blue Story,’ starring Stephen Odubola and Micheal Ward

May 16, 2020

by Carla Hay

Micheal Ward and Stephen Odubola in “Blue Story” (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“Blue Story”

Directed by Rapman

Culture Representation: Taking place in southeast London, the drama “Blue Story” has an almost all-black cast representing the working-class and criminal underworld.

Culture Clash: Two longtime best friends from school end up becoming bitter enemies in a gang war.

Culture Audience: “Blue Story” will appeal mostly to people who like gangster stories to have a high level of emotional drama as motivation for the brutal violence.

Stephen Odubola (center) and Khali Best (far right) in “Blue Story” (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Movies about black gang members have primarily been the domain of American filmmakers, but the British film “Blue Story” (written and directed by Rapman) takes an unflinching look at gangster life from the perspective of young black men living in southeast London. Although there are many similarities in how black gangs are portrayed in American and British films, there are some noticeable differences. For starters, there’s less use of the “n” word in British films. And because British police do not carry guns, tales of black men being gunned down by police are far less prevalent in the United Kingdom as they are in the Untied States.

At the heart of “Blue Story” is the relationship between Timmy (played as teenager and adult by Stephen Odubola) and Marco (played as a teenager and adult by Micheal Ward), who first meet when they are 11 years old. Timmy is a “good boy” from Lewisham who has reluctantly transferred to a school in Peckham called Borough High. His mother has enrolled him in the school because she thinks it’s a better academic environment for him and because she wants Timmy to get away from a friend called Kiron, whom she thinks is a bad influence on Timmy.

On his first day at his new school, Timmy is rescued from a schoolyard fight by “bad boy” Marco, who steps in to protect Timmy. It begins a friendship that’s so close that Marco and Timmy are practically inseparable and they have a brotherly bond. By the time they are teenagers, Timmy is doing well academically, but Marco is a delinquent student who’s in danger of being expelled for failing grades. Timmy offers to help by doing Marco’s homework for him.

There’s a fierce rivalry between the gangs of Lewisham and Peckham (the movie portrays a lot of this real-life tension), which often results in violence with guns, knives and other weapons. Timmy (who’s an only child) and Marco frequently encounter Peckham gang members when they’re close by their school. Peckham is often referred to by the nicknames Vietnarm, Pecknarm or Narm, because of the war-like violence in the area. Timmy’s loyalty is constantly questioned by these gang members, who are suspicious since he doesn’t live in the area, but Marco is usually there to step in and protect Timmy from being attacked.

Two other boys who hang out with Timmy and Marco are bratty Dwayne (played by Rohan Nedd) and plus-sized Hakeem (played by Kadeem Ramsay), who live on the edge of gang activity. They aren’t Peckham gang members, but they do what they can to make it look like they’re on the gang members’ side, when push comes to shove.

However, Marco has real connections to the Peckham gang: His older brother Switcher (played by Eric Kofi-Abrefa) is a high-ranking member of the gang, which gives Marco and his friends a certain level of protection (or danger), depending on which gang territory they’re in at at the time. A protégé of an experienced and influential gang member is called a “younger.” Marco hasn’t become a full-fledged gang member yet, but he’s considered to be Switcher’s inevitable “younger.”

Although there is a constant threat of gang violence, the teenagers are also preoccupied with dating. Timmy has a crush on a fellow student named Leah (played by Karla-Simone Spence), but so does Dwayne. However, Dwayne sees Leah as more of a sexual conquest, while Timmy wants to have a real romance with Leah. Timmy’s friends tease him about his shy and romantic nature, but he takes the taunting all in good stride.

When Leah invites the four friends to a house party that she’s hosting, they all eagerly accept the invitation. Dwayne makes the first moves on Leah at the party, but she’s more interested in Timmy, and she asks him to dance. They have an instant connection, which leads to them dating and falling deeply in love with each other.

Around this time, Timmy runs into his former school friend Kiron (played by Khali Best), who now goes by the street name Killy. Timmy and Killy are happy to see each other, but Killy is part of the rival gang that clashes with Switcher’s gang. Marco is very suspicious and uncomfortable with Timmy’s friendliness to Killy, but Timmy swears his undying loyalty to Marco. Timmy tells Marco that he’s only nice to Killy because Timmy and Killy knew each other when they were kids. But that was in the past, and Timmy reassures Marco that Marco is still his best friend.

Meanwhile, a vicious gang fight breaks out between Switcher’s gang and the rival gang, which is led by a ruthless thug named Madder (played by Junior Afolabi Salokun). During the fight, Switcher deliberately guns down someone in Madder’s gang named Gyalis (played by Andre Dwayne), who was Madder’s younger. In a panic, Switcher goes back home and asks Marco to be his alibi. The murder of Gyalis sets off a chain of events that leads to violent acts of revenge, more tragedy, and the souring of Timmy and Marco’s longtime friendship.

In an overabundance of movies and TV shows that portray black men as criminals, “Blue Story” sets itself apart by having well-developed characters and believable acting that give this story more depth than the run-of-the-mill gangster film. The motivations for the revenge violence in this story isn’t about greed but more about personal loyalties, however misguided those loyalties might be.

“Blue Story” is the feature-film directorial debut of Rapman (whose real name is Andrew Onwubolu), who shows that he has talent for weaving together a cohesive story involving various characters caught up in dangerous and complex situations. “Blue Story” was clearly influenced by writer/director John Singleton’s 1991 debut film “Boyz N the Hood” (set in South Central Los Angeles), another coming-of-age drama about young black men affected by gang violence. Although “Blue Story” won’t be an Oscar-nominated classic like “Boyz N the Hood,” it compellingly addresses the deep-rooted problems behind gang violence in London.

“Blue Story” also has a unique narration technique, by having Rapman occasionally appear on screen to rap some of the movie’s plot. (Before he became a movie director, Rapman was also a rapper who conceived and directed the three-part YouTube musical drama series “Shiro’s Story,” which led to him making “Blue Story.”) This one-man rap chorus doesn’t come across as an annoying gimmick, mostly because the lyrics are on point, and Rapman’s screen time only takes up a few minutes of the movie.

There are some elements of “Blue Story” that are like a soap opera—not in a overly melodramatic way or in a way that’s too exploitative, but in a way that shows that the cycle of gang violence will keep going as long as revenge is a motivation. Yes, the violence is brutal, but the message of the movie is that gang culture is built on a false sense of pride and nobility. After all, there’s nothing noble about being locked up in prison or dying for crimes that end up destroying friendships and lives.

Paramount Pictures/Paramount Home Entertainment released “Blue Story” in the U.S. on digital and VOD on May 5, 2020. The film was already released in the U.K. in 2019.

2020 BAFTA Film Awards: ‘1917’ is the top winner

February 2, 2020

by Carla Hay

With seven prizes, including Best Film and Outstanding British Film, the World War I drama “1917” was the top winner at the 73rd annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, which were presented at Royal Albert Hall in London on February 2, 2020. Graham Norton hosted the show, which was broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD in the United Kingdom and in other major territories around the world. BBC America had the U.S. telecast of the show.

“1917,” directed by Sam Mendes, also garnered the BAFTA Awards for Best Director (for Sam Mendes), Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Special Visual Effects.

Joaquin Phoenix, who won Best Actor for “Joker,” used his acceptance speech as a platform to called out industry racism and urge people in the industry to be more inclusive of people of color. The BAFTAs this year faced immense backlash for having only white people nominated in the categories for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Phoenix said in his speech: “I feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here. I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry, and in ways that we benefit from.

He added, “This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I work on are inclusive, but I think it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural.  We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it. So that’s on us.”

“Joker” also won the prizes for Best Original Score and Best Casting, which is a new BAFTA category.

Other actors who won BAFTAs this year were Renée Zellweger of “Judy” (Best Actress); Brad Pitt of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Best Supporting Actor); Laura Dern of “Marriage Story” (Best Supporting Actress); and Micheal Ward (EE Rising Star Award).

Besides “1917” and “Joker,” the other film that won multiple BAFTAs this year was the South Korean drama “Parasite,” which won two BAFTAs: Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Not in the English Language.

Films that received several BAFTA  nominations but ultimately did not win any of the awards were “The Irishman” (10 nods) “The Two Popes” (five nods) and “Rocketman” (four nods). Eligible movies were those released in the United Kingdom in 2019.

NOTE: “Ford v Ferrari” is titled “Le Mans ’66” is the U.K.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the 2020 BAFTA Awards:

*=winner

Best Film

“1917”*
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Outstanding British Film

“1917”*
“Bait”
“For Sama”
“Rocketman”
“Sorry We Missed You”
“The Two Popes”

Best Director

Sam Mendes (“1917”)*
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Todd Phillips (“Joker”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)

Leading Actress

Jessie Buckley (“Wild Rose”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”)*

Leading Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)*
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)

Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”)
Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)
Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)
Brad Pitt (“Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”)*

Supporting Actress

Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)*
Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Florence Pugh (“Little Women”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)
Margot Robbie (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Adapted Screenplay

Steven Zaillian (“The Irishman”)
Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)*
Todd Phillips, Scott Silver (“Joker”)
Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”)
Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”)

Original Screenplay

Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman (“Booksmart”)
Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”)
Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)*

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Mark Jenkin, Kate Byers, Linn Waite (“Bait”)*
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)*
Alex Holmes (“Maiden”)
Harry Wootliff (“Only You”)
Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio (“Retablo”)

Original Score

Thomas Newman (“1917”)
Michael Giacchino (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Hildur Guđnadóttir (“Joker”)*
Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”)
John Williams (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

Cinematography

Roger Deakins (“1917”)*
Rodrigo Prieto (“The Irishman”)
Lawrence Sher (“Joker”)
Phedon Papamichael (“Le Mans ’66”)
Jarin Blaschke (“The Lighthouse”)

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Awkwafina
Kaitlyn Dever
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Jack Lowden
Micheal Ward*

Film Not in the English Language

Lulu Wang, Daniele Melia (“The Farewell”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)*
Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”)

Documentary

Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert (“American Factory”)
Todd Douglas Miller (“Apollo 11”)
Asif Kapadia (“Diego Maradona”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)*
Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim (“The Great Hack”)

Animated Film

Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho (“Frozen 2”)
Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh (“Klaus”)*
Will Becher, Richard Phelan, Paul Kewley (“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”)
Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen (“Toy Story 4”)

Casting

Shayna Markowitz (“Joker”)*
Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler (“Marriage Story”)
Victoria Thomas (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Sarah Crowe (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)
Nina Gold (“The Two Popes”)

Editing

Thelma Schoonmaker (“The Irishman”)
Tom Eagles (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jeff Groth (“Joker”)
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker (“Le Mans ’66”)*
Fred Raskin (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Production Design

Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales (“1917”)*
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves (“The Irishman”)
Ra Vincent, Nora Sopková (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran (“Joker”)
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Costume Design

Christopher Peterson, Sandy Powell (“The Irishman”)
Mayes C. Rubeo (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jany Temime (“Judy”)
Jacqueline Durran (“Little Women”)*
Arianne Phillips (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Makeup and Hair

Naomi Donne (“1917”)
Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan (“Bombshell”)*
Kay Georgiou, Nicki Ledermann (“Joker”)
Jeremy Woodhead (“Judy”)
Lizzie Yianni Georgiou (“Rocketman”)

Sound

Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson (“1917”)*
Tod Maitland, Alan Robert Murray, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic (“Joker”)
David Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steven A. Morrow, Donald Sylvester (“Le Mans ’66”)
Matthew Collinge, John Hayes, Mike Prestwood Smith, Danny Sheehan (“Rocketman”)
David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

Special Visual Effects

Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy (“1917”)*
Dan Deleeuw, Dan Sudick (“Avengers: Endgame”)
Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, Pablo Helman (“The Irishman”)
Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Elliot Newman, Adam Valdez (“The Lion King”)
Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan, Dominic Tuohy (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

British Short Animation

Maryam Mohajer (“Grandad Was a Romantic”)*
Kathrin Steinbacher (“In Her Boots”)
Naaman Azhari, Lilia Laurel (“The Magic Boat”)

British Short Film

Myriam Raja, Nathanael Baring (“Azaar”)
Hector Dockrill, Harri Kamalanathan, Benedict Turnbull, Laura Dockrill (“Goldfish”)
Sasha Rainbow, Rosalind Croad (“Kamali”)
Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva (“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl”)*
Lena Headey, Anthony Fitzgerald (“The Trap”)

2020 BAFTA Film Awards: ‘Joker’ is the top nominee

January 7, 2020

by Carla Hay

Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” (Photo by Niko Tavernise)

With 11 nominations, the supervillain origin story “Joker” is the leading contender for the 73rd annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, which will be presented at Royal Albert Hall in London on February 2, 2020. Graham Norton will host the show, which will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD in the United Kingdom and in other major territories around the world. BBC America will have the U.S. telecast of the show.

Other films to receive several nominations include “The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which garnered 10 nods each. “1917” has nine nods, and “Jojo Rabbit” received six nominations. “Little Women,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” got five nods each. “For Sama,” “Parasite” and “Rocketman” received four nominations each. Three nominations each went to “Bombshell,” “Judy,” “Le Mans ’66” (which is known as “Ford v Ferrari” in the U.S. and other countries) and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Eligible movies were those released in the United Kingdom in 2019. (Some movies that have been getting awards buzz, such as “Uncut Gems” and “Just Mercy,” were released in the U.S. in 2019, and will have a U.K. release in 2020.)

The nominees for the EE Rising Star Award were previously announced as Awkwafina, Jack Lowden, Kaitlyn Dever, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and Micheal Ward. According to a BAFTA press release: “The award is voted for by the British public and presented to an actress or actor who has demonstrated exceptional talent and has begun to capture the imagination of the U.K. public. Voting is now open at ee.co.uk/baftas.”

Snubs and Surprises

Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name” (Photo by François Duhamel)

The most noticeable snubs were for non-white actors in the major acting categories: All of the BAFTA nominees in these categories this year are white: Leading Actor, Leading Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. That means no acting nominations for anyone in the casts of the critically acclaimed, award-winning films “Parasite,” “Dolemite Is My Name” and “Pain and Glory.” The good news is that there is racial diversity in the actors nominated in the EE Rising Star Award. The nominees in that category include Kelvin Harrison Jr. (“Luce,” “Waves”) and Micheal Ward (“Blue Story”) are black, while Awkwafina (“The Farewell”) is Chinese American. Meanwhile, once again, there were no female directors nominated in the category of Best Director.

A big surprise was Margot Robbie scoring two BAFTA supporting actress nominations this year. Although she was widely expected to get a nod for “Bombshell” in this category, she was not widely expected to get nominated for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” considering that the movie received a lot of criticism for Robbie’s Sharon Tate character not having enough meaningful dialogue and screen time. Another notable surprise is Jessie Buckley’s lead actress nomination for “Wild Rose,” since her performance in the movie has been largely ignored for nominations for major movie awards.

Here is the complete list of nominations for the 2020 BAFTA Awards:

Best Film

“1917”
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Outstanding British Film

“1917”
“Bait”
“For Sama”
“Rocketman”
“Sorry We Missed You”
“The Two Popes”

Best Director

Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Todd Phillips (“Joker”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)

Leading Actress

Jessie Buckley (“Wild Rose”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”)

Leading Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)

Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”)
Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)
Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)
Brad Pitt (“Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”)

Supporting Actress

Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Florence Pugh (“Little Women”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)
Margot Robbie (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Adapted Screenplay

Steven Zaillian (“The Irishman”)
Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Todd Phillips, Scott Silver (“Joker”)
Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”)
Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”)

Original Screenplay

Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Katie Silberman (“Booksmart”)
Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”)
Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Mark Jenkin, Kate Byers, Linn Waite (“Bait”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Alex Holmes (“Maiden”)
Harry Wootliff (“Only You”)
Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio (“Retablo”)

Original Score

Thomas Newman (“1917”)
Michael Giacchino (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Hildur Guđnadóttir (“Joker”)
Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”)
John Williams (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

Cinematography

Roger Deakins (“1917”)
Rodrigo Prieto (“The Irishman”)
Lawrence Sher (“Joker”)
Phedon Papamichael (“Le Mans ’66”)
Jarin Blaschke (“The Lighthouse”)

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Awkwafina
Kaitlyn Dever
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Jack Lowden
Micheal Ward

Film Not in the English Language

Lulu Wang, Daniele Melia (“The Farewell”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)
Céline Sciamma, Bénédicte Couvreur (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”)

Documentary

Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert (“American Factory”)
Todd Douglas Miller (“Apollo 11”)
Asif Kapadia (“Diego Maradona”)
Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts (“For Sama”)
Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim (“The Great Hack”)

Animated Film

Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho (“Frozen 2”)
Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh (“Klaus”)
Will Becher, Richard Phelan, Paul Kewley (“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”)
Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen (“Toy Story 4”)

Casting

Shayna Markowitz (“Joker”)
Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler (“Marriage Story”)
Victoria Thomas (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Sarah Crowe (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)
Nina Gold (“The Two Popes”)

Editing

Thelma Schoonmaker (“The Irishman”)
Tom Eagles (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jeff Groth (“Joker”)
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker (“Le Mans ’66”)
Fred Raskin (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Production Design

Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales (“1917”)
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves (“The Irishman”)
Ra Vincent, Nora Sopková (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran (“Joker”)
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Costume Design

Christopher Peterson, Sandy Powell (“The Irishman”)
Mayes C. Rubeo (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Jany Temime (“Judy”)
Jacqueline Durran (“Little Women”)
Arianne Phillips (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Makeup and Hair

Naomi Donne (“1917”)
Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan (“Bombshell”)
Kay Georgiou, Nicki Ledermann (“Joker”)
Jeremy Woodhead (“Judy”)
Lizzie Yianni Georgiou (“Rocketman”)

Sound

Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson (“1917”)
Tod Maitland, Alan Robert Murray, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic (“Joker”)
David Giammarco, Paul Massey, Steven A. Morrow, Donald Sylvester (“Le Mans ’66”)
Matthew Collinge, John Hayes, Mike Prestwood Smith, Danny Sheehan (“Rocketman”)
David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson, Matthew Wood (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

Special Visual Effects

Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy (“1917”)
Dan Deleeuw, Dan Sudick (“Avengers: Endgame”)
Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, Pablo Helman (“The Irishman”)
Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Elliot Newman, Adam Valdez (“The Lion King”)
Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan, Dominic Tuohy (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)

British Short Animation

Maryam Mohajer (“Grandad Was a Romantic”)
Kathrin Steinbacher (“In Her Boots”)
Naaman Azhari, Lilia Laurel (“The Magic Boat”)

British Short Film

Myriam Raja, Nathanael Baring (“Azaar”)
Hector Dockrill, Harri Kamalanathan, Benedict Turnbull, Laura Dockrill (“Goldfish”)
Sasha Rainbow, Rosalind Croad (“Kamali”)
Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva (“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl”)
Lena Headey, Anthony Fitzgerald (“The Trap”)

2019 BFI London Festival: programming slate announced

August 29, 2019

The following is a press release from the BFI London Film Festival:

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival (LFF) in partnership with American  Express announces its full programme, presenting 229 feature films from some of the world’s greatest filmmakers and emerging talent.

For 12 days from 2-13 October 2019 the  LFF  will celebrate the diverse landscape of international cinema, showcasing films set to entertain and inspire, provoke debate and tackle the urgent issues of our time.

Amanda Nevill, CEO, BFI said  “At this moment when the UK is adapting and reshaping our place in the world, the BFI London Film Festival really underlines the soft power of the art of film and showcases the dynamism of global exchange and partnership. All the BFI’s cultural programmes, from BFI Southbank to BFI Player, have sought to be an active champion at the heart of the global cinema story and this year’s LFF does this so powerfully with its incredibly rich and diverse programme and the international filmmaking community who love being here.’

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said, “In its 63rd year, BFI London Film Festival is one of the world’s  great public film fests. And that greatness comes from the fact that we serve one of the most vibrant and international cities in the world and welcome voracious, adventurous and cineliterate audiences. While there are many talking points emerging from this year’s programme, a few really leap out: the strong instinct from filmmakers to explore urgent social and political issues through narrative and often through the use of genre; the striking emergence of a a new generation of filmmakers exploding onto the international stage with startlingly bold, original and ambitious debuts; the continuing and welcome trend of increased gender balance in directing talent behind short film, first and second features. And while we so delighted to see work from 78 countries in the Festival, we also love welcoming a particularly exceptional new wave of UK based filmmakers with cracking first and second feature films in LFF. ”

As Britain’s leading cinema event and one of the world’s most important film festivals, the programme offers UK  audiences the chance to see some of the most anticipated new films from around the globe, including a host of new works destined to be major awards contenders. This October, the Festival will present 28 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres and 28 European Premieres, welcoming an impressive line up of first-class filmmakers and acting talent.

The programme presents stories from a broad range of voices, continuing to support both home-grown cinema and international productions. 78 countries are represented across short films and features, with 40% of all films directed
or co-directed by women.  The Festival continues to act as a launch pad for debut filmmakers, often supporting them throughout their career, demonstrated by returning Festival alumni in this year’s programme. The 229 feature films screening include: 41 documentaries, 7 animations, 13 archive restorations and 7 artists’ moving image features. The programme also includes 116 short films.

The Competitive sections serve to recognise remarkable creative achievements from British and international filmmakers. Winners are selected by hand-picked juries across four categories: Official Competition, First Feature, Documentary and Short Film. Last year, audiences were placed at the heart of the awards celebrations  for the first time, when the winning film from each section was presented to the public as a surprise screening, following the on-stage announcement of the winner. Building on last year’s sell-out success, audiences will once again have the chance to buy tickets to these awards screenings and be part of the proceedings.

This year sees the return of Odeon’s iconic flagship cinema, the redesigned ODEON Luxe Leicester Square. Each night of the Festival, a Headline Gala will screen in flawless 4k projection with pitch-perfect Dolby® Atmos sound. Luxe recliners offer space and comfort, ensuring every seat in the 800 seater venue is the best in the house. Films in Official Competition will be presented at the Vue West End and once again the festival’s beautiful 800-seat purpose-built venue Embankment Garden Cinema will be housed in the tranquil surroundings of Victoria Embankment Gardens. First built for the Festival in 2016, this state-of-the-art venue is constructed to the highest technical specifications with raked seating, Christie Digital 4k RGB pure laser illuminated projection and Dolby® 7.1 surround sound, with audiences and filmmakers alike praising its quality of cinema experience.

Alongside the Galas, Special Presentations and films in Competition, the Festival will show a range of new world cinema in sections Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Experimenta and Family – which provide pathways for audiences to navigate the extensive programme.

Cinemagoers across the UK will have the opportunity to be part of the closing night celebrations, with simulcast screenings of Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, bringing the excitement of the Leicester Square premiere to cinemas nationwide. Continuing the Festival’s offering to audiences outside of London, screenings of three new films will be brought to young film lovers, with curated screenings across the UK for primary and secondary schools as part of the  LFF Education Programme.

LFF Connects gives audiences the chance to hear from creative leaders working at the intersection of film and other creative industries. The Festival’s acclaimed Screen Talks offer a series of in-depth interviews with leaders in contemporary cinema. Participants confirmed so far include directors Rian Johnson, Kim Longinotto and Lukas Moodysson, with more to be announced nearer the Festival.

The Festival continues to develop its offering of both industry and public events. Audiences will have the chance to join in the film chat and soak up all the atmosphere at the official social hub down at BFI Southbank, where they can take part in free events. Designed to take you behind the scenes and get conversations flowing, events will include talks and debates, book signings, live DJ club nights and free short film screenings.

The Festival will partner with a host of London cinemas, with its films playing on 18 screens at 12 venues across the capital: BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Ciné Lumière, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Embankment Garden Cinema, Empire Haymarket, the ICA, ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Prince Charles Cinema and Vue West End.

OPENING & CLOSING NIGHT GALAS 

As previously announced,  this year’s Opening Night gala will be THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, directed by the multi-award-winning writer, filmmaker and broadcaster Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin) and starring BAFTA Award winner Dev Patel as David Copperfield. The film will receive its European Premiere on Wednesday 2nd October at ODEON Luxe Leicester Square. This fresh take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel boasts a stellar British cast, led by Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie, many of whom are expected on the red carpet in Leicester Square.

The Festival closes with the International Premiere of THE IRISHMAN, directed by one of the true giants of cinema, Martin Scorsese (Silence, The Departed), and starring Academy Award® winners Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. A film that has been many years in the making, THE IRISHMAN is a grand scale epic examining the influence of organised crime in post-war America. The festival is delighted to be bringing the work of this iconic filmmaker to the UK on Sunday 13th October in London, where there will be simultaneous preview screenings of THE IRISHMAN taking place at cinemas across the UK.

GALAS 

HEADLINE GALAS  The American Express Gala is the European Premiere of KNIVES OUT, a fresh take on a classic ‘whodunit’ written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper). A stylish tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie, KNIVES OUT is a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. A witty delight for film fans, the film features a starstudded cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Katherine Langford and Christopher Plummer. The film will premiere on Tuesday, 8th October at the ODEON Luxe Leicester Square.

The Mayor of London’s Gala sees Academy Award® winner Eddie Redmayne and Academy Award® nominee Felicity Jones reunite on screen, as aerial explorers in THE AERONAUTS. This heart-racing adventure story directed by longtime festival favourite Tom Harper (Wild Rose, LFF 2018) and written by Jack Thorne (The Scouting Book for Boys, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child) captures the audacity and romance of the Victorian race into the air, with special effects that will transport you to the skies as we follow Amelia Wren (Jones) and James Glaisher (Redmayne) on mankind’s highest ever balloon voyage.

Starring Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks as beloved television entertainer Fred Rogers, the BFI Patrons’ Gala, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, sees director Marielle Heller return to the festival after premiering her second feature Can You Ever Forgive Me? last year. The film is the perfect antidote for uneasy times and will melt the coldest of hearts. Matthew Rhys is excellent as magazine writer Lloyd Vogel (based on journalist Tom Junod) who is commissioned to write an article on the presenter. Regarding Rogers as a monolith of an unfashionable past, he asks: ‘Could anyone really be so good, so kind?’ But on spending more time with Rogers, Vogel begins to question his own misanthropic outlook.

British director Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, The Wedding Guest) brings us a sharp-tongued and timely satire in the Headline Gala European Premiere of GREED. The film stars Steve Coogan as Richard ‘Greedy’ McCreadie, a highstreet retail tycoon who throws a lavish, Rome-themed 60th birthday bash to prove he’s still on top after a recent spate of fraud investigations. As guests start arriving, including McCreadie’s ex-wife (Isla Fisher), his empire starts to fall apart at the seams. Featuring a vast ensemble cast that includes Shirley Henderson and David Mitchell, this entertaining and anarchic farce pits humour against the 1%.

Celebrated screenwriter William Nicholson (Les Miserables, Gladiator, Shadowlands) directs Annette Bening and Bill Nighy in the Headline Gala HOPE GAP, a witty divorce drama that depicts a couple in their 60s as they face the end of their marriage after 29 years. Josh O’Connor plays their son, who discovers, on returning to his parents bohemian coastal home for the weekend, that his father has had enough and his bags are packed. Shot with a ravishing sense of design and colour, making the most of its lush English coastline, this is an emotionally astute portrait of a marriage; of regrets uncovered, decisions made too late and the precariousness of hope.

Taika Waititi’s JOJO RABBIT will receive its European Premiere in this exuberant and satirical Headline Gala. Jojo is a game, if somewhat inept, member of the Hitler Youth; his closest friend, an imaginary Adolf Hitler (Waititi, on hilarious form). When he discovers his mother (Scarlett Johansson) has been hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie,
Leave No Trace) in their house, Jojo must go to war with his own conscience. Tackling the ludicrousness of racism and nationalism, Waititi has also crafted a film of great emotional charge and tenderness. Amongst an illustrious cast of comic greats including Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson and Stephen Merchant, Johansson dazzles on screen with one of her most charismatic performances.

This year’s American Airlines Gala, the UK Premiere of THE KING, stars Timothée Chalamet in David Michôd’s (Animal Kingdom, The Rover) visceral portrait of Henry V. The startling transformation undertaken by Hal in Shakespeare’s Henriad series, from the fun-loving prince into the all-powerful monarch, is one of literature’s most acute character studies. Here, Michôd and co-screenwriter and star Joel Edgerton adapt those texts to explore how a reluctant monarch took the crown and found himself embroiled in the very same wars he despised his father for. The superbly talented supporting cast includes Lily-Rose Depp as Catherine, future Queen of England, Ben Mendelsohn as Henry IV and Robert Pattinson as a particularly spicy Dauphin, heir to the French throne.

Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in the UK Premiere of LE MANS ’66, a study of friendship that shaped 1960s motor racing, brimming with old-school Hollywood charm. Working from an excellent script by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, director James Mangold (Logan) hooks you from the first scene and never lets go.

The May Fair Hotel Gala is MARRIAGE STORY, directed by Noah Baumbach (While We’re Young, Frances Ha) and starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as an ill-fated couple who are married, have a son and run a theatre company together. Arguably Baumbach’s most personal film to date, MARRIAGE STORY charts the unravelling of their marriage, often with bitter hilarity in even the most desolate of scenes. Baumbach shoots on gorgeous 35mm with a 1.66 aspect ratio that foregrounds performance, often with startling long takes.

FESTIVAL AND STRAND GALAS 

Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s (Jackie) EMA is this year’s Festival Gala, starring the superb Gael García Bernal and featuring a spellbinding lead performance from newcomer Mariana Di Girolamo. In this character study of a beguiling woman ruled by heart and impulse, Larraín paints a picture of talented contemporary street/reggaeton dancer and teacher Ema. Larraín’s film intersperses explosive, intoxicating scenes of dance amidst dramatic moments that are fractured in time.

The Family Gala is the UK Premiere of Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman’s ABOMINABLE. This latest animated tale from Dreamworks is a fun, fast-paced action adventure about a little girl and her yeti companion in a race-against-time trip from China to the Himalayas. Boasting a compelling story and breathtaking visuals, ABOMINABLE is as beautiful as it is funny and exciting.

Kleber Mendonça Filho (Neighbouring Sounds) and Juliano Dornelles’ critically acclaimed BACURAU, winner of the Cannes Jury Prize 2019, features as this year’s Thrill Gala. This futuristic, sardonic and complex thriller explores the lives of misfits, mixed-heritage outsiders, whores, hippies and queers. They live in the margins in a dusty little town that has been wiped clean off the map by the middle-class elite from the north, who are busy ingratiating themselves, selling their country and its people to rich European and American interests.

This year’s Laugh Gala, THE DUDE IN ME from director Hyo-jin Kang, is a sassy body-swap comedy from South Korea, which tells the story of a ballsy gangster who accidentally possesses a timid schoolboy. Employing dry humour to undercut macho culture, the film finds fresh twists to a classic premise, resulting in an upbeat, poptastic entertainment that sustains its surprisingly sweet energy and laughs to the last.

Mirrah Foulkes’ JUDY & PUNCH features as the Dare Gala. Prepare for an audaciously brilliant first feature, with Mia Wasikowska splendid in this fairy tale with a feminine twist. Foulkes creates an origin story of sorts, but one that reimagines what might have happened if Judy decided not to take Punch’s incessant battery quite so meekly.

Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Eggers, the Sutherland Award-winning director of The Witch, returns to terrorise audiences with his masterful maritime shocker THE LIGHTHOUSE, which is this year’s Cult Gala. Once seen, never
forgotten, this hypnotic fusion of beauty and brutality is truly the stuff of nightmares, boasting extraordinary performances from Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as a downtrodden lackey and baiting slave driver at the begrimed lighthouse where they’ve been assigned to work together for four weeks.

OFFICIAL SECRETS is filmmaker Gavin Hood’s (Eye in the Sky) sharp political thriller, about a key moment in the history of the Iraq conflict, opening as this year’s Debate Gala. It follows the story of Katharine Gun, an ordinary government contract worker faced with an extraordinary choice: in 2003, on the eve of the UK-US invasion of Iraq, Gun intercepted communications that revealed the UK was being asked to spy on UN Security Council Members to help influence votes sanctioning the Iraq invasion. Keira Knightley gives an excellent performance as Gun, alongside a strong ensemble cast that includes Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode and Rhys Ifans.

The Love Gala, in association with Malta Tourism Authority, is the UK Premiere of Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson’s effortlessly charming buddy movie, THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, about a young man in pursuit of his dreams. Zak, a restless 22-year old with Down’s Syndrome, is frustrated by the slow pace of life at his nursing home. Itching for some excitement, he hatches a plan to meet his idol, a pro wrestler named The Salt Water Redneck. Zak makes a break from his geriatric prison with his worried carer in hot pursuit.

This year’s Journey Gala is the thrillingly cinematic two-hander from Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener), THE TWO POPES, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce as a pair of men tussling over the future of the Catholic Church. Disullusioned Jorge Bergoglio (Pryce) is a strong contender for the revered position of head of the Church but is relieved when Joseph Ratzinger (Hopkins) gets the top job and becomes Pope Benedict XVI. When the two men are brought together over one summer, their clash of ideologies make for a passionate debate.

The European Premiere of WESTERN STARS sees global music legend Bruce Springsteen perform the entirety of his 19th studio release in this year’s Create Gala, co-directed by Thom Zimny and Bruce Springsteen. Resolved  that he would not be taking the record on tour, Springsteen, collaborating with Zimny, opted instead to produce a feature-length film as a means of bringing the live experience to music lovers across the world. Set in the atmospheric surroundings of a majestic old barn, Springsteen’s elegiac ode to the American West blends lush orchestration with emotional tenderness. Springsteen (joined by wife Patti Scialfa, a small orchestra and a handful of accompanying musicians) reflects on the songs and ruminates on the loves, challenges and regrets he has faced in his own life.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 

Eleven Special Presentations shine the spotlight on new work from major directors.

The eagerly awaited follow-up to Cory Finley’s explosive debut Thoroughbreds (LFF 2017) is his BAD EDUCATION, which screens as a Special Presentation in association with Empire. Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney star in this school-set political thriller based on the true story of an embezzlement scandal that rocked the New York school system.

One of the UK’s classiest cinematic storytellers, Roger Michell (Enduring Love, Le Week-End, Notting Hill) directs BLACKBIRD, a deeply moving and satisfying drama about the complexity of family love.

A glorious love letter to life and love in Mumbai, BOMBAY ROSE, from feature debut director and screenwriter Gitanjali Rao, is both epic and personal. Rao’s exquisite animation allows characters to move seamlessly between real and imagined worlds, in this delicate and nuanced collection of stories.

Oscar-nominated Feras Fayyad’s (Last Men in Aleppo) essential film THE CAVE tells the harrowing story of an underground Syrian hospital and its extraordinary staff. Fayyad crafts an urgent and poignant testimony of the humanity of the hospital staff, who risk their lives to maintain the health and hopes of the people they treat. But the film is also a call to action – a demand for a response to this intolerable humanitarian crisis.

Prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike proves in FIRST LOVE that he still has much to explore in the yakuza world, even after 2015’s anarchic, bloody vampire flick-crime movie mash-up Yakuza Apocalypse. This time employing a love story as a counterpoint to the intrigues of the Tokyo underworld, the film follows a young boxer on the brink of death as he falls in love with a woman caught in the crossfire between yakuza and triad gangs in a fight over stolen drugs.

Last seen at LFF with 2013’s widely adored girl-punk charmer We Are the Best!, Swedish writer-director Lukas Moodysson returns with his first foray into episodic television in Special Presentation GÖSTA. The focus of this loving satire is on its extremely kind title character, the nicest child psychologist in provincial Sweden. Affectionately lampooning youthful idealism, Moodysson’s empathetic storytelling transfers perfectly to the small screen.

A collaboration between two award-winning directors returning to the Festival, Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers, the Experimenta Special Presentation is KRABI, 2562. The two merge their unique cinematic languages across reality and folklore in the eponymous tourist town, to create an absorbing and playful portrait of a people, place and time that makes for a series of haunting vignettes on the legacy of our age.

Featuring Britain’s biggest star of the 1920s, the ‘Queen of Happiness’ Betty Balfour, this year’s Archive Special Presentation is LOVE, LIFE AND LAUGHTER. The discovery of this cinematic treasure, lost for nearly a century, is a major event. Telling the story of a pair of working-class youngsters with big dreams, the film was rediscovered when an incomplete Dutch-language version was identified by archivists at EYE Filmmuseum in the Netherlands. This has been painstakingly pieced together by our restoration team with new English intertitles, bringing back to life a truly vivacious performance from Balfour.

Another Special Presentation is OUR LADIES, a loving adaptation of Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos by veteran director Michael Caton-Jones (The Jackal, Basic Instinct 2) and a perfect evocation of being young and riotously alive in mid-90s Scotland. Following a rebellious group of six teenage choirgirls on a day trip to a singing competition in Edinburgh, this unvarnished coming-of-age saga features brilliant central performances from young actors Eve Austin, Tallulah Greive, Abigail Lawrie, Sally Messham, Rona Morison and Marli Siu.

The BFI Flare Special Presentation in association with Sight & Sound is PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE; a female portrait painter falls in love with her subject in Céline Sciamma’s perfect new film. Whilst a devastatingly effective story of love set against impossible social and cultural barriers, it is also a film that redefines the construction of the gaze – of the protagonist, the camera, and the viewer – on the female form. It’s Céline Sciamma on fire.

The final Special Presentation is ROCKS, a vibrant and hugely engaging portrait of female friendship and growing up in London, from director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane, Suffragette). Based on a script from award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson, the drama was developed through extensive workshops with the female cast, all of whom were discovered through casting sessions at schools. With magnetic performances across the board – particularly from Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali and Shaneigha-Monik Greyson – ROCKS gives voice to London girls who have something to say.

Key filmmaking talent expected to attend the Festival’s Gala and Special Presentation screenings include:   Armando Iannucci, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Stephen Graham, Rian Johnson, Tom Harper, Marielle Heller, Michael Winterbottom, Steve Coogan, William Nicholson, Taika Waititi, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Alfie Allen, Archie Yates, David Michôd, Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Tom Glynn-Carney, James Mangold, Noah Baumbach, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, David Heyman, Pablo Larraín, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles, Mirrah Foulkes, Robert Eggers, Gavin Hood, Keira Knightley, Katharine Gun, Martin Bright, Michael Schwartz, Tyler Nilson, Zack Gottsagen, Fernando Meirelles, Jonathan Pryce, Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen, Cory Finley, Hugh Jackman, Roger Michell, Gitanjali Rao, Feras Fayyad, Jeremy Thomas, Lukas Moodysson, Ben Rivers, Michael Caton-Jones, Céline Sciamma, Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Sarah Gavron.

AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS 

The BFI London Film Festival Awards celebrate the creative achievements of British and international filmmakers showcased in our Competitive sections, aiming to honour inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking across each of the four categories.

The winners in each competition are selected by festival juries, and, following last year’s reboot of the Awards format, will all be available for the public to book as an additional surprise screening. Preceding each will be the presentation of the award by BFI London Film Festival Director Tricia Tuttle and the Jury Chair to the winning filmmaker.

The Festival is delighted to make audiences a key part of the Awards celebration and increase their chances of seeing the very best new films on offer, all of which is vital to the Festival’s mission of inclusion and accessibility for all.

The Jury for each category will be announced ahead of the opening of the Festival.

OFFICIAL COMPETITION 

As previously announced, the Best Film Award in Official Competition recognises inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking, and includes the following shortlisted titles:

• FANNY LYE DELIVER’D, Thomas Clay’s intoxicating 17th Century drama with Maxine Peake in the title role

• HONEY BOY, Alma Har’el’s artful and soul-baring examination of the lingering effects of emotional abuse, written by Shia LaBeouf, who stars alongside Lucas Hedges

• LINGUA FRANCA, a beautifully performed character study of a Filipino transwoman and undocumented  immigrant in Brooklyn, from writer/director Isabel Sandoval, who also takes on the lead role

• LA LLORONA, Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante’s taut genre-bending thriller about an elderly general haunted by a spectre of the past during his trial for genocide

• MOFFIE, Oliver Hermanus’ haunting examination of the violent persecution of gay men under Apartheid

• MONOS, a hallucinogenic, intoxicating thriller by Alejandro Landes about child soldiers high in the mountains of South America

• THE OTHER LAMB, Małgorzata Szumowska’s beguiling, genre-tinged English-language debut examining life in an otherworldly cult

• THE PERFECT CANDIDATE, Haifaa Al Mansour’s inspiring drama about a young doctor who becomes an  electoral candidate to challenge Saudi Arabia’s strict social codes

• ROSE PLAYS JULIE, an immersive and gripping drama from directing duo Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor about a young woman seeking her biological mother

• SAINT MAUD, the debut feature from director Rose Glass, in which a mysterious nurse becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.

FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION – SUTHERLAND AWARD

Titles in consideration for the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition recognising an original and imaginative directorial debut are:

ATLANTICS (Dir. Mati Diop). A hypnotic, genre-shifting portrait of a girl’s awakening. When Souleiman grows tired of labouring without pay on the gleaming towers of Dakar, he sets out across the sea with friends, leaving Ada to face impending marriage to another man. But as the women gather in the bar where the men used to drink, it seems that something has returned to them.

BABYTEETH (Dir. Shannon Murphy). A feverish Australian drama featuring a superb performance by breakout star Eliza Scanlen as Milla, a seriously ill teenage girl who falls madly in love with a young drug dealer. Milla’s infatuation with the dodgy-but-charming Toby leaves her parents, Henry (Ben Mendelsohn) and Anna (Essie Davis) faced with a tricky dilemma.

CALM WITH HORSES (Dir. Nick Rowland). Cosmo Jarvis gives a visceral performance in Rowland’s gripping feature debut as Douglas, the hired muscle for a crime family in rural Ireland. As he becomes embroiled in a violent pageant of retribution, the time soon comes for Douglas to choose sides.

HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD (Dir. Bora Kim). Announcing a bright new voice in South Korean cinema, Kim brings both humour and elegance to her autobiographical debut in this absorbing coming-of-age drama about teenager Eunhee and her dysfunctional Seoul family circa 1994.

INSTINCT (Dir. Halina Reijn). Carice van Houten plays respected clinical psychologist Nicoline, who after starting a new job at a penal institution finds herself flirting with danger in her sessions with inmate Idris. Soon, the boundaries between doctor and patient begin to blur as tensions escalate.

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (Dir. Joe Talbot). Jimmie dreams of reclaiming the beautiful late 19th-century home his grandfather built, before hard times and changing demographics forced his family out. He and best friend Mont scheme to make the dream a reality, in Talbot and writer-performer Jimmie Fails’s gorgeous, inventive meditation on art, architecture, black culture and gentrification in California’s Bay Area.

MAKE UP (Dir. Claire Oakley). A riveting psycho-sexual drama in which teenager Ruth travels to a seaside holiday park to stay with her boyfriend Tom, and one day finds evidence he might be cheating on her. As her desire to uncover the truth turns into an obsession, she begins to realise she might be looking for something else entirely.

RELATIVITY (Dir. Mariko Minoguchi). It is love at first sight when Nora and Aaron first meet on a rainy day in an underground station, but Aaron’s fate takes a dramatic turn and changes Nora’s life in an instant. Minoguchi’s debut is a romantic narrative of ambitious proportions, effortlessly looping between the present and past while making clever use of cinema as an unfurling emotional landscape.

SCALES (Dir. Shahad Ameen). A visually resplendent tale set in a small Gulf fishing village, where the population live in thrall to the otherworldly creatures of the sea. The inhabitants traditionally sacrifice female children to them until one of those girls, Hayat (meaning ‘life’ in Arabic), rejects her fate and fights against the patriarchal hegemony.

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION  – GRIERSON AWARD

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:

COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD (Dir. Mads Brügger). This wild, stranger-than-fiction documentary depicts the most disturbing true-crime investigation to have been seen in recent years, in which Brügger attempts to solve the mysterious death in 1961 of second Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld.

COUP 53 (Dir. Taghi Amirani). The latest from award-winning documentarian Amirani is a decade-long investigation into the CIA/MI6-led coup of 1953 that removed Iran’s democratic Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. What begins as an interrogation of the mystery still surrounding the affair develops into a taut thriller, exposing rigorous secrecy and underlining the ongoing ramifications of this pivotal political episode.

CUNNINGHAM (Dir. Alla Kovgan). This eye-popping 3D portrait of great American choreographer Merce Cunningham celebrates the centenary of his birth. An exquisitely crafted and artistically ambitious documentary, the film explores his creative process in the period between 1942 and 1972 when he rose from struggling dancer to become one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century.

I AM (NOT) A MONSTER (Dir. Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian). Starting with the thoughts of political theorist Hannah Arendt, this thought-provoking and playful documentary sees Hayoun-Stépanian travel the world to ponder the means by which freedom of learning and innovative education can exist in contemporary times.

THE KINGMAKER (Dir. Lauren Greenfield). Imelda Marcos, matriarch of the Marcos dynasty, still hopes to see her maternal delusions validated and political power restored while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy. Her former peers, including the widows of governmental figures, tell the story of a woman scarred by an
emotional blow that transformed her into a bulletproof-bra-wearing megalomaniac, who now mythologises her mothering instincts.

MYSTIFY: MICHAEL HUTCHENCE (Dir. Richard Lowenstein). Capturing INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence’s rise to super-stardom and subsequent tragic fall, MYSTIFY gives remarkable insight into his life and a truth he took to the grave. A tapestry of voices and home movies animate Hutchence’s personality, kicking tabloid speculation into oblivion and letting his story emerge with emotional and revelatory depth.

OVERSEAS (Dir. Sung-A Yoon). Each year, hundreds of thousands of Filipino women train to become domestic workers abroad. Yoon reveals the personal stories, dreams and heartaches of these trainees, exposing at the same time the economic and familial pressures pushing Filipino women to accept jobs abroad, which can sometimes resemble modern-day slavery.

A PLEASURE, COMRADES! (Dir. José Filipe Costa). The patriarchal power relations and sexual taboos of post-dictatorship Portugal are laid bare in this humorous and sex-positive docudrama with a feminist soul, as an older generation travels in time to bravely and joyfully re-enact  the testimonies of those who lived through it.

WHITE RIOT (Dir. Rubika Shah.) This vital documentary blends fresh interviews with archive footage to profile punky reggae protest movement Rock Against Racism, from the movement’s grassroots beginnings in 1976 through to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park featuring X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and The Clash, whose rockstar charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses.

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:
• IF YOU KNEW – Dir. Stroma Cairns

• WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE WATER AND THE MOON – Dir. Jian Luo

• WHITE GIRL – Dir. Nadia Latif

• FAULT LINE (GOSAL) – Dir. Soheil Amirsharifi • GUO4 – Dir. Peter Strickland

• IN VITRO – Dir. Larissa Sansour, Søren Lind

• ALGO-RHYTHM – Dir. Manu Luksch

• BETWEEN (ENTRE) – Dir. Ana Carolina Marinho, Bárbara Santos

• IN BETWEEN (NË MES) –Dir. Samir Karahoda

• CHILD – Dir. Talia Zucker

• WATERMELON JUICE (SUC DE SÍNDRIA) – Dir. Irene Moray

• QUEERING DI TEKNOLOJIK – Dir. Timothy Smith

Additional filmmaking talent expected to attend for films in competition include:   Thomas Clay, Charles Dance, Freddie Fox, Tanya Reynolds, Zorana Piggott, Rob Cannan, Alma Har’el, Isabel Sandoval, Jhett Tolentino, Jayro Bustamante, Oliver Hermanus, Alejandro Landes, Małgorzata Szumowska, Raffey Cassidy, Denise Gough, Christine Molloy, Joe Lawlor, Ann Skelly, Orla Brady, David Collins, Rose Glass, Mati Diop, Shannon Murphy, Alex White, Rita Kalnejais, Andrew Commis, Nick Rowland, Bora Kim, Halina Reijn, Carice van Houten, Claire Oakley, Mariko Minoguchi, Julius Feldmeier, Shahad Ameen, Mads Brügger, Taghi Amirani, Alla Kovgan, Nelly Ben HayounStépanian, Lauren Greenfield, Richard Lowenstein, Sung-A Yoon, José Filipe Costa, Rubika Shah, Nadia Latif, Larissa Sansour, Søren Lind, Gunman Xuman, Mukul Patel, Ana Carolina Marinho, Bárbara Santos, Timothy Smith.

The Festival will announce its complete guest line-up for all sections in late September.

STRANDS 

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, Experimenta, Family and Treasures.

Here are some of the highlights to be found in these strands. Full details of all the films found in the strands, including late additions will be found on the Festival website.

LOVE 

Sweet, passionate, tough – Love is a complex and many-splendoured thing and this selection charts the highs and lows of many kinds of love from around the globe. The Love Gala, in association with Malta Tourism Authority, is the UK Premiere of Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson’s effortlessly charming buddy movie, THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON.

Family relations unravel to wonderfully excruciating comic and dramatic effect in HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cédric Kahn’s ensemble drama starring Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Bercot and Vincent Macaigne. Director Shonali Bose (Margarita with a Straw, LFF 2014) returns to the Festival with THE SKY IS PINK, a compelling and emotionally devastating true story about a young couple (Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar) who will stop at nothing to save their sick daughter. Aki Omoshaybi’s earnest debut REAL explores the love between two people who work hard to keep their romance on track while struggling to manage personal hardship. Starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville, ORDINARY LOVE is an intimate and sensitively-handled drama about a couple dealing with breast cancer; directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn capture both the extremity and the everydayness, in this warm and thought-provoking drama. British actor-turned-director Tom Cullen’s feature debut PINK WALL covers six years in six scenes: from first sparks to the dying embers of a love affair, it’s an intense and deeply affecting relationship study. Anthony Chen returns following his Sutherland win for Ilo Ilo (LFF 2013), with WET SEASON, a hugely satisfying Singapore-set portrait of a woman on a journey to rediscover herself. And one of the most buzzed-about films from Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, AND THEN WE DANCED is set to delight fans of Call Me by Your Name as well as lovers of traditional Georgian dance.

DEBATE

Representing films that amplify, scrutinize and surprise, Debate thrives on conversation, which is never more  engaging than when the world outside the cinema is reflected back at us. This year’s Debate Gala is Gavin Hood’s  politically charged fable, OFFICIAL SECRETS.

THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, Daniel Gordon’s thought-provoking drama about the Australian Rules football star, raises crucial questions about casual racism, drawing upon Australia’s colonial past and its treatment of the Aboriginal population. Celebrated director Terrence Malick returns to the festival with A HIDDEN LIFE, a Second World War-set true story that calls for grace as it explores the importance of unsung resistance. Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth and Kevin Harrison Jr. lead the cast in Julius Onah’s LUCE, a gripping psychological thriller about subjectivity and codeswitching in modern America. THE REPORT by Scott Z Burns, starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening and Jon Hamm, is a politically urgent drama in which the American government take a hard look at itself. Acclaimed director Ciro Guerra follows Birds of Passage with WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS, an allegorical epic penned by JM Coetzee in an adaptation of his own literary masterpiece; starring Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson. Benedict Andrew’s stylish drama, SEBERG, sees Kristen Stewart shine as the idealistic yet fragile ‘It’ girl Jean Seberg, who finds herself a target of J Edgar Hoover’s FBI when she becomes romantically involved with a Black Panther and flaunts her disregard for America’s misogynistic and racist institutions. James Norton stars as Welsh journalist Gareth Jones in Agnieszka Holland’s MR JONES, which traces Jones’ 1930s visit to Soviet Ukraine where he uncovered the truth of Stalin’s statesponsored famine, a visit that reputedly inspired George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

LAUGH

From laugh-out-loud comedy to dry and understated, Laugh celebrates humour in all its forms. This year’s Laugh Gala, THE DUDE IN ME from director Hyo-jin Kang, is a sassy body-swap comedy from South Korea.

The Festival will also present Manele Labidi Labbé’s debut feature ARAB BLUES, a provocative culture clash comedy, starring Golshifteh Farahani (About Elly, Paterson) as a Parisian psychoanalyst attempting to set up a practice in a postArab Spring Tunis. In bittersweet comedy AXONE, director Nicholas Kharkongor tells the story of immigrants in Delhi who are attempting to organise a wedding party, but soon find everything going wrong! The vertiginous ups and downs in two men’s friendship spans several years and outrageous events in the award-winning US indie comedy THE CLIMB, from director Michael Angelo Covino. The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird’s directorial debut DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER is a funny, charming and wince-inducingly accurate adaptation of Joff Winterhart’s graphic novel about a single librarian trying to reconnect with her introverted, metalhead teenage son. Acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman returns with another deadpan take on life in exile with the typically assured and moving IT MUST BE HEAVEN. Billie Piper stars in her own directorial debut RARE BEASTS, a no-holds-barred anti-romcom about a modern woman’s struggles in work and love. The European Premiere of THE LOST OKOROSHI, directed by Abba Makama, follows a man who wakes up to discover he has undergone a transformation and takes a revelatory journey to see if ancestral tradition has a place in modern life.

DARE

In-your-face, up-front and arresting films in Dare take you out of your comfort zone. The Dare Gala is Mirrah Foulkes’ audacious and brilliant first feature, JUDY & PUNCH.

Winner of the top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, contemporary Southern gothic BURNING CANE heralds 19-year-old director Phillip Youmans as a serious new talent. DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS is J-P Valkeapää’s playful dark comedy about a dominatrix offering an emotionally-paralysed widower an unexpected chance for sexual and psychological release. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau return with DON’T LOOK DOWN, an elegant and intimate drama about love and revenge: in a high-rise apartment, a woman and five men gather to share their experiences of a man they have all been involved with, to their cost. Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog is on thought-provoking form with his latest offering FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC, dramatising the work of a ‘rent-a-relative’ service in this Tokyo-set meditation on contemporary alienation. FIRE WILL COME, Olivier Laxe’s raw yet ravishing sensory experience telling the story of a pyromaniac who returns to his mother’s farm, is a visually jaw-dropping study of the Galician landscape, which the Festival is delighted to be screening in the BFI IMAX. Jérémy Clapin’s I LOST MY BODY, winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Critics’ Week, is a striking animation that follows a severed hand searching for its owner. Jessica Hausner’s first English-language feature, LITTLE JOE, is a pleasingly cool, witty and unsettling story of the pitfalls of placing too much trust in everyday science. ZOMBI CHILD is the latest provocation from Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama (LFF 2016)), splicing Haitian history and folklore with contemporary life at an elite girls’ boarding school in Paris.

THRILL

The Thrill strand, in association with EMPIRE, features nerve-shredders that’ll get your adrenalin pumping and will keep you on the edge of your seat. This year’s Thrill Gala is Kleber Mendonca̧ Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ spellbinding BACURAU.

The Festival will present the World Premiere of Wash Westmoreland’s EARTHQUAKE BIRD; Alicia Vikander is astonishing in this dark thriller set in 1989 Tokyo, in which she plays a murder suspect at the centre of a tumultuous love triangle. Bangkok-born, Thai-Irish writer-director Tom Waller’s THE CAVE is the first film to dramatise 2018’s astonishing rescue of the Wild Boars football team from Tham Luang cave. David Thewlis excels in GUEST OF HONOUR, another typically complex and mischievous offering from Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan, about a punctilious food inspector dedicated to uncovering the secrets of restaurants high and low. Yaron Zilberman’s INCITEMENT is a chilling and urgent account of twisted ideology and religious obsession that carries a universal message and tries to fathom what drove a young law student to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Lijo Jose Pellissery’s JALLIKATTU is a thrilling, nightmarish ride into the depths of human bloodlust, finding a rampaging buffalo hunted by a violent mob; slickly shot, paced and acted, this rollercoaster of a film compellingly explores the dark heart of human nature. A directionless call centre salesman gets more than he bargained for when he joins a local gym in MUSCLE, directed by Gerard Johnson; this testosterone-fuelled thriller is a meaty exploration (and critique) of amplified machismo, propelled by two extraordinary central performances from Cavan Clerkin and Craig Fairbrass. Nima Javidi nimbly reflects on notions of freedom and the fragile nature of authority in THE WARDEN, an ambitious follow-up to his awardwinning Melbourne. Javidi’s thrilling second feature is as astutely crafted as it is suave and seductive.

CULT

From the mind-altering and unclassifiable to fantasy, sci-fi and horror, in the Cult strand, the dark side is welcomed. This year’s Cult Gala is Robert Eggers’ masterful and terrifying maritime shocker, THE LIGHTHOUSE.

Quentin Dupieux presents DEERSKIN, which sees one man’s love for his designer jacket escalate to dangerous heights in what might just be the strangest serial killer film ever made. Johannes Nyholm returns to the festival with KOKO-DI KOKO-DA, the follow up to his extraordinary Sutherland-nominated film The Giant (LFF 2016): a phantasmagorical horror, pitch black comedy and searing psychodrama following a couple at breaking point who head to the great outdoors for a camping trip in the hopes of salvaging their fractured relationship – but unbeknownst to these unhappy campers, they are not alone in the forest. LITTLE MONSTERS by Abe Forsythe sees Lupita Nyong’o shine in a delirious zom-com that guarantees you’ll never listen to Taylor Swift in the same way again. Lorcan Finnegan presents VIVARIUM, in which Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a pair of first-time buyers who get more than they bargained for in this twisted fable about the horrors of suburban living. Adapted from Nathan Ballingrud’s novella ‘The Visible Filth’, Babak Anvari’s WOUNDS sees Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson drawn into a bizarre nightmare, as they attempt to return an abandoned cell phone to its rightful owner. Richard Stanley, visionary director of horror classics Hardware and Dust Devil, makes a triumphant return with COLOR OUT OF SPACE, a dazzling adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s otherworldly tale, starring Nicolas Cage and Joely Richardson; in this thrilling combination of absorbing family drama and outré sci-fi madness, the Gardners are looking forward to a new, happier chapter in life – but their plans are abruptly interrupted when a meteor crash lands on their property.

JOURNEY

Whether it’s the journey or the destination, these films will transport you and shift your perspective. This year’s Journey Gala is THE TWO POPES, the thrillingly cinematic two-hander from Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener).

In director Hikari’s debut feature 37 SECONDS, a young woman with cerebral palsy strikes out for independence with the help of a sex worker; this sensational Japanese debut is a warm-hearted and clear-eyed exploration of the sexual experience of a person with disabilities. In THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS, veteran documentarist Patricio Guzmán completes his trilogy about Chile’s troubled past, meditating on how the Andes shaped its sense of identity. After her 1930s-set Planetarium (LFF 2016), writer-director Rebecca Zlotowski returns to the present with the coming-of-age drama AN EASY GIRL, which investigates desire, the lure of the high life and the imagery of modern female sexuality, set in a sun-baked Cannes. Director Ga-eun Yoon’s rich and joyous THE HOUSE OF US proves her one of the world’s finest filmmakers at capturing contemporary childhood onscreen; performing the cinematic magic trick of immersing us in children’s perspective while allowing us to bring adult understanding to their experience. In Karim Aın̈ouz’s THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF EURIDICE GUSMAO, winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard prize, a sumptuous tale of two sisters cruelly separated by family and fate makes for deeply moving drama. In MONSOON, Hong Khaou follows Lilting (BFI Flare 2014) with this gorgeous drama that evokes the disorientation of returning to an unrecognisable homeland; Londoner Kit (Henry Golding, Crazy Rich Asians) travels to Vietnam to scatter his mother’s ashes and to connect with the place he departed from as a child, and finds that everything he knew has changed.

CREATE

The Create strand channels the electricity of the creative process, celebrating artistic expression in all its forms.  This year’s Create Gala, WESTERN STARS, sees music legend Bruce Springsteen present his 19th studio album in this spectacular visual treat for music fans the world over.

Faders on stun: Hollywood sound editor Midge Costin’s directorial debut, MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND, is an immersive, educational and hugely enjoyable documentary exploring the power of sound in cinema. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto’s SHOOTING THE MAFIA sketches a captivating portrait of defiant Sicilian photographer Letizia Battaglia, whose extraordinary work recorded the Mafia’s violent crimes. Stephen Kijak’s SID & JUDY documents Judy Garland’s life beyond the Yellow Brick Road, her post-MGM triumphs and tragedies vividly recalled in a revelatory documentary that utilises her impresario husband Sidney Luft’s memoirs. TALKING ABOUT TREES, a beautifully shot documentary by Suhaib Gasmelbari, follows four veteran members of the Sudanese Film Club as they aim to return cinema-going culture back to the country. Olivier Meyrou’s YVES SAINT LAURENT: THE LAST COLLECTIONS, withheld from release for nearly 20 years, is an exquisitely crafted and moving documentary observing the last few years in the company of style icon Yves Saint Laurent. Stanley Nelson’s MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL sees 20th century music’s trumpet-playing prince of darkness receive the candid documentary his controversial genius deserves. Starring Tim Roth and Clive Owen, François Girard’s THE SONG OF NAMES is a riveting musical odyssey and historical detective story set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. Mike Figgis’ enthralling documentary SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME follows the turbulent life and career of Ronnie Wood, legendary rock guitarist and long-time member of The Rolling Stones.

EXPERIMENTA

Experimenta features films and videos by artists that revolutionise and reshape our vision of cinema. The Experimenta Special Presentation is KRABI, 2562 by Ben Rivers and Anocha Suwichakornpong.

Nina Danino’s I DIE OF SADNESS CRYING FOR YOU, a meditation on Spanish popular copla songs and their mighty female singers, is an evocative and passionate film essay. Brad Butler and Noorafshan Mirza present RUPTURES, set in Turkey, in which an MP, a former Police Commissioner, a right-wing assassin wanted by Interpol and a woman named Yenge are all involved in a car crash. Roz Mortimer’s THE DEATHLESS WOMAN is an elegiac account of the Nazi genocide of the Roma community expressed through the supernatural myth of the ‘deathless woman’. Louis Henderson and Olivier Marboeuf’s OUVERTURES reflects on the legacy of Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture, and follows a collective’s process of translating Édouard Glissant’s play Monsieur Toussaint from French  to Creole. Los Angeles-based artist Mariah Garnett presents TROUBLE, a personal account of an estranged father set against the Northern Ireland conflict; this heart-breaking story interwines interviews and investigations which reveal the traumatic effects of political upheavals on Belfast communities then and now, as well as added queer playfulness featuring trans actress Robyn Reihill. Jeffrey Perkins’ GEORGE: THE STORY OF GEORGE MACIUNAS AND FLUXUS, executive produced by Jonas Mekas, traces the history of the Fluxus movement through rare footage, recreation of happenings and interviews with key figures in this portrait of artist George Maciunas.

FAMILY

Showcasing films for the young, as well as the young at heart, this year’s Family strand is, as always, an international affair. The Family Gala is the UK premiere of Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman’s ABOMINABLE.

Bears and humans just don’t get on! In this adaptation of Dino Buzzati’s classic story THE BEARS’ FAMOUS INVASION, we find out why; this children’s classic is joyously depicted by Lorenzo Mattotti, who presents a compelling story that works on different levels depending on the viewer’s age. In Edmunds Jansons’ JACOB, MIMMI AND THE TALKING DOGS, a sassy group of talking dogs give plenty of attitude to Jacob and his cousin Mimmi, but they also help out when a local park is threatened. This section also includes a programme of animated shorts for younger audiences which bring together eclectic, exciting and colourful films from all around the globe. In Pawo Choyning Dorji’s live-action drama LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM a teacher in Bhutan, struggling for inspiration, travels to the most remote school in the world, where it takes being so far away to understand the importance of his work…and to appreciate the value of yak dung! Fresh from its success in China, we will be presenting the visually ravishing animation WHITE SNAKE at the

BFI IMAX. Directors Amp Wong and Ji Zhao tells the story of a girl with magical gifts who embodies the Chinese legend of the White Snake in a jaw-dropping landscape of demons, serpents and delight!

TREASURES

The Treasures strand brings recently revived and restored cinematic classics and discoveries from archives around the world to the Festival in London.

John Hurt is exceptional in David Lynch’s THE ELEPHANT MAN; this compassionate immersion into the vicious world experienced by ‘freaks’ in 19th century London has undergone an exclusive 4K restoration process supervised by Lynch. THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is an uncanny tale from the pen of Poe, directed by Roger Corman, shot by Nicolas Roeg, and starring Vincent Price – a match made in Heaven. Or Hell! Cameroonian feature MUNA MOTO is a welcome restoration of a classic social realist African masterpiece that champions the ideals of Third Cinema aesthetics. Budd Boetticher’s magisterial western, RIDE LONESOME, stars Randolph Scott as a haunted loner seeking vengeance in a bleak, elemental world full of dangerous strangers. SAY AMEN, SOMEBODY is an exuberant, joyous and deeply moving, critically acclaimed documentary that celebrates American gospel music, spotlighting giants of the business Willie Mae Ford Smith and Thomas A Dorsey. SWEET CHARITY sees Shirley MacLaine star as unlucky-in-love taxi dancer Charity Hope Valentine in Bob Fosse’s joyous adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Nina Menkes’ critically acclaimed underground classic, QUEEN OF DIAMONDS, is one of the most subversive and originally independent films of the 1990s, set in a hallucinatory Las Vegas landscape. Following the story of disaffected Firdaus, a struggling Blackjack dealer, set between glittering casino lights and a deteriorating desert oasis, this is a remarkable and provocative masterpiece of American independent filmmaking, ripe for critical evaluation.

LFF SCREEN TALKS

LFF SCREEN TALK: RIAN JOHNSON

We’re delighted to welcome Rian Johnson to the BFI London Film Festival, to talk about his career and the making of his fifth feature KNIVES OUT: a wickedly witty and stylish murder mystery, which the Maryland-born filmmaker has described as “an attempt to capture the twisty fun of an Agatha Christie whodunit.” A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Johnson debuted with 2005’s Brick, which ingeniously transposed the stylized tropes of Dashiell Hammett’s hardboiled detective fiction to a Californian high school setting. Made for just $500,000 and boasting a memorable lead performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this fresh take on neo-noir won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at Sundance Film Festival. Three years later, Johnson showed his comedic verve with globe-trotting conman caper The Brothers Bloom, before reuniting with Gordon-Levitt (starring alongside Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt) for 2012’s time-travelling sci-fi thriller Looper. A critical and commercial hit which further displayed his dazzling command of genre, it enjoyed success which led this most inventive of Hollywood auteurs to both write and direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A fearlessly bold continuation of the beloved space opera saga, the latter became the highest grossing film of 2017 and one of the most successful movies of all time.

LFF SCREEN TALK: KIM LONGINOTTO

We’re delighted to welcome back Kim Longinotto to the BFI London Film Festival, to talk about her storied career and her new documentary Shooting the Mafia, an eye-opening profile of Sicilian organised crime photographer Letizia Battaglia. Longinotto has been blazing a trail for British nonfiction filmmaking for more than four decades. She debuted at LFF with 1976’s Pride of Place, an unvarnished look at her old boarding school which prompted Longinotto’s former headmistress to brand the young filmmaker ‘a class traitor’ (the school closed the following year). Frequently focusing on marginalized people and extraordinary women from around the world fighting oppression, her filmography includes such ground-breaking factual pieces as Shinjuku Boys (1995), which spotlighted Tokyo’s transgender club scene, and Divorce Iranian Style (1998), an arresting chronicle of Iran’s patriarchal court system. She won the 2008 World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival for the South Africa carers portrait Rough Aunties, and was the recipient of Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Inspiration Award in 2010. Longinotto explored 20th-century cinema’s depictions of sex and desire with 2014’s archival tapestry Love Is All, while continuing her avowedly feminist, globe-spanning work with the following year’s Dreamcatcher, about a Chicago charity which helps women leave the sex industry.

LFF SCREEN TALK: LUKAS MOODYSSON

We’re delighted to welcome back writer-director Lukas Moodysson to the BFI London Film Festival, to talk about his career and the making of his first TV series Gösta. Set in rustic Småland, this loving satire about a kindly child psychologist (played by rising Midsommar star Vilhelm Blomgren) has been described by its creator as ‘a mix of comedy and Dostoevsky – as funny as possible and as serious as possible.’ Raised in provincial Sweden, Moodysson made an immediate mark on global cinema with 1998’s Show Me Love: a hugely acclaimed coming-of-age drama depicting the awkward romance between two teenage girls in a boring small town. His seemingly effortless blend of empathy and insight continued two years later with Together, a humorous portrait of an idealistic commune in 1970s Stockholm. The filmmaker took a darker turn with third feature Lilya 4-ever (2002), a drawn-from-real-life tale of sexual slavery, and the experimental porn exploration A Hole in My Heart (2004). He made his English-language debut with 2009’s Mammoth, starring Michelle Williams and Gael García Bernal, followed by a triumphant return to Swedish storytelling with 2013’s We Are the Best!, an exuberant adaptation of his wife Coco’s girl-punk graphic novel.

INDUSTRY & EDUCATION

This year’s industry events programme will accent the Festival’s focus on the issues and debate that are urgent for industry and filmmakers, maximise opportunities for Industry delegates to access international delegates and filmmakers attending the Festival, augmenting the full benefits package available for Industry delegates.

The industry programme, supported by the Mayor of London, via Film London, includes access to the LFF CONNECTS strand which celebrates artists working at the intersection of film and other creative industries; the talent development programme BFI NETWORK@LFF; and a host of new format discussions, panels and networking events.

This year’s Festival marks the fourth 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, supporting exceptional new filmmaking talent.  The Bursary is eligible for emerging writers, directors and writer/directors resident in the UK, and premiering their first or second feature in the Festival. Last year’s winner was Richard Billingham (Ray & Liz) with Harry Wootliff (writer/director, Only You) and Nicole Taylor (writer, Wild Rose) shortlisted nominees. Previous recipients of the Bursary were writer/directors, Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy) in 2017 and Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) in 2016.

The Festival will host Press and Industry screenings at Vue West End, provide a Digital Viewing Library, delegate hubs, discounts at partner venues and at LFF Connects and Screen Talks, and numerous networking opportunities with delegates and filmmakers.

Details of the full industry programme will be announced in September. Industry delegate accreditation is open now and closes on Wednesday 11 September. Visit www.bfi.org.uk/lff/professional-delegates for further details

BFI LFF Education returns to this year’s Festival with a new offer for young people of all ages keen to engage with the wealth of film on offer throughout the BFI LFF programme. BFI LFF Education sets its sights to increase primary and secondary students’ access to the Festival and attending BFI LFF special guests, in partnership with Into Film. Additionally the Festival host a day dedicated to young aspiring filmmakers aged 16-25, offering transformational opportunities and exclusive access to filmmaking talent. The BFI LFF Critics Mentorship Programme returns for a second time, following a successful inaugural year in 2018. 16-25 year olds can also apply for Future Film Accreditation and take advantage of our 25 and Under £5 rush ticket offers.

The BFI London Film Festival Education programme is supported by funding contributors LaCie and The Sir John Cass’s Foundation and event delivery partners Into Film Festival

For further information visit bfi.org.uk/lffeducation url

BFI PLAYER

The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK-wide on BFI Player, the BFI’s VOD service, featuring Festival collections showcasing films from previous years. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the range of services on BFI Player – at player.bfi.org.uk/

SPONSORS AND FUNDERS

We are delighted to welcome back American Express, our Principal Partner and Preferred Payment Partner. This is a very special year as we celebrate ten years of this extraordinary partnership.

We are thrilled to see the return of American Airlines as Main Sponsor and Official Airline. We’re delighted to have IWC Schaffhausen return as the Festival’s Official Time Partner and Headline Partner of our fundraising Gala LUMINOUS, where we will announce this year’s winner of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI.

We give heartfelt thanks to The May Fair Hotel, who return as the Festival’s Official Hotel Partner.

We extend a very warm Festival welcome to our returning partners: LaCie who support our Future Film Day for young filmmakers and The Malta Tourism Authority who are partnering on our Love Gala and Love Strand.

We are delighted to welcome new sponsors who join us this year: Heart of London Business Alliance, Facebook and Nyetimber – our official sparkling wine partner.

The BFI London Film Festival is made possible thanks to support from DCMS and The National Lottery and many other cultural institutions and organisations. We are also delighted to be supported directly by the Mayor of London through Film London as a funding contributor.

The remastering and new score of the BFI Archive Gala film is supported by the Eric Anker-Petersen Charity. With additional support from the Michael Marks Charitable Trust and the John S Cohen Foundation. Films by the British Mutoscope and Biograph Company, Prestwich and Gaumont all restored in 2018 by the BFI National Archive in collaboration with EYE Filmmuseum and Haghefilm.

A huge thank you goes to the Festival’s generous in-kind Sponsors: returning photography sponsor Getty Images and cinema advertising partner Digital Cinema Media. Additionally, we would like to welcome back DDA and thank Audemus Spirits: Pink Pepper Gin, CPC London, Dalston’s Soda, Viña Pomal, Global, Harkness Screens, Impact Marketing, Picture Production Company and Newman Displays for their continued support.

Cinema partners returning this year are Ciné Lumière, Curzon, Empire, ICA, ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, ODEON Tottenham Court Road, Prince Charles Cinema and Vue.

We are delighted to welcome back returning Media Partners Evening Standard, Empire, Time Out, Sight & Sound, Screen International, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Little White Lies as well as valued Broadcast Partner BBC Radio London for continuing to provide invaluable media support.

The Festival would also like to give a huge thanks to returning sponsor Christie Digital.

Finally, the Festival would like to thank the many embassies and cultural institutes who support the Festival by helping to bring in filmmakers to present their work.

Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos opening Hard Rock Hotel London, its first London hotel

July 11, 2019

Hard Rock Hotel London (Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos)
Hard Rock Hotel London (Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos)

The following is a press release from Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos:

Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos celebrate a historic moment by announcing the opening of Hard Rock Hotel London. The property is Hard Rock’s first hotel in the United Kingdom and continues the brand’s legacy in its original birthplace.

“Blending the DNA of the Hard Rock brand with London’s musical culture creates a memorable experience for all guests to enjoy,” said Ian Fletcher, general manager of Hard Rock Hotel London. “We’re excited to showcase the property’s unique offerings and signature brand amenities to visitors and locals alike — they won’t be able to find anywhere else like it in the UK.”

As part of a partnership with London’s largest hotel owner-operator, glh, the hotel boasts 900 stylish rooms and suites, along with a Rock Royalty Lounge, GMT Bar, a Hard Rock Cafe, a cocktail bar and a Rock Shop®. Located on the corner of Oxford Street at Marble Arch, it continues to expand Hard Rock’s blend of music, entertainment and iconic merchandise in the iconic capital city.

“The first Hard Rock Cafe was founded in London in 1971 and here we are, building on where it all began 48 years ago,” said Dale Hipsh, senior vice president of Hard Rock Hotels. “Every Hard Rock Hotel property is one-of-a-kind, but this one represents something special for the brand. This hotel is the culmination of three concepts – the cafes, hotels and Rock Shops® – coming together as one in an open-lobby, community-driven environment with Hard Rock’s memorabilia as the design thread binding them together. It’s truly incredible.”

Legendary memorabilia is sprinkled throughout the property, telling the story of London’s rich musical history. One special item is a letter written in 1958 by the late Buddy Holly, while he stayed at the hotel that is now Hard Rock Hotel London. The property also features another amazing piece of musical history – the Kirkwood piano Queen’s legendary singer, Freddie Mercury, practiced on as a teenager.

In addition to the GMT bar, set to be the perfect community gathering spot, its lively Hard Rock Cafe features a brand-new design and menu where guests can enjoy fresh, high-quality items including exciting cocktail creations and classic American-inspired cooking. It includes 370 seats for guests to enjoy daily live music performances that celebrate both local London performers and international talent. Guests can also check out the Rock Shop® for iconic Hard Rock merchandise, along with exclusive pieces from partner designers and collaborators and specialized merchandise that features local artists.

The hotel entices guests with an array of signature brand offerings and amenities, including The Sound of Your Stay® music program, where the mood can be set with a complimentary Crosley turntable. Alternatively, guests can rock out in their room with a Fender guitar, reserved at the front desk complete with headphones for no noise complaints. There is also the revolutionary Rock Om in-room yoga program, allowing for guests to relax, refresh and find their Zen. For those looking to amp-up their stay, Rock Royalty® rooms and suites offer the ultimate A-List experience, including a personal concierge and access to a lavish private lounge.

For more information or to book a stay at the new Hard Rock Hotel London, visit hrhlondon.com.

About Hard Rock International

With venues in 74 countries, including 186 Hard Rock Cafes, 241 Rock Shops®, 29 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise available in global Rock Shops and online at https://shop.hardrock.com. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands including Hard Rock Live performance venues. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida. Another exciting Hotel & Casino location includes Atlantic City. Hard Rock Hotels are located in vibrant city and resort destinations such as Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Desaru Coast, Ibiza, London, Los Cabos, Orlando and Shenzhen. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Kathmandu, Nepal, Kyoto, Japan, Asuncion, Paraguay, Puerto Madero, Argentina and Chandigarh, India. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. In 2019, Hard Rock International was honored as one of Forbes Magazine’s America’s Best Large Employers and Forbes Magazine’s Top Employer for Women. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.

About glh Hotels

glh is London’s largest hotel owner-operator, creating memorable moments for guests whilst delivering unforgettable hospitality. With over 5,000 rooms and 130 meeting and event spaces across 17 outstanding locations, glh is at the heart of London hospitality. Including Amba, every, Guoman, Thistle and Thistle Express, glh’s portfolio of hotel brands provides guests with the perfect slice of local city life, whatever their purpose of their stay.

2019 Brit Awards: The 1975, Calvin Harris are the top winners

February 20, 2019

 

With two prizes each, The 1975 and Calvin Harris emerged as the top winners at the annual 39th Annual Brit Awards, which were presented at London’s O2 Arena on February 20, 2019. Jack Whitehall hosted the ceremony, which was televised in the U.K. on ITV. The awards are from the British Phonographic Industry. The 1975 won the awards for Best British Group and Best British Album (for “A Brief History of Online Relationships”), while Harris received the prizes for British Producer of the Year (a non-competitive category) and British Single of the Year (for “One Kiss,” his collaboration with Dua Lipa).

Performers at the event included Hugh Jackman; George Ezra with the
Hot 8 Brass Band; Little Mix with Ms Banks; Jorja Smith; Jess Glynne with H.E.R.; and The 1975. In addition, Harris teamed up with Rag’n’Bone Man, Sam Smith and Lipa for a medley of his songs. Pink, with a guest appearance from Dan Smith, also did a medley of her hit songs, and she was also given the  non-competitive prize of Outstanding Contribution to Music. For the second consecutive year, Ed Sheeran was received the Global Success Award, another Brit Award that does not involve competing against other nominees.

Presenters included Brit Awards host Whitehall, Jared Leto, Liam Payne, Winnie Harlow, Bros, Daniel Sturridge, Paloma Faith, Nile Rodgers, H.E.R., Clara Amfo, Natalie Dormer, Vicky McClure. a

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the 2019 Brit Awards:

*=winner

British Male Solo Artist

Sam Smith
Craig David
Aphex Twin
Giggs
George Ezra*

British Female Solo Artist

Florence + the Machine
Jorja Smith*
Anne-Marie
Lily Allen
Jess Glynne

British Group

Arctic Monkeys
Gorillaz
The 1975*
Little Mix
Years & Years

British Breakthrough Act

Mabel
Idles
Ella Mai
Tom Walker
Jorja Smith*

Critics’ Choice

Lewis Capaldi
Sam Fender*
Mahalia

British Single

Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – One Kiss*
George Ezra – Shotgun
Rudimental – These Days (featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen)
Dua Lipa – IDGAF
Annie-Marie – 2002
Clean Bandit – Solo (featuring Demi Lovato)
Sigala & Paloma Faith – Lullaby
Ramz – Barking
Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There
Tom Walker – Leave a Light Om

British Album of the Year

Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
The 1975 – A Brief History of Online Relationships*
Florence + the Machine – High as Hope
Anne-Marie – Speak Your Mind
George Ezra – Staying at Tamara’s

British Artist Video of the Year

Anne-Marie – 2002
Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – One Kiss
Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato – Solo
Dua Lipa – IDGAF
Jax Jones featuring Ina Wroldsen – Breathe
Jonas Blue featuring Jack & Jack – Rise
Liam Payne & Rita Ora – For You (Fifty Shades Freed)
Little Mix featuring Nicki Minaj– Woman Like Me*
Rita Ora – Let You Love Me
Rudimental featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen– These Days

International Male Solo Artist

Drake*
Eminem
Kamasi Washington
Shawn Mendes
Travis Scott

International Female Solo Artist

Cardi B
Camila Cabello
Christine and the Queens
Ariana Grande*
Janelle Monáe

International Group

The Carters*
First Aid Kit
Brockhampton
Chic & Nile Rodgers
Twenty-One Pilots

Brits Global Success Award

Ed Sheeran*

British Producer of the Year

Calvin Harris*

Outstanding Contribution to Music

Pink*

2019 BAFTA Awards: ‘Roma,’ ‘The Favourite’ are the top winners

February 10, 2019

by Carla Hay

Alfonso Cuarón and Yalitza Aparicio on the set of “Roma” (Photo by Carlos Somonte/Netflix)
Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in “The Favourite” (Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos)

With four prizes, including Best Film, “Roma” was one of the top winners at the 72nd annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, which were presented at Royal Albert Hall in London on February 10, 2019. BBC America had the U.S. telecast of the show. Joanna Lumley hosted the show for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, “The Favourite,” which went into the ceremony with the most nominations (12) emerged with the most prizes (six), including Outstanding British Film. Eligible movies were those released in the United Kingdom in 2018.

The Spanish-language “Roma,” which had garnered seven nods, won BAFTAs for Best Film, Best Director (for Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematography and Best Film Not in the English Language. Netflix’s “Roma,” which is inspired by Cuarón’s Mexico City childhood from the perspective of his family’s housekeeper/nanny, made BAFTA history for being the first non-English-language film and the first movie from a streaming service to win the BAFTA prize for Best Film.

“The Favourite,” which tells the story of Great Britain’s mercurial Queen Anne and two women who compete for her affections, won the following BAFTAs: Outstanding British Film, Best Actress (for Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (for Rachel Weisz), Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design and Best Makeup and Hair.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A Star Is Born,” the two biggest music-oriented films of 2018, went into the ceremony with seven nominations each. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the official biopic of rock band Queen, emerged with two BAFTAs: Best Actor (for Rami Malek) and Best Sound, while “A Star Is Born” won only one BAFTA: Best Original Music. Meanwhile, “First Man” (which had seven nods) and “Cold War” (which had four nods) didn’t win any BAFTAs. Three-time BAFTA nominees “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Mary Queen of Scots” and “Stan & Ollie” also failed to get any of the prizes.

“BlacKkKlansman,” which had five nods, ended up with one award: Best Adapted Screenplay. It was the first BAFTA won by Spike Lee, who co-wrote the screenplay. Although this was Lee’s first BAFTA prize in a competitive category, he was given a special, non-competitive BAFTA Award in 2002. Four-time BAFTA nominee “Green Book” also won one award: Best Supporting Actor, for Mahershala Ali. “Vice,” which received six nominations, ended up with one BAFTA: Best Editing.

 

Here is the complete list of winners and nominations for the BAFTA Awards:

*=winner

Best Film

“BlacKkKlansman”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”*
“A Star Is Born”

Outstanding British Film

“Beast”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”*
“McQueen”
“Stan & Ollie”
“You Were Never Really Here”

Best Leading Actor

Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”
Christian Bale – “Vice”
Rami Malek – “Bohemian Rhapsody”*
Steve Coogan – “Stan & Ollie”
Viggo Mortensen – “Green Book”

Best Leading Actress

Glenn Close – “The Wife”
Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Olivia Colman – “The Favourite”*
Viola Davis – “Widows”

Best Supporting Actor

Adam Driver – “BlacKkKlansman”
Mahershala Ali – “Green Book”*
Richard E Grant – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell – “Vice”
Timothée Chalamet – “Beautiful Boy”

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – “Vice”
Claire Foy – “First Man”
Emma Stone – “The Favourite”
Margot Robbie – “Mary Queen of Scots”
Rachel Weisz – “The Favourite”*

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Jessie Buckley
Cynthia Erivo
Barry Keoghan
Lakeith Stanfield
Letitia Wright*

Best Director

Spike Lee – “BlacKkKlansman”
Paweł Pawlikowski – “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos – “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma”*
Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

“Apostasy” – Daniel Kokotajlo (writer/director)
“Beast” – Michael Pearce (writer/director), Lauren Dark (producer)*
“A Cambodian Spring” – Chris Kelly (writer/director/producer)
“Pili” – Leanne Welham (writer/director), Sophie Harman (producer)
“Ray & Liz” – Richard Billingham (writer/director), Jacqui Davies (producer)

Best Film Not in the English Language

“Capernaum”
“Cold War”
“Dogman”
“Roma”*
“Shoplifters”

Best Documentary

“Free Solo”*
“McQueen”
“RBG”
“They Shall Not Grow Old”
“Three Identical Strangers”

Best Animated Film

“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”*

Best Original Screenplay

“Cold War”
“The Favourite”*
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“Vice”

Best Adapted Screenplay

“BlacKkKlansman”*
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“First Man”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Original Music

“BlackkKlansman”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“A Star Is Born”*

Best Cinematography

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Cold War”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Roma”*

Best Costume Design

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”*
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”

Best Editing

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“Vice”*

Best Production Design

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“The Favourite”*
“First Man”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Roma”

Best Makeup and Hair

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”*
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Stan & Ollie”
“Vice”

Best Sound

“Bohemian Rhapsody”*
“First Man”
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
“A Quiet Place”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Special Visual Effects

“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Black Panther”*
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”

British Short Film

“73 Cows”*
“Bachelor”
“The Blue Door”
“The Field”
“Wale”

British Short Animation

“I’m OK”
“Marfa”
“Roughhouse”*

Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema

Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen (Number 9 Films)

2019 BAFTA Film Awards: ‘The Favourite’ is the top nominee

January 9, 2019

by Carla Hay

Olivia Colman in "The Favourite"
Olivia Colman in “The Favourite” (Photo by Atsushi Nishijima)

With 12 nominations, the period dramedy “The Favourite” is the leading contender for the 72nd annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, which will be presented at Royal Albert Hall in London on February 10, 2019. BBC America will have the U.S. telecast of the show. Joanna Lumley is hosting the show for the second consecutive year. Other films to receive several nominations include “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “First Man,” “A Star Is Born” and “Roma,” which garnered seven nods each. “Vice” received six nominations, while “BlacKkKlansman” got five nods. “Green Book” and “Cold War” received four nominations each. Three nominations each went to “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Mary Queen of Scots” and “Stan & Ollie.” Eligible movies were those released in the United Kingdom in 2018.

“The Favourite” is the only movie to receive a nomination for Best Film and Outstanding British Film at the 2019 BAFTAs. In the Best Film category, “The Favourite” is up against “BlacKkKlansman,” “Green Book,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In the category of Outstanding British Film, “The Favourite” is competing against “Beast,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “McQueen,” “Stan & Ollie” and “You Were Never Really Here.”

Snubs and Surprises

Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman in “Black Panther” (Photo courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios)

Regina King, who has been winning several awards for her supporting role in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” was shut out of the BAFTA race this year. And despite the big push for “Black Panther” to get several nominations at award shows, the superhero movie was ultimately snubbed at the BAFTAs except for one category: Best Special Visual Effects. “Mary Poppins Returns” is a critically acclaimed hit, but didn’t make the cut in two categories that some people predicted the movie would get BAFTA nominations: Best Film and Best Actress (for Emily Blunt). And the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” which has been winning most of the documentary awards this year, failed to get a BAFTA nomination for Best Documentary, probably because documentary subject Fred Rogers and his American TV show “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” are not well-known in British culture.

At other major award shows, the Steve McQueen-directed “Widows” has been largely overlooked for nominations, but Viola Davis did get a surprise BAFTA nomination for her leading role in the film. Another big surprise was Paweł Pawlikowski getting a Best Director nomination for his Polish-language film “Cold War,” even though the movie wasn’t nominated for Best Film. He likely edged out director Peter Farrelly, who is the only director at this year’s BAFTAs whose movie (“Green Book”) was nominated for Best Film but didn’t get a Best Director nod.

Noteable Milestones

Alfonso Cuarón and Yalitza Aparicio on the set of “Roma” (Photo by Carlos Somonte/Netflix)

Alfonso Cuarón achieved a major BAFTA milestone by being the first person to receive six BAFTA nominations in a single year. Cuarón, who directed the Spanish-language “Roma” (which is based on his childhood growing up in Mexico City), is also the movie’s cinematographer, screenwriter and one of the film’s producers and editors. Therefore, Cuarón is nominated in six of “Roma’s” seven BAFTA categories: Best Film, Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

Bradley Cooper is the first director to have five BAFTA nominations in one year for a directorial debut. Cooper made his directorial debut with the 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born,” and he not only directed and starred in “A Star Is Born,” but he is also one of the movie’s producers, screenwriters and songwriters. Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” BAFTA nods are for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Leading Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Music.

Meanwhile, Spike Lee, who has been making critically acclaimed movies since the 1980s, finally received his first BAFTA nominations this year, for “BlacKkKlansman.” As the film’s director and as one of the movie’s producers and screenwriters, he’s nominated for Best Director, Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. Although these are Lee’s first BAFTA nominations, he was given a special, non-competitive BAFTA Award in 2002.

Here is the complete list of nominations for the BAFTA Awards:

Best Film

“BlacKkKlansman”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Outstanding British Film

“Beast”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“McQueen”
“Stan & Ollie”
“You Were Never Really Here”

Best Leading Actor

Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”
Christian Bale – “Vice”
Rami Malek – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Steve Coogan – “Stan & Ollie”
Viggo Mortensen – “Green Book”

Best Leading Actress

Glenn Close – “The Wife”
Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Olivia Colman – “The Favourite”
Viola Davis – “Widows”

Best Supporting Actor

Adam Driver – “BlacKkKlansman”
Mahershala Ali – “Green Book”
Richard E Grant – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell – “Vice”
Timothée Chalamet – “Beautiful Boy”

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – “Vice”
Claire Foy – “First Man”
Emma Stone – “The Favourite”
Margot Robbie – “Mary Queen of Scots”
Rachel Weisz – “The Favourite”

EE Rising Star Award (public vote)

Jessie Buckley
Cynthia Erivo
Barry Keoghan
Lakeith Stanfield
Letitia Wright

Best Director

Spike Lee – “BlacKkKlansman”
Paweł Pawlikowski – “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos – “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma”
Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

“Apostasy” – Daniel Kokotajlo (writer/director)
“Beast” – Michael Pearce (writer/director), Lauren Dark (producer)
“A Cambodian Spring” – Chris Kelly (writer/director/producer)
“Pili” – Leanne Welham (writer/director), Sophie Harman (producer)
“Ray & Liz” – Richard Billingham (writer/director), Jacqui Davies (producer)

Best Film Not in the English Language

“Capernaum”
“Cold War”
“Dogman”
“Roma”
“Shoplifters”

Best Documentary

“Free Solo”
“McQueen”
“RBG”
“They Shall Not Grow Old”
“Three Identical Strangers”

Best Animated Film

“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”

Best Original Screenplay

“Cold War”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“Vice”

Best Adapted Screenplay

“BlacKkKlansman”
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“First Man”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Original Music

“BlackkKlansman”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Cinematography

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Cold War”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Roma”

Best Costume Design

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”

Best Editing

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“Vice”

Best Production Design

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Roma”

Best Makeup and Hair

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Stan & Ollie”
“Vice”

Best Sound

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
“A Quiet Place”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Special Visual Effects

“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Black Panther”
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”

British Short Film

“73 Cows”
“Bachelor”
“The Blue Door”
“The Field”
“Wale”

British Short Animation

“I’m OK”
“Marfa”
“Roughhouse”

Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema

Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen

2018 British Independent Film Awards: ‘The Favourite’ wins a record-breaking 10 prizes

December 2, 2018

by Carla Hay

Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in "The Favourite"
Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in “The Favourite” (Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos)

The dark comedy “The Favourite” won a record-breaking 10 prizes, including Best Picture, at the 2018 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), which were presented  on December 2 at Old Billingsgate in London. It was the most BIFAs won by one film in the same year. “The Favourite,” which follows the antics of England’s Queen Anne and two women competing for her affections, received 10 of the 13 awards for which the movie was nominated, including Best Director (Yorgos Lanthimos), Best Actress (Olivia Colman) and Best Supporting Actress (Rachel Weisz).

Other movies to get multiple awards include “American Animals,” “Ray & Liz” and You Were Never Really Here,” which won two awards each.  Joe Cole of “A Prayer Before Dawn” was named Best Actor, while Alessandro Nivolo from “Disobedience” was named Best Supporting Actor.

Judi Dench received the 2018 Richard Harris Award. Felicity Jones received the 2018 Variety Award. Horace Ové received the Special Jury Award.

Here is the complete list of nominations and winners of the 2018 British Independent Film Awards:

*=winner

Best British Independent Film
“American Animals” (Producers: Bart Layton, Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Derrin Schlesinger, Mary Jane Skalski

“Beast (Producers: Michael Pearce, Kristian Brodie, Lauren Dark, Ivana MacKinnon)

“Disobedience” (Producers: Sebastián Lelio, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Ed Guiney, Frida Torresblanco, Rachel Weisz)

“The Favourite” (Producers: Yorgos Lanthimos, Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara, Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday)*

“You Were Never Really Here” (Producers: Lynne Ramsay, Pascal Caucheteux, Rosa Attab, James Wilson, Rebecca O’Brien)

Best Director 
Andrew Haigh,  “Lean on Pete”
Yorgos Lanthmos, “The Favourite”*
Bart Layton, “American Animals”
Michael Pearce, “Beast”
Lynne Ramsay, “You Were Never Really Here”

Best Screenplay
Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”*
Bart Layton, “American Animals”
Sebastian Lelio, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, “Disobedience”
Michael Pearce, “Beast”
Lynne Ramsay, “You Were Never Really Here”

Best Actress
Gemma Arterton, “The Escape”
Jessie Buckley, “Beast”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”*
Maxine Peake, “Funny Cow”
Rachel Weisz, “Disobedience”

Best Supporting Actress
Nina Arianda, “Stan & Ollie”
Rachel McAdams, “Disobedience”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”*
Molly Wright, “Apostasy”

Best Actor
Joe Cole, “A Prayer Before Dawn”*
Steve Coogan, “Stan & Ollie”
Rupert Everett, “The Happy Prince”
Joaquin Phoenix, “You Were Never Really Here”
Charlie Plummer, “Lean on Pete”

Best Supporting Actor
Steve Buscemi, “Lean on Pete”
Barry Keoghan, “American Animals”
Alessandro Nivola, “Disobedience”*
Van Peters, “American Animals”
Dominic West, “Colette”

Most Promising Newcomer
Jessie Buckley, “Beast”*
Michaela Coel, “Been So Long”
Liv Hill, “Jellyfish”
Marcus Rutherford, “Obey”
Molly Wright, “Apostasy”

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)
Richard Billingham, “Ray & Liz”*
Daniel Kokotajlo, “Apostasy”
Matt Palmer, “Calibre”
Michael Pearce, “Beast”
Leanne Welham, “Pili”

Debut Screenwriter
Karen Gillan, “The Party’s Just Beginning”
Daniel Kokotajlo, “Apostasy”
Bart Layton, “American Animals”*
Matt Palmer, “Calibre”
Michael Pearce, “Beast”

Breakthrough Producer
Kristian Brodie, “Beast”
Jacqui Davies, “Ray & Liz”*
Anna Griffin, “Calibre”
Marcie MacLellan, “Apostasy”
Faye Ward, “Stan & Ollie”

 

The Discovery Award
“The Dig” (Directors: Andy Tohill, Ryan Tohill. Producers: Stuart Drennan, Brian J. Falconer. Writer: Stuart Drennan.)

“Irene’s Ghost” (Director: Iain Cunningham. Writers: Iain Cunningham, David Arthur. Producer: Rebecca Mark-Lawson. Director of Animation: Ellie Land.)

“A Moment in the Reeds” (Director/writer/producer: Mikko Makela. Producer: James Watson.)

“Super November” (Director/producer: Douglas King. Writer: Josie Long.)

“Voyageuse” (Director/writer/producer: May Miles Thomas)*

Best Documentary
“Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story” (Director/producer: Steve Sullivan)

“Evelyn” (Director: Orlando von Einsiedel. Producer: Joanna Natasegara.)*

“Island” (Director: Steven Eastwood. Producer: Elhum Shakerifar.)

“Nae Pasaran” (Director/producer: Felipe Bustos Sierra)

“Under the Wire” (Director: Christopher Martin. Producer: Tom Brisley.)

Best British Short Film 
“The Big Day”*

“Bitter Sea”

“The Field”

“Pommel”

“To Know Him”

Best International Independent Film 
“Capernum” (Director/writer: Nadine Labaki. Writers: Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Keserwani, Producers: Khaled Mouzanar, Michel Merkt.)

“Cold War” (Director/writer: Pawel Pawlikowski. Writer: Janusz Glowacki. Producers: Ewa Puszczynska, Tanya Seghatchian)

“The Rider” (Director/writer/producer: Chloé Zhao. Producers: Mollye Asher, Sacha Ben Harroche, Bert Hamelinck.)

“Roma,” (Director/writer/producer: Alfonso Cuarón. Producers: Nicolás Celis, Gabriela Rodriguez.)*

“Shoplifters” (Director/writer/producer: Hirokazu Koreeda)

Best Casting
Dixie Chassay, “The Favourite”*
Julie Harkin, “Beast”
Avy Kaufman, “American Animals”
Andy Pryor, “Stan & Ollie”
Michelle Smith, “Apostasy”

Best Cinematography
Ole Bratt Birkeland, “American Animals”
Magnus Nordenhof Jønck, “Lean on Pete”
Robbie Ryan, “The Favourite”*
Tom Townend, “You Were Never Really Here”
David Ungaro, “A Prayer Before Dawn”

Best Costume Design
Jacqueline Durran, “Peterloo”
Aandrea Flesch, “Colette”
Sandy Powell, “The Favourite”*
Guy Sperenza, “Stan & Ollie”
Alyssa Tull, “An Evening With Beverly Luff Lin”

Best Editing
Joe Bini, “You Were Never Really Here”
Marc Boucrot, “A Prayer Before Dawn”
Nick Fenton, Julian Hart, Chris Gill, “American Animals”*
Yorgos Mavropsaridis, “The Favourite”
Ben Wheatley, “Happy New Year, Colin Burstead”

Best Effects
Howard Jones, “Early Man”*
Matthew Stranger, Mark Wellband, “Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back)”
George Zwier, Paul Driver, “Peterloo”

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