Category Archives: Festival

2017 Sundance Film Festival

The 2017 Sundance Film Festival: London starts tomorrow; films are screening at PictureHouse Central.

On from the 1st – 4th June 2017.

Here are two Feature films and two Short film programmes to see:

JUNE 2017

Friday 2 – Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour [18]

Friday 2 | Saturday 3 – The Incredible Jessica James [18]
Director: Jim Strouse.
Starring: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Lakeith Stanfield, Noël Wells. USA 2017. 85 mins.

Friday 2 | Saturday 3 – Crown Heights [18]
Director: Matt Ruskin.
Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Bill Camp, Nestor Carbonell, Amari Cheatom. USA 2017. 99 mins.

Sunday 4 – Sundance Film Festival UK Shorts [18]

 

BFI Flare Film Festival 2017

BFI Flare Film Festival is back for 2017. Opening with, Against The Law on Thursday 16th March. Our selection of films to look out for are listed below, and include Oscar winning Moonlight, hotly debated in our Oggscars recording. Set in Miami, the film follows Chiron from childhood to adulthood. Beautifully portrayed, it is a must see.

Also at the festival catch the new UK web series, Different For Girls, a smart, sassy, sexy multi-layered lesbian drama, directed by award-winning Festival alumni Campbell X.

Danny Glover appears in San Francisco-set black comedy, Pushing Dead, as boss to Dan, who is facing losing his HIV drugs after 20 years of keeping it at bay.

Uganda is back in the spotlight at the festival with, The Pearl of Africa. This unified six-part web-series follows Uganda’s first out transgender woman, Cleopatra Kambugu from home to Kenya and then Thailand.

We managed to see Jewel’s Catch One at the 60th London Film Festival. It is a celebration of Jewel Thais Williams, owner of the legendary Catch One bar – one of Los Angeles first gay venues. Covering Jewel’s journey from purchasing the bar, fighting through discrimination, and personal challenges. Jewel managed to create a disco bar that welcomed every one, including stars like Madonna.

Plus Brazillian film, Waiting for B, a kitschy, light-hearted and thoroughly camp portrayal of pop culture, mega fandom and the adoration of Beyoncé.

The festival runs for 11 days, and closes on the 26th March with a gala screening of, Signature Move.

Jammie & EC Forde


16-26 March 2017
Over 50 features, more than 100 shorts and a wide range of special events, guest appearances, discussions, workshops, club nights and much more.
BFI Southbank.

Download the film Schedule here.

The official BFI Flare trailer



FEATURE FILMS


Different for Girls | Fri17
A smart, sexy new lesbian drama web series from the award-winning director Campbell X.

Waiting for B | Fri 17 / Sat 18
A crew of queer young Brazilian camp out two months in advance of Beyonce’s big show. One for superfans of the beyhive.

Moonlight | Fri 17/ Sat 18 / Sat 25
The Oscar winning, much-anticipated feature in which a young boy growing up in a harsh environment learns what it means to love and be loved.

Jewel’s Catch One | Fri 17 / Sat 19
This is the story of how Jewel rose from humble origins to create one of the most inclusive, radical and star-studded LGBT discos in America.

The Pearl of Africa | Sun 19 / Mon 20 / Fri 24
After suffering persecution from Uganda’s government and media, Cleopatra journeys to Thailand to get surgery and finally live freely with her boyfriend Nelson.

Free CeCe! | Tue 21 / Wed 22
Laverne Cox leads this insightful documentary into the case of Cece McDonald, whose infamous case sparked protests around the world.

Can’t Stop the Music | Thur 23 [BFI IMAX, Waterloo]
A monument to camp with the Village People and some of the most dazzling musical numbers ever committed to celluloid.

Being 17 (Quand On A 17 Ans) | Thur 23 / Fri 24
Set in the French Alps, this beautiful and emotional coming of age tale has two boys in their last year at school coming to terms with their emotions.

Body Electric (Corpo Elétrico) | Thur 23/ Sat 25
A lively Brazilian drama set in a garment factory: young manager Elias finds distraction in some of his fellow workers, but is he getting too close?

The Trans List | Thu 23 / Sun 26
Famous faces abound in this new HBO production from Timothy Greenfield-Sanders celebrating trans luminaries.

Sexit Screenings: Enactone + Snapshot | Fri 24
As part of the Sexit programme, a double bill featuring two new porn films that will challenge as much as arouse.

Pushing Dead | Sat 25 / Sun 26
Delightful comedy set in San Francisco, in which an HIV-positive slacker/writer battles with life, meds and friends.

Pride? | Sat 25 / Sun 26
A warm and intelligent survey that examines the history of Pride, its radical off-shoots, like Black Pride, and what the future of queer organising will be.


Short Films


Sat 18 / Sun 19 | Transcendent Tales Bold and beautiful fictional shorts from first inklings to years after transition.

Diane From the Moon
Mya Taylor plays a pagan priestess who takes no prisoners.


 

Sun 19 / Wed 22 | Shadow and Act Stylish shorts that compel you to know yourself, live freely and speak the truth to power.

Reluctantly Queer
A beautiful letter about migration, identity and love from a young Ghanaian man to his family.

Hattie Goes Cruising
An ageing African-American couple give a how-to on cruising and what it was like being young, queer and pretty in 1970s and 1980s New York.

Still Burning
A young migrant from Guadeloupe on the French vogue scene cares for his younger brother who is getting ready for his first ball.
*Watch Free on #BFIPlayer or YouTube as part of #FiveFilms4Freedom

I am a Woman
The politics of gender, identity and race are explored in this short and energetic spoken word piece.

Bayard and Me
Civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, the organisational genius behind the 1963 March on Washington, is remembered by his younger partner.

Our Skin
When a sexy chat becomes an intense exchange on race, politics and war, two strangers find out how much they can accept in each other and in themselves.


Thur 23 | The Permanent Perception The queer experience, both real and imagined. A collection of experimental short films, showcasing the best in contemporary artists’ film and video.

Generation Divide
LGBT histories through a TV sitcom lens.

Generation Divide II
More politics and canned laughter.


Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Falling Free An inspiring and varied collection of queer tales, showcasing our most exciting home-grown filmmaking talent.

We Love Moses
Twelve-year-old Ella discovers a secret about her brother’s best mate.


Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Trials and Liberations – Personal stories of transgender and non-binary experiences from around the globe.

Places of Fear and hatred (Lugares de Medo e Ódio)
Five diverse Brazilians speak out on surviving prejudice and violence.


Sat 25 / Sun 26 | Something to Remember The unknowable path to self-discovery can take many an unexpected turn, as the young men in these poignant and accomplished short films are soon to discover.

Heavy Weight
A boxer finds his world turned upside down by the arrival of a new fighter at his club.
*Watch Free on #BFIPlayer or YouTube as part of #FiveFilms4Freedom


BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival is programmed by Jay Bernard, Michael Blyth, Zorian Clayton, Brian Robinson and Emma Smart, led by Tricia Tuttle, Deputy Head of Festivals and Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Festivals. Image: JampotMedia

 

33 Films to see at the 60th London Film Festival 2016

Update: Tickets still available: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/ticket-availability


The programme for this years BFI London Film Festival runs from 5-16th October 2016. Every year, EC Forde and I try and outline the films that interest us.  Some will get a big cinema release, others, a smaller cinema release, and some you may catch at other festivals and screening events. The rest may just vanish from our radar, with the hope that they pop up somewhere in the future (e.g. TV/DVD/Event). So this is the perfect opportunity to see films from around the world. Particularly interesting this year are the number of films we wanted to list. 33 features, and 13 short films.

They take us on a journey through, Mali, Nigeria, Chad, Botswana, South Africa, America, Uganda, Haiti, France and the UK.

See  our selection below and find out more on the BFI 60th London Film Festival website.

EC Forde & Jammie xx


Feature Films

The 13th

13th-06Director Ava DuVernay presents a searing look at a century of race relations in America in this far-reaching and powerful documentary.

Thu 6
76

76-the-movie-hidingA terse political drama from Nigeria deals with the ramifications for a group linked to the assassination in 1976 of General Murtala Mohammed.

Sat 15
All This Panic

all-this-panic-sage-adamsSeven New York teens emerge from the turbulent ‘panic’ years into nearly adulthood in this astonishingly intimate documentary.

Fri 7, Sat 8
American Honey

american-honey-02Andrea Arnold dazzles with a sun-soaked and tune-filled epic about door-to-door teenage magazine sellers travelling the American highways.

Fri 7, Sat 8, Tue 11
Arrival

arrival_forrestAmy Adams and Jeremy Renner star as the humans who make first contact with extraterrestrial visitors in this richly textured sci-fi from director Denis Villeneuve.

Mon 10, Tue 11, Thu 13
Being 17

being-17-05Hormonal aggression sparks an intense enmity between two 17-year-old schoolboys in the snowy Pyrenees, until the true connection between them surprises everyone.

Mon 10, Tue 11, Sun 16
The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

This explosive Sundance-winning drama follows Nat Turner, a preacher who became the radical leader of an uprising against slavery.

Tue 11, Wed 12, Thu 13
Born In Flames

born-in-flames-01Lizzie Borden’s provocative feminist sci-fi returns to our screens and has lost none of its power.

Sat 15
Chi-Raq

Chi-RaqSpike Lee reimagines Aristophanes’ ancient Greek play Lysistrata as a dazzling modern-day hip-hop musical set in Chicago.

Sat 15, Sun 16
Daughters of the Dust [Treasure]

daughters-of-the-dust-still-six-women-group-shotJulie Dash’s groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust remains urgent and poetic and continues to resonate, most recently inspiring Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

Sat 8, Sat 15
Divines

divinesThe gangster genre is given a shrewd feminist makeover in this arresting debut about a young girl embarking on a life of crime.

Thu 6, Fri 7, Tue 11
Fonko

fonko-01A pulsating journey through the electronic urban musical underground of Africa that looks at how the new sounds are defining a generation, from the team behind Black Power Mixtape (LFF2011).

Sat 8, Mon 10
Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy

hissein-habre-chadian-tragedy-01Mahamet-Saleh Haroun (Darrat) returns to the theme of the personal and societal responsibility with this searing documentary about ex-Chadian President Hissein Habré.

Sat 8, Sun 9
Hospital [Treasure]

hospitalAn outstanding restoration of Frederick Wiseman’s unforgettably gripping documentary portrait of New York’s Metropolitan Hospital.

Sun 9
I called him Morgan

i_called_him_morganPart true-crime tale, part love story, this vivid portrait of legendary hard bop jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan is an all-out musical treat (from the director of My Name is Albert Ayler).

Fri 7
The Illinois Parables

The Illinois Parables

Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois.

Mon 10
Jewel’s Catch One

jewels-catch-oneA rousing doc about LA’s first black LGBT disco, defiantly opened in 1973 and beloved by music royalty from Sylvester to Madonna.

Sat 8, sun 9
Layla M

layla-m-01The gripping and powerful story of a young girl’s path towards radicalisation from director Mijke de Jong (Bluebird).

Tue 11, Thu 13
Lovetrue

lovetrue_3Following her groundbreaking debut Bombay Beach, director Alma Har’el returns with another genre-bending, visually stunning gem about our perception of love and relationships, including the psyche of Victory, a young black woman in New York City pondering family bonds and faith.

Sat 8, Mon 10
Mimosas

mimosas-01A mesmerising combination of travelogue, mysticism and documentary from Spanish director Oliver Laxe, as a young man goes on a mission in the Atlas Mountains.

Thu 6, Fri 7
Moonlight

MoonlightBased on the play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’, Moonlight follows Chiron as he finds his identity and sexuality in Miami in the 1980s.

Thu 6, Fri 7, Sat 8
A Moving Image

shola-amoo-a-moving-image-south-london-gentrification-3The gentrification of London’s Brixton is examined in this probing and stylistically ambitious debut feature.

Sat 8, Fri 14, Sun 16
Nocturama

nocturama-01French director Bertrand Bonello imagines Paris in a state of apocalypse, in a provocative, troubling response to the contemporary age of terror.

Sat 15, Sun 16
On Call

La Permanence

on-call-01Filmed in a walk-in service for asylum seekers in an hospital near Paris, this timely documentary captures with great humanity dozens of personal stories.

Wed 12, Fri 14
The Pass

pass-01Two ‘straight’ footballers share a kiss in this powerful chamber piece which opened BFI Flare earlier this year.

Wed 12, Fri 14
Queen of Katwe

Queen of KatweThe powerful true life tale of one girl’s determination to escape from poverty in Uganda by becoming a chess champion, directed by Mira Nair and starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

Sun 9, Mon 10, Wed 12
The Revolution Won’t Be Televised

revolution-wont-be-televised-01Rama Thiaw’s film taps into an example of grassroots political action in Senegal, where a group of disenfranchised activists decide to campaign against that country’s elite.

Sun 9, Mon 10
Stolkholm My Love

stockholm-my-love-rainNeneh Cherry, director Mark Cousins (I am Belfast) and cinematographer Christopher Doyle  create an inventive docu-style fiction and a love song to the Swedish city.

Tue 11, Wed 12
Those Who Jump

Les Sauteurs

those-who-jump-still-playing-bootball“I exist because I film” – the compelling first-hand account of an African migrant enduring great hardship to reach Europe and make a better life.

Thu 13, Sat 15
A United Kingdom

united-kingdom-01Amma Asante (Belle, A Way of Life) opens the Festival with this impassioned drama depicting an interracial romance that changed the world.

Wed 5, Thu 6, Tue 11
The Wedding Ring

Zin’naariyâ!

wedding-ring-01A female-directed and rare film from Niger, about a privileged young woman who comes back home, in the sultanate of Zinder, after studying in Paris to discover the truth of the relationships between women and men in her society.

Fri 14
White Colour Black

white-colour-black-01A young mixed heritage man confronts the psychological complexities of his identity in this essential, truly cinematic discovery for anyone interested in Black British cinema.

Sat 15
Wùlu

wulu-02What happens when a life of crime offers more opportunity than living an honest life? It’s a challenge Malian bus driver Ladji faces in this superb drama.

Fri 7, Sat 8

Short Films

Hollywood Disections – Sat 8
juke-01Juke – Passages From The Films of Spencer WilliamsThe career of African American actor, director and scriptwriter Spencer Williams re-enacted in a plotless montage film.
London Calling – Thu 13, Fri 14
pregnant-pause-01Pregnant PausePee. Wait. Panic. Steph is in a happy, long-term relationship, but now that she might be pregnant she has no idea what she wants.
we-love-moses-01We Love MosesTwelve-year-old Ella’s obsession with her brother’s best friend lands her with a potent secret.
Love in a Void – Wed 5, Fri 7
nkosi_coiffure_2Nkosi CoiffureEva escapes her boyfriend on the street of Brussels’ Congolese neighbourhood. She finds solace in an afro hair salon. Initially, at least.
New Kind of Kick – Fri 7, Sat 8
best-last-best-plane-ride-ever-01The Best Last Best Plane Ride EverOctober, 1986. The NY Mets beat the Houston Astros. This animation recreates their post-game airplane celebration: three hours of unbridled chaos.
Returning and Repressing – Sun 9
ears-nose-and-throat-01Ears, Nose and ThroatWhile under a medical examination, a modest woman unburdens her traumatic witnessing of the shooting of a man by his friend.
liliesleaf-farm-mayibuye-01 Liliesleaf Farm Mayibuye: In Search of the Spectres of HistoryUsing double screen, the filmmaker juxtaposes her domestic family history with that of Nelson Mandela prior to his arrest.
on-a-wing-and-a-prayer-01On a Wing and a PrayerA recreation of the 31-mile walk of refugee Abdul Rahman Haroun through the Eurotunnel, only for him to be arrested under an arcane Victorian railway law.
reluctantly-queer-01Reluctantly QueerA young Ghanaian man confesses his confusion around his sexuality and his desire to please his mother.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination – Wed 12
girl-who-danced-with-the-devil-01The Girl Who Danced With the Devil (A moça que dançou com o Diabo) A girl from a very religious family seeks her own paradise.
Teen Creeps – Thu 6, Thu 13
crystal-lake-01Crystal LakeA group of young girls take over a skate park. There, on the reclaimed ramp and with no boys around, they thrive.
send-off-01The Send-OffEmboldened by a giant block party on the evening of their high school prom, a group of students enter the night with hope for the future.
The Past is the Present Too – Fri 14
sea-is-history-01The Sea is History (work in progress)The Sea is History, made in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is a free adaptation of the poem by Derek Walcott as a materialist and animist critique of the monumentalisation of European colonial history and its ripples into the present.

Events & Talks

  1. Black Mirror Preview
  2. Lynette Wallworth

20 Afrocentric films to see at the BFI London Film Festival 2015

The programme for this years BFI London Film Festival runs from 7-18th October 2015. Every year, EC Forde and I try and outline the films we think have an afrocentric slant to them, in the hope that you get the chance to see them before they disappear from London cinemas.  Some of course will get a big cinema release, others, a smaller cinema release, and some you may catch at other festivals and screening events. The rest may just vanish from our radar, with the hope that they pop up somewhere in the future (e.g. TV/DVD/Event). That is the beauty of the Film Festival, the ability to have access to these films covering topics from all over the world.

This years films takes us to the mountains of Ethiopia (Lamb), introduces us to a female mechanic in Johannesburg (Ayanda), brings us love, lust and power in Lagos (Fifty), child rebel soldiers in an unnamed African country (Beasts of No Nation), a look at male friendship in St Louis (Cronies), and a documentary in Tottenham – friends and family of Mark Duggan explore his life and subsequent death in 2011 (The Hard Stop).

My love affair with music related films continues, and I am looking forward to the “Sonic” stream of music films at the festival, If I’m honest, I could probably watch all of the films in this section of films, but EC and I are giving a nod to three you should check out, including two films about Hip Hop. One on the clothing culture and how it influenced fashion on the catwalks and high streets (Fresh Dressed) and the other on Hip Hop Radio presenters Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia (Stretch and Bobbito:Radio That Changed Lives)… AND, if that isn’t enough, there is an after-party after the screening at Hackney Picturehouse, where Stretch and Bobbito DJ at Birthdays on Stock Newington Road (Saturday 17th)!

So much more to tell you, and we will be back with more films, particulary the short films worth catching, and maybe some of the films available online.

EC Forde & Jammie xx

In the meantime, here is our list of recommended films:

Adama
It’s 1914 and 12-year-old Adama lives with his elder brother Samba in a small west African village. They have been raised to be naturally sceptical of the negative forces or spirits that live outside the community, so the family is shocked when Samba runs away to become a warrior. Adama leaves the village soon after in order to search for him. His epic journey takes him across several continents and forces the boy to take stock of the world at large, particularly a war-strewn Europe where, it becomes clear, Samba has been sent to the front line trenches to fight. Adama is a richly animated film that deals with an important chapter in world history. It is as exciting and enlightening as it is moving.

Saturday 10 October 3:45pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
Sunday 11 October 3:45pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Ayanda
Sara Belcher’s Ayanda is a fresh, modern tale set in a vibrant and diverse Johannesburg. 21-year-old Afro-hipster and artist Ayanda (Fulu Mugovhani) is the child of a Nigerian father and a South African mother (Nthati Moshesh). After her father’s death she inherits his struggling garage and along with her mechanic boyfriend David (OC Ukeje) they work hard, combining their skills, to keep the business going. In order to attract custom they decide to specialise in the buying, refurbishing and selling of vintage cars. Using a collage-style ‘inspired by the possibilities of a modern African aesthetic’, Blecher presents colourful portraits of the multi-national residents living in Johannesburg’s Yeoville suburb, intercut with a rousing narrative of two individuals with nothing to lose overcoming all odds. A lively, engaging and ultimately celebratory female-centred story, Ayanda also highlights the Afro-cultural hub that modern South Africa is fast becoming.

Saturday 10 October 8:45pm @ Cineworld Haymarket, Screen 1
Sunday 11 October 6:15pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Beasts of No Nation
Cary Fukunaga’s (True Detective, Jane Eyre, Sin Nombre) unflinching adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 novel of the same name (itself borrowed from Fela Kuti’s 1989 album) is at once enthralling cinema and a gut-wrenching indictment of child exploitation. In an unnamed African country, civil conflict rips through the village where Agu, a sparky young boy, lives with his family. Witnessing unspeakable atrocities, including the brutal execution of his father and older brother, Agu is forced to run for his life. He is discovered, dazed and traumatised, by a group of rebel soldiers and is swiftly incorporated into their ranks by a fierce mercenary. The Commandant (Idris Elba), who receives his own orders from afar and for an unknown purpose keeps his militia fuelled with a heady mix of intoxicating bravado and hard drugs, maintains control through psychological and physical abuse. Rapidly adapting in order to survive, Agu is pushed to unthinkable limits. Idris Elba is charismatic and terrifying as the unhinged Commandant and newcomer Abraham Attah is a revelation as Agu, delivering a performance that (like his character) carries a weight beyond his years. Whilst deeply true to its African subject, the film resonates darkly beyond its situation, serving as a harsh reminder of childhoods destroyed in war zones and deprived urban areas everywhere.

Thursday 08 October 6:00pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Thursday 08 October 6:30pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
Friday 09 October 12:30pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5

Black Girl (La Noire de…)
The evolution of African cinema can be dated from Sembène’s astonishing first feature, which tells the tragic story of Diouana, a young Senegalese woman eager to find a better life and who takes a job as a governess for a bourgeois French family. Mistreated by her employers, Diouana’s hopes turn to disillusionment and she descends into a state of isolation and despair. Sembène draws from the Nouvelle Vague, but the film’s heart and soul is most definitely African. It is the perfect companion to Samba Gadjigo’s documentary Sembéne!.

Wednesday 07 October 6:20pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3
Friday 09 October 1:30pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3

Cronies
Executive produced by Spike Lee and developed while director Michael J Larnell was in film school, Cronies is a funny, sharply-observed look at male friendship. Louis and Jack have been mates since their tough childhood in one of the poorer, mostly black neighbourhoods of St Louis. Now grown up, they’re growing apart with Jack partying every day, while Louis has a baby and a job at a carwash. Louis’ new friend Andrew, the white guy whose parents own the car wash, threatens the delicate balance of the pair’s friendship. Then a spontaneous day out turns into a weed-fuelled test of their bond. With hints of Clerks, not least in the gorgeous B&W photography and rough-hewn charm, Larnell delivers a smart film about growing up and an ode to his native St Louis with the three local actors giving performances full of great natural appeal.

Thursday 08 October 6:30pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
Saturday 10 October 2:45pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7

The Endless River
In a small South African town, a man returns home from a four-year prison sentence. Tiny, his wife, finds herself agonising over their inability to reconnect. Meanwhile, on the other side of town Gilles, a French ex-pat is devasted by the brutal murder of his wife and young children. United in their suffering, Tiny and Gilles form an unlikely bond, turning to each other for help and companionship. While the gorgeous opening credits feel like a homage to a classic Hollywood western, Oliver Hermanus’ third feature (following the acclaimed Shirley Adams and Beauty) soon proves to be something far more thought-provoking. Defiantly ambiguous in its storytelling and consistently surprising in its aesthetic choices, The Endless River is undeniably demanding. However, thanks to the extraordinary central performances from Crystal-Donna Roberts and Nicolas Duvauchelle, along with Hermanus’ intelligent direction, such formal invention never eclipses the film’s devastating emotional impact.

Tuesday 13 October 2015 18:20 @ Curzon Mayfair Cinema
Thursday 15 October 2015 21:00 @Vue Cinema Islington

Fifty
Biyi Bandele’s follow-up to Half of a Yellow Sun is a riveting exploration of love and lust, power and rivalry, and seduction and infidelity, set in Africa’s most populous city, Lagos. It details a few pivotal days in the lives of four women at the pinnacle of their careers and revelling in the power and supposed wisdom that comes with age. Tola is a reality TV star whose marriage to lawyer Kunle never stood a chance, thanks to an unpleasant family secret. Elizabeth is a celebrated obstetrician whose penchant for younger men has estranged her from her daughter. 49-year-old Maria has an affair with a married man that causes explosive rifts in her social circle. And for Kate, her battle with a life-threatening illness has prompted an obsession with religion. Elegantly performed, featuring a vibrant, pulsating soundtrack and with Lagos evocatively filmed by Malcolm McLean, Fifty is a joy to watch.

Saturday 17 October 6:00pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Sunday 18 October 6:30pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Fresh Dressed
In this fascinating and lively directorial debut, Sacha Jenkins continues his chronicling of hip hop culture that began with his journalism in the 1990s, followed by his 2008 publication, ‘Piecebook: The Secret Drawings of Graffiti Writers’. Here, he tells the story of the colourful characters that emerged from urban roots to hustle the oversized pants and graffiti-emblazoned jackets from the New York discount stores and would go on to influence both the fashion world’s catwalks and middle America’s shopping malls. Channelled through an entertaining collage of original interviews, archive footage, gloriously ‘fresh’ stills and groove-inducing hip hop, Jenkins’ film connects the dots between music, style, self-expression and identity politics. Moving from pre-Civil War slavery to South Bronx in the 1970s and the super-connected niche cultures of today, Fresh Dressed is the story of freedom of expression as articulated by disenfranchised and oppressed peoples.

Saturday 17 October 6:30pm @ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
Sunday 18 October 3:00pm @ Picturehouse Central, Screen 1

Gold Coast (Guldkysten)
In 1836, young botanist Wulff Joseph Wulff is dispatched to the Danish colonies in Guinea (present-day southeast Ghana) to establish and oversee a coffee plantation. He is fuelled by naïve optimism and what he believes is a progressive mentality, but his troubling experience of colonial life radically challenges his very European complacency. Based on fact, but far from a traditional historical drama, both in style and content, writer/director Daniel Dencik’s story evolves through a series of richly textured dreamlike vignettes. Dencik employs a creative collision of fact and imagination to build a mesmerising picture of Wulff’s moral compass, thoughts and inner life. And Jakob Oftebro (Kon-Tiki) delivers an extraordinary and extreme performance as Wulff, by turns visceral, conflicted and heartbreaking. The addition of Angelo Badalamenti’s ethereal contemporary score further helps to bring a distinctive freshness to this powerful and ambitious feature debut.

Sunday 11 October 6:00pm @ Cineworld Haymarket, Screen 1
Tuesday 13 October 6:30pm @ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1
Thursday 15 October 12:00pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7

The Hard Stop
The Hard Stop is an intimate documentary revealing the story, away from all press coverage, of Mark Duggan’s friends and family following his death. He was shot and killed in a ‘Hard Stop’ police procedure in 2011, sparking the most violent riots in British history. For 28 months, director George Amponsah (The Fighting Spirit) filmed around Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, where Duggan grew up, capturing his family’s distress and focusing on two of his best friends, Marcus Knox and Kurtis Henville. We follow the men closely as they attempt to get on with their lives, look for a job, talk about the discrimination they experience on a daily basis and the impact Duggan’s death has had on the community. Duggan is present throughout, in peoples’ testimonies and news broadcasts. What emerges is a profoundly humane, thought-provoking and topical testament, which gives a voice to people who are rarely heard.

Saturday 17 October 8:45pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Sunday 18 October 3:45pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Lamb
This is an exquisite, multilayered directorial feature debut that unfolds amidst the breathtakingly beautiful mountains of Ethiopia. After the death of his mother, 9-year-old Ephraim is taken from his drought-stricken home by his father who places him in the care of relatives while he goes to look for work in Addis Ababa. Ephraim has his pet sheep Chuni for company and they are inseparable, spending all their time playing together. Ephraim’s uncle, a hard working peasant-farmer, is frustrated that Ephraim doesn’t seem to be good at anything. However, the situation turns against Ephraim when he is told that Chuni will be sacrificially slaughtered at the next religious feast. Distraught at this news, Ephraim decides that he must take drastic action to save his only friend, even if that means returning home. Lamb marks the arrival of a major new African filmmaker in Yared Zeleke.

Friday 09 October 6:30PM @ ICA Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 10 October 9:00pm @ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Mediterranea
Jonas Carpignano’s riveting feature debut is an ultra-topical tale of two young African men, Ayiva and Abas from Burkina Faso who, in search of a better life, make the difficult and dangerous trip across the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea to reach Italy. Needless to say, their destination is more problematic than the two friends imagined. The Calabrian community is hostile to immigrants who attempt to eke out an existence there, which eventually leads to violence and rioting. Played by a largely non-professional cast (many having experienced similar problems), Mediterranea is a powerful, strikingly shot and utterly believable film. Directed with verve and considerable aplomb by director Carpignano, the film was developed from his award winning short A Chianna, which also drew on real life events.

Friday 16 October 9:15pm @ Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 17 October 1:00pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Nasty Baby
Sebastián Silva’s Nasty Baby is one of the most original works of the year, by turns beguiling, seductive and confrontational. Successful artist Freddy (Silva) and his boyfriend Mo (Tunde Adebimpe) are happily ensconced in Brooklyn and preparing to have a baby with Freddy’s best friend Polly (Kristen Wiig). Silva quickly draws us into their world and we identify with their worries: how to impregnate Polly; what Mo’s conservative family make of it; how to manage their increasingly disruptive neighbour. All against the backdrop of Freddy’s attempts to create a new work for a major gallery and struggling with the threat of deportation. These truthful and urgent cares are more than enough to make the film compelling. But the roguishly brilliant Silva hasn’t set out to deliver an absorbing ‘post-race’ drama about gay parenting. Instead, he plays a breathtaking and audacious late curve ball that is guaranteed to spark passionate post-screening debates.

Tuesday 13 October 8:45pm @ Cineworld Haymarket, Screen 1
Thursday 15 October 8:45pm @ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1

Necktie Youth
For his directorial debut, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer delves into the world of contemporary Johannesburg’s privileged youth. He plays Jabz, a twentysomething slacker who hangs out with best friend September in their uptown neighbourhood. They embark on a drug and alcohol-fuelled spree – their way of dealing with the circumstances that led to their friend’s live-streamed suicide a year before. Beautifully shot in black and white, Necktie Youth avoids the stereotypes that often undermine the country’s cinematic output, instead presenting a refreshing portrait of the ‘born frees’ – the generation born since 1990 and after the fall of Apartheid. Though their parents fought for or experienced the struggle against that regime, these youths are ill-equipped to handle the tragedy that blows apart their relatively sheltered lives. Winner of the Best South African Film and Best Director awards at the Durban International Film Festival, this is a promising film from a major new talent.

Friday 16 October 9:00pm   @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
Sunday 18 October 4:00pm @ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

Red Leaves (Alim adumim)
This marvellous first feature by Tel Aviv-based Ethiopian director Bazzi Gete tells the story of Meseganio, an immigrant who has been living in Israel for almost 30 years. After the death of his wife, he announces to his family that he will be selling his house and living with them. A stubborn patriarch, Meseganio is used to having everything done his way, so he is angry and hurt when his hard-line traditional values are challenged. He clashes with his daughter-in-law when she stands up to him and is shocked that his teenage granddaughter has a non-Ethiopian boyfriend. What makes this portrait of a man out of time with the world so compelling is Debebe Eshetu’s central performance. Scrupulously watched by Eddan Sasson’s camera – often in extreme close up to capture his anguish and outrage – Eshetu perfectly captures Meseganio’s inability to understand his children or exercise any power over them.

Thursday 08 October 9:15pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3
Monday 12 October 6:30pm @ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Sembène!
This incisive documentary chronicles the life of the internationally acclaimed filmmaker, considered by many to be the father of African cinema. Ousmane Sembène was a self-taught novelist and filmmaker. His ambition was to make films that would reach a vast African audience, from the illiterate to the educated. He dropped out from school when he was in the fifth grade and left Senegal, embarking on a journey that took him to Marseille where he worked as a docker. It was following an accident and the subsequent months lain in bed that Sembène began writing. From there he attended the Gorky Film Institute in Moscow and shortly after directed his first short film. Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman’s film details Semebène’s transformation into a world class filmmaker, through personal recollection, archive footage and the magnificent films he made. It is a fitting tribute to one of cinema’s great pioneers and storytellers. The director’s stunning feature debut Black Girl is also screening in the LFF.

Wednesday 07 October 8:45pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT3
Thursday 08 October 3:30pm @ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Stretch and Bobbito: Radio that Changed Lives
In 1990, Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia started broadcasting on New York’s WKCR. The pair filled the airwaves with their intense passion for Hip Hop, uniquely infectious chemistry and sense of humour. Presenting exclusive demo tapes and live in-studio freestyles from a range of artists who were unsigned at the time but now read like a roll call who’s who of the hip hop world, the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show rapidly became a rally cry for rap. Their audience ranged from kids from the streets, the prison community and downtown fashionistas. It is a personal account of the show through its halcyon days, featuring previously unreleased footage and contributions from Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, Big Pun, Rosie Perez, Busta Rhymes, Eminem, Q-Tip, Jay Z and many more. This is simply a must for any fan of hip hop.

Thursday 15 October 9:00pm @ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 17 October 8:45pm @ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1

Tangerine
Fizzing and popping with the energy of as-it-happened classics like Before Sunset and Do the Right Thing, Sean Baker’s Tangerine, a tale of two transsexual hookers on Santa Monica Boulevard, could prove the sleeper hit of the year. On Christmas Eve, released from a brief stint in jail, Sin-Dee Rella meets her best friend Alexandra who reveals that her beau, Chester, has been cheating on her with a ‘white fish’ (a Caucasian female-born woman). The news propels the mercurial Sin-Dee to find Chester’s new girl and teach her a lesson. Remarkably, considering the richness of the bold, saturated colour and widescreen photography, Baker and his co-cinematographer, Radium Cheung filmed this on iPhone 5s, grabbing most scenes with just two cameras and dolly shots filmed from cycles. The result is a film of urgency and veracity, with charming performances from transgender non-actors Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. From donut shop to Hollywood dive bar, the comedy of hair pulling and bitch slapping gives way to something altogether more tender and unexpected: a film about female friendship and solidarity.

Friday 09 October 8:45pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7
Friday 09 October 9:15pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
Saturday 10 October 12:30pm @ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5

Tanna
Filmed on the remote island of Tanna in Vanuatu, this visually ravishing film tells the story of Wawu, a young woman who has fallen in love with her chief’s grandson, Dain. Despite their desire to marry, Wawa’s family forbid this union. When an inter-tribal war breaks out with a neighbouring community, her hand is unwittingly promised as part of the peace negotiations. With the threat of separation looming, Wawa and Dain abandon their homes in an attempt to be together, causing further upset between the warring clans. Based on the true story that took place in 1985, this is a stunningly photographed, evocative tale of two star-crossed lovers fighting the laws of ancient tradition and tribal custom. Working with an extraordinary cast of non-actors, acclaimed documentary filmmakers Martin Butler and Bentley Dean have made an arresting narrative debut, expanding on their previous work with indigenous communities, resulting in a truly special film.

Friday 16 October 9:15pm @ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
Sunday 18 October 3:30pm @ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile
Imagine living in a world with no radio, no stereos and no live music. It is difficult to contemplate, but that is exactly what happened in an area of Mali in 2012. Islamic Jihadists took control of Northern Mali and through a harsh interpretation of Sharia law they banned all forms of music. In a tragedy that constitutes nothing less than a crime against humanity for a country famous for its vibrant and colourful music, radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned and revered musicians faced torture, even death. For her feature debut, Johanna Schwartz intelligently captures the complexity and emotion of the life of musicians forced into exile and desperate to keep their music alive. The score was composed by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner and there is music from a variety of artists, including Khaira Arby, Fadimata ‘Disco’ Walet Oumar, Amkoullel and Moussa Sidi

Tuesday 13 October 6:15pm @ Picturehouse Central, Screen 1
Wednesday 14 October 6:30pm @ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

fiveFilms4freedom: Wednesday 25th March 2015

Today (Wednesday 25 March), fiveFilms4freedom becomes a 24-hour campaign asking people everywhere to watch a film together.


Showing support for freedom and equality everywhere.


The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, is asking people everywhere to watch a film together over the course of one single day as part of a 24 hour campaign #FiveFilms4Freedom.

fiveFilms4freedom is showing five short films from BFI Flare, the UK’s leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Film Festival, available to audiences around the world for the first time through BFI player, from 19–29 March 2015.

It is a chance for audiences, wherever they are, to enjoy a taster of LGBT cinema; to find out a little bit more about emerging LGBT filmmakers from around the world; and most importantly, to show support for freedom and equality everywhere. fiveFilms4freedom is produced in partnership with Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity

The five films represent a cross section of contemporary LGBT short film. The films are made by lesbians, gay men and transgender filmmakers, and range from sweet short stories about first love to documenting activism. They are polished, rough, funny, sad and inspiring and each has a different voice. The films are:

  • afternoon
    Click image to watch film

    An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag) Director Søren Green’s new short film is a sensitive exploration of nascent sexuality. Mathias and Frederik are two friends who spend an afternoon together; Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell Frederik that he is in love with him.

  • chance
    Click image to watch film

    Chance Jake Graf’s self-funded short film premieres at BFI Flare. It focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness as a chance encounter between Trevor and a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own past, forces both men to start to live again.

  • Code Academy Canadian writer and director Nisha Ganatra is best known as Producer/Director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. When searching for love in all the virtual places, Frankie, Libby and Sheridan of The Code Academy are their own worst enemy.
  • Morning Is Broken Director and writer Simon Anderson’s 2014 film is a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama set in the lush English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality at the end of his older brother’s wedding.
  • true-wheel
    Click image to watch film

    True Wheel Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for Detroits’ women, queer and transgender communities.


Watch a film today to show your support for fiveFilms4freedom.


 

BFI Flare Film Festival 2015 | Afrocentric films

A selection of afrocentric films at this years BFI Flare Film Festival which opens on Thursday. Here are our selections for the festival.

Including Kenyan film, ‘Stories of Our Lives‘ which gets its UK Premiere at the festival but sadly is already sold out.

Mo’Nique returns to the big screen in her first film since winning an Oscar for ‘Precious‘ in ‘Blackbird‘ a story based on Larry Duplechan’s Novel of the same title, with the films screeplay written by Brit Rikki Beadle-Blair.

The Starlite, one of New York’s pre-Stonewall gay bars – a black-owned and operated influential dance club, is celebrated in, ‘We Came To Sweat‘. Some of the disco sound originated at the bar, which is now under the threat of redevelopment.

Plus there’s another chance to see French film, ‘Girlhood‘ and the hottest black film in years, ‘Dear White People‘ as with its London Film Festival outing last year the tickets sold out within an hour.

The festival closes with the documentary, ‘Out To Win‘, looking at the experience of LGBT sportspeople working in professional sport, with contributions from Brit John Amaechi, and remembering Justin Fashanu.


19-29 March 2015.
50 feature films and over 100 short films. BFI Southbank.


Download the film Schedule here.


FEATURE FILMS


Blackbird

A gay boy in a deeply conservative Southern US town deals with the traumas of religious prejudice and coming out.

blackbird-002“Based on a 1986 Larry Duplechan novel, transposed to a Mississippi small town. Randy, a young black man, is wrestling unsuccessfully with his burgeoning sexuality. A member of his church choir, he has a tight cohort of school friends who seem more aware than he is of his sexuality. Meanwhile, at home Randy has to contend with his deeply religious mother (actress Mo’Nique from Precious), grief-stricken since his sister was mysteriously abducted. An unexpected encounter with a young actor and filmmaker changes things for Randy, but nothing runs that smoothly in this ripely melodramatic, emotionally engaging coming-of-age story, replete with plenty of sharp one-liners.” BFI

  • Mar 21, 2015 8:45 PM
  • Mar 23, 2015 1:50 PM

Girlhood Bande de filles

Céline Sciamma’s triumphant film explores of a young girl’s search for identity in the underprivileged suburbs of Paris.

girlhood-002“Céline Sciamma (Waterlilies and Tomboy) returns with this glorious coming of age drama about a quartet of young black girls growing up in the working class outskirts of Paris. Marieme is the eldest daughter of a single mother who works nights, leaving her with full responsibility for her younger sisters and an older brother so authoritarian that his behaviour borders on the abusive. At first a lonely, solitary figure among the young girls on her estate, Marieme is soon adopted by a sassy group, and the quartet find strength and power together in a community where rough boys dominate. Less overtly ‘L, B, or T’ than her previous work, Sciamma’s Girlhood is a nuanced examination of female friendship, gender dynamics and identity. Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ provides the backdrop to one of the year’s most electrifying, joyful scenes: ‘eye to eye, so alive, we’re like diamonds in the sky…’.” BFI

  • Mar 23, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 24, 2015 3:50 PM

Dear White People

The diversification of an all-black residence hall forces a group of African-American university students to take a stand.

dear-white-people-002“Sam White is frustrated. Everywhere she looks, she finds racial inequality and coded aggression at her elite university. Her radio show is rubbing people up the wrong way and her ex-boyfriend, the tormented son of the school’s dean, is her opponent in a student election campaign she thinks she will never win. When she does, Sam is forced to face the true complexity of the racial politics she espouses; a complexity that Lionel Higgins, a gay writer casually ridiculed by the black student union Sam runs, is already facing.” BFI

  • Mar 24, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 25, 2015 3:50 PM
  • Mar 28, 2015 1:30 PM

We Came to Sweat

Over 50 years of gay, black American heritage is at stake when this pre-Stonewall Brooklyn bar is threatened by redevelopment.

we-came-to-sweat-001“When a Brooklyn landmark, the black-owned and operated Starlite, is threatened with eviction by new landlords, its 50-year history as a pre-Stonewall gay bar and dance club is in peril. This film is a history of the club, its patrons and its staff, many of whom are also deserving of national treasure status. It’s not just in London that gentrification and rising property prices tempt landlords to sell to developers in the hope of making a fast buck. The community rallies around in protest, but is it enough? The history of the Starlite and its importance to the black gay community as a privileged space is underlined by the rich testimony from elders and family members for whom the venue is simply a part of their life. With a rich soundtrack of great music, reflecting the club’s influence on the creation of disco, the film is a warning to anyone who thinks their favourite gay bar is a permanent fixture.” BFI

  • Mar 24, 2015 8:50 PM
  • Mar 26, 2015 6:10 PM
  • Mar 27, 2015 6:10 PM

Stories of Our Lives

A visually stunning and tenderly wrought collection of stories about LGBTI lives in Kenya.

stories-of-our-lives-003“Two young women are in trouble for their ‘peculiar’ relationship; a farm hand is tormented when his crush begins courting a woman; a young DVD seller is intoxicated by the smoke and sounds of a clandestine gay bar. These are among the tales featured in this beautifully rendered collection of narratives from LGBTI Kenyans. Stories of Our Lives started out as an archival project by the multi-disciplinary Nest Collective, and the testimonies given have been tenderly wrought into funny, endearing – and at times heartbreaking – sketches. The quality and imagination achieved transcends the predictable but nevertheless disappointing response from the Kenyan government; after its Toronto premiere Stories of Our Lives was banned in the country for promoting homosexuality. That many of the actors are not themselves LGBT but were willing to participate at great personal risk is testament to the socially incisive and life-affirming vision of the project.” BFI

  • Mar 26, 2015 8:40 PM
  • Mar 28, 2015 11:45 AM
  • Mar 29, 2015 4:10 PM

Out to Win

Inspirational documentary charting the history of homosexuality in competitive sport, with interviewees including Martina Navratilova and Jason Collins.

out-to-win-JasonCollins1“In the competitive world of professional sports, homosexuality continues to be a big issue. So big that it seems no-one wants to talk about it. With so many athletes afraid that coming out will mark the end of their careers, there is a dearth of proud LGBT sportspeople representing the community and empowering future generations. Thankfully, some brave individuals have spoken out about their sexuality and paved the way for change. Told through the words of these pioneers, Malcolm Ingram’s inspirational documentary charts the history of homosexuality in sport, highlighting the triumphs, and indeed the tragedies, of those fearless forerunners, and profiling the victories of present day stars” BFI

  • Mar 29, 2015 6:00 PM
  • Mar 29, 2015 8:45 PM

SHORT FILMS


The View from Here | Mar 20, 2015 4:00 PM | Mar 21, 2015 11:50 AM
Whether you’re in your teens or well into adulthood, coming out can be one of the most terrifying (and perhaps most thrilling) things you’ll ever have to do, as demonstrated in this poignant collection of short films.

The Return  La Retour – A teenage boy must make sense of the world around him after he learns the truth about his older brother.

Director Yohann Kouam | France 2013 | 22 mins

Pleasures and Perils of Desire | Mar 23, 2015 4:00 PM
A rich haul of shorts about yearning for, finding, and remembering encounters of a sexual nature.

Caged  Uitgesproken – A group of friends hanging out at a sports ground discover one of their number is gay, but it seems he might not be the only one.

Director Lazlo Tonk, Dylan Tonk | The Netherlands 2013 | 13 mins

T/Here I Am | Mar 22, 2015 1:50 PM  | Mar 25, 2015 8:45 PM
Take up space, stand your ground, have no fear of not fitting in – these shorts explore what it means to be a queer body in a strange world.

Black Is Blue – A young homeless transman works as a security guard and is called to shut down a party his ex was rather enjoying.

Director Cheryl Dunye | USA 2014 | 16 mins

Dark Rivers of the Heart | Mar 27, 2015 3:50 PM | Mar 28, 2015 1:20 PM
Sinister desires become violent actions in this often disturbing programme of shorts.

Beyond Plain Sight – A seemingly charming young man hides a very dark and disturbing secret in his South London flat.

Director Joseph a. Adesunloye | UK 2014 | 13 mins

Fragile Things | Mar 29, 2015 12:45 PM
A collection of UK short films – From first encounters to break-ups, via autograph hunters, hand-jobs and a vision of Christ, this selection of homegrown narrative shorts explores infatuation and desire.

When Fragile Things Break – An explosive drama about dreams and hearts breaking.

Director Shanika Warren-Markland | UK 2013 | 7 mins

Mingmong – Annalise and Jude collect autographs together but Annalise’s mind is on other things.

Director Richard Turley | UK 2013 | 12 mins

Followers – Lynn has a vision of the face of Christ on a pair of swimming trunks.

Director Tim Marshall | UK 2014 | 12 mins

Italian Films at the BFI London Film Festival

A few Italian films to catch at this year’s London Film Festival. The Festival is running from the 8th-19th October 2014.

Check out our other recommended films: Jammie & ECs films to see at the London Film Festival

leopardiLEOPARDI – Director Mario Martone
Wednesday 8th, 6.00pm – NFT3
Thursday 9th, 6.00pm – VUE ISLINGTON 1
Strand: Love (135 mins)
Mario Martone’s Leopardi illuminates the life and soul of one of Italy’s most significant and influential poets. From his early days at home under his father’s watchful gaze, through to  leaving home and discovering that he does not fit into Italy’s high society, to love affairs in Florence followed by an immersion into a cholera ridden working class Naples, this sweeping, detailed film demonstrates the interrelation between the life and literature of this most freethinking of iconoclasts, strikingly portrayed by Elio Germano.
 Screens with INTO THE WAR (L’ENTRATA IN GUERRA), dir. Roland Sejko, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
i-can-quit-whenever-i-wantI CAN QUIT WHENEVER I WANT – Director Sydney Sibilia
Saturday 11th, 12.15pm – CURZON MAYFAIR
Wednesday 15th, 8.45pm – ODEON COVENT GARDEN
Strand: Laugh (100 mins)
When Pietro is laid off from his university job, he decides to start up his own business. He recruits a group of his fellow down-at-heel university professors to enter the drug trade, albeit dealing only drugs made with yet to be banned substances. But their naivety is soon exposed as they fall foul of those on both sides of the law. Sydney Sibilia’s debut film is a comedy of misadventure with a smart, topical edge.
Screens with PANIC (PROGETTO PANICO), dir. Paola Randi, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).Paola Randi will be introducing her film, as well as the 9×10 anthology on Saturday 11th.
black-soulsBLACK SOULS – Director Francesco Munzi
Saturday 11th, 8.45pm – CINE LUMIERE
Tuesday 14th, 3.15pm – VUE7
Strand: Thrill (103 mins)
An adaptation of a novel by Gioacchino Criaco, itself based on a true story, Francesco Munzi’s Black Souls puts a new spin on the Italian family feud, playing out like a contemporary western. When a minor spat triggers the hostility of a rival clan, three brothers from Southern Italy who are steeped in the life of the ‘Ndrangheta (the Calabrian equivalent of the Mafia), are caught up in a spiral of events and emotions that escalate out of their control, heading towards tragedy.
 Screens with BORDERLANDS, dir. Alina Marazzi, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
wondersTHE WONDERS – Director Alice Rohrwacher
Monday 13th, 8.30pm – VUE5
Wednesday 15th, 8.45pm – HACKNEY PICTUREHOUSE
Strand: Journey (110 mins)
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Alice Rohrwacher’s second film (after her critically acclaimed 2011 debut Corpo Celeste) tells the beguiling story of a summer in the life of 12 year old Gelsomina, whose family – exiled from modern life in rural Italy – is disrupted by the arrival of a bizarre TV talent show from the city, and a delinquent German boy from a rehabilitation program, who comes to work on their bee-keeping farm.
Screens with UNA CANZONE, dir. Alice Rohrwacher, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
hungry-heartsHUNGRY HEARTS  – Director Saverio Costanzo
Tuesday 14th, 6.30pm – VUE5
Thursday 16th, 6.15pm – CINE LUMIERE
Friday 17th, 12.30pm – NFT1
Strand: Love (109 mins)
Winner of the Best Actor (Adam Driver) and Best Actress (Alba Rohrwacher) Awards at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Hungry Hearts tells the story of Jude (American) and Mina (Italian), who after a chance meeting in a New York restaurant washroom, embark on a whirlwind romance, marry and swiftly become pregnant. But their charming romance gives way to something darker and more disturbing when Mina’s obsessive protectiveness of her newborn son begins to endanger his life, and Jude has to act quickly, pushing both newlyweds to their emotional limits.
Screens with MY DUTIES AS BRIDE (IL MO DOVERE DI SPOSA), dir. Claudio Giovannesi, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).
dinner-theTHE DINNER – Director Ivano De Matteo
Thursday 16th, 12.00pm – VUE5
Saturday 18th, 2.35pm – CURZON MAYFAIR
Strand: Dare (92 mins)
Two brothers meet regularly for dinner at a fashionable restaurant with their wives. Their teenage children are also close school friends. One fateful night, the children are out, and something horrific happens, leaving the families with a terrible moral dilemma. The polite chitchat and civility of dinner disintegrate, as both couples demonstrate how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love. An enthralling psychological drama based on Dutch author Herman Koch’s best-selling thriller ‘Our Children’.
Screens with TUBIOLO AND THE MOON (TUBIOLO E LA LUNA), dir. Marco Bonfanti, from the 9×10 anthology (10 mins).

*** Locations ***

  • CINÉ LUMIÈRE
    Institut Français / 17 Queensberry Place, London, SW7 2DT
  • COV. GARDEN
    Odeon Covent Garden / 135 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AH
  • HPF
    Hackney Picturehouse / 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE
  • ISLINGTON
    Vue Islington / 36 Parkfield Street, London N1 0PS
  • MAYFAIR
    Curzon Mayfair / 38 Curzon Street, London, W1J 7TY
  • NFT
    BFI Southbank / Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT
  • VUE
    Vue West End / 3 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7AL

London film Festival 2014 | Afrocentric films

The programme for the BFI London Film Festival is now available. I had a pow-wow with film critic EC Forde, and between us, we’ve come up with a list of the Afrocentric films you can see at this years London film Festival.


8-19 October 2014.
248 films. 17 venues. 12 days. One festival.


The festival opens on October 8th with The Imitation Game, a film on the life of British mathematician and cryptanalyst, Alan Turing. It closes on Sunday, 19th with Fury, about a World War Two American tank crew who find themselves behind enemy lines.

Of the films listed below EC’s personal highlights would be, in no particular order:

We’ve almost certainly missed a few titles so definitely explore the festival site for yourself: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff.


Afrocentric Films (click link for full details of films)



Other Films of Interest (click link for full details of films)


We’ve almost certainly missed a few titles so definitely explore the festival site for yourself: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff.

Check out our Schedule of when the films are, and download the PDF Schedule.JampotMedia Timetable of Afrocentric films

Tickets go on sale from Thursday 18 September.
(Priority booking opens at 10am for Cinema Members on 11 September and for Champion Members on 10 September.)

Check out the full list of films in the BFI’s Digital Brochure.


 

 

 

 

 

LFF 2014: OUR LIST – Afrocentric & other films

The programme for the BFI London Film Festival is now available. I had a pow-wow with film critic EC Forde, and between us, we’ve come up with this list of the Afrocentric films you can see at this years London film Festival.

8-19 October 2014. 248 films. 17 venues. 12 days. One festival.

Download our Schedule of these films over the festival.


 Afrocentric Films


African Metropolis
African Metropolis

African Metropolis
An exciting journey across six African countries in six short films, highlighting the issues facing peoples seemingly worlds apart, yet with so much in common.

  • Oct 18, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 6:15 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

August Winds
August Winds

August Winds
A sensual teen romance unfurls in a remote Brazilian village threatened by global warming in this haunting feature debut.

  • Oct 11, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 15, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Beti and Amare
Beti and Amare

Beti and Amare
In 1930s Ethiopia, a young woman escapes Mussolini’s army and is almost attacked by bandits, were it not for the arrival of an otherworldly presence whom she befriends.

  • Oct 18, 2014 3:30 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Dear White People
Dear White People

Dear White People
Channeling the early work of Spike Lee, this smart college campus comedy explores contemporary race issues in post-Obama America.

  • Oct 9, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 10, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

Difret
Difret

Difret
A young Ethiopian woman faces the death penalty for killing the man who raped her until a brave lawyer decides to take on her case.

  • Oct 18, 2014 2:45 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
  • Oct 19, 2014 3:45 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

Fishing Without Nets
Fishing Without Nets

Fishing Without Nets
Tense, muscular filmmaking that tells the gripping story of a young Somali fisherman reluctantly caught up in piracy.

  • Oct 14, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema
  • Oct 19, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Girlhood
Girlhood

Girlhood
Céline Sciamma’s triumphant third film is a beautifully observed examination of a young girl’s search for identity in the underprivileged suburbs of Paris.

  • Oct 16, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 17, 2014 2:45 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
  • Oct 18, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema

Hard To Get
Hard To Get

Hard to Get
A compact, highly enjoyable and kinetic action thriller unfurls at breakneck speed in downtown Johannesburg.

  • Oct 15, 2014 6:15 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 17, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Honeytrap
Honeytrap

Honeytrap
A Brixton-set drama about 15-year-old girl whose desperate need for acceptance leads her to take part in a tragic act of violence.

  • Oct 17, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
  • Oct 18, 2014 3:15 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 7

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams
Filmed over five years, Steve James’s classic documentary epic charts the fortunes of two boys hoping to make it as basketball stars.

  • Oct 17, 2014 8:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Horse Money
Horse Money

Horse Money
Pedro Costa follows his Colossal Youth with a further showcase for Cape Verdean worker hero, Ventura – a haunting, poetic exploration of the night and Portuguese history.

  • Oct 16, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 18, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema

I, Afrikaner
I, Afrikaner

I, Afrikaner
A fascinating account of the life of a family of Afrikaaners who are attempting to cope with the dramatic changes that have taken place in their country over the last 20 years.

  • Oct 12, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
  • Oct 14, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Keep On Keepin' On
Keep On Keepin’ On

Keep On Keepin’ On
Music bridges the generation gap in this poignant documentary about the friendship between two jazz musicians.

  • Oct 8, 2014 8:45 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT1
  • Oct 9, 2014 3:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 10, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

My Friend Victoria
My Friend Victoria

My Friend Victoria
Adapted from Doris Lessing, Jean-Paul Civeyrac’s haunting drama explores race, class and identity in the story of two young, black Parisian women and their different destinies.

  • Oct 10, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Cine Lumiere Cinema
  • Oct 12, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 15, 2014 1:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Nas: Time Is Illmatic
Nas: Time Is Illmatic

Nas: Time is Illmatic
An absorbing and stylish documentary of one of hip hops’ defining albums.

  • Oct 9, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2
  • Oct 11, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Odeon Covent Garden, Screen 1

National Diploma
National Diploma

National Diploma
An account of life for young students in the Democratic Republic of Congo who face challenges beyond the curriculum.

  • Oct 11, 2014 8:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 15, 2014 1:00 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Second Coming
Second Coming

Second Coming
A family is shaken by an unexplained pregnancy in Debbie Tucker Green’s bold debut.

  • Oct 17, 2014 9:15 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 1
  • Oct 18, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 3:30 PM ~ Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2

Song From The Forest
Song From The Forest

Song From the Forest
An American musicologist’s life among the Bayaka pygmies is portrayed in this haunting documentary.

  • Oct 12, 2014 6:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT3
  • Oct 17, 2014 3:30 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1

Sunday Ball
Sunday Ball

Sunday Ball
Campo de jogo
The land of football, Brazil, and the love of this national sport is the subject of this passionate documentary, looking at the role it plays in the lives of ordinary Brazilians.

  • Oct 11, 2014 6:30 PM ~ ICA Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 12, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

Timbuktu
Timbuktu

Timbuktu
In Abderrahmane Sissako’s stunning new film, residents of a Mali town struggle to cope with the imposition of Sharia Law by radical Islamist invaders.

  • Oct 10, 2014 9:15 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 11, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

We Come As Friends
We Come As Friends

We Come as Friends
South Sudan is the focus of acclaimed filmmaker Hubert Sauper, as he uncovers the avarice in the fight over the country’s rich natural resources

  • Oct 16, 2014 8:30 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2
  • Oct 18, 2014 3:45 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

 


 Other Films of Interest


Charlie’s Country

Charlie's Country
Charlie’s Country

Veteran actor David Gulpili both co-wrote and stars in this powerful indictment of Australia’s treatment of Aborigines that is also a heartfelt character study.

  • Oct 9, 2014 9:00 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT1
  • Oct 11, 2014 3:00 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 1

The Dead Lands

The Dead Lands
The Dead Lands

The old world, myths and legends of ancient Māori tribes are explored in this exciting and exotic, action-packed coming-of-age adventure.

  • Oct 9, 2014 8:30 PM ~ Odeon Covent Garden, Screen 1
  • Oct 11, 2014 8:45 PM ~ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1

Flow

Flow
Flow

A portrait of raw creativity and the bruising challenges of success on the fringes of the Danish rap scene, starring Danish rapper Gilli.

  • Oct 18, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
  • Oct 19, 2014 1:00 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1

The Keeping Room

The Keeping Room
The Keeping Room

On the American frontier a young woman is forced to go to any means to defend her kin from the ravages of the barbaric outside world.

  • Oct 12, 2014 8:30 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 14, 2014 3:00 PM ~ Odeon West End, Screen 2
  • Oct 15, 2014 6:30 PM ~ Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1

Night Bus

Night Bus
Night Bus

A series of funny, touching and surprising encounters take place one night among the diverse passengers of a London night bus.

  • Oct 12, 2014 3:45 PM ~ Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 15, 2014 9:00 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 18, 2014 8:45 PM ~ BFI Southbank, NFT2

Ping Pong Summer

Ping Pong Summer
Ping Pong Summer

Like a time capsule straight outta 1985, Hip Hop has arrived and 13-year old Rad Miracle is about to have the summer holiday that will change everything!

  • Oct 15, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1
  • Oct 17, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Odeon Covent Garden, Screen 1

Tokyo Tribe

Tokyo Tribe
Tokyo Tribe

Sion Sono is here to blow your mind again, this time with an ingenious hybrid of Yakuza gang action and hip-hop musical!

  • Oct 9, 2014 9:00 PM ~  Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
  • Oct 11, 2014 6:15 PM ~ Rich Mix Cinema, Screen 1

War Book

War book
War book

A tense British political drama about a secret nuclear protocol from the 50s that’s put through its paces in the back rooms of Parliament to test real-world scenarios.

  • Oct 13, 2014 6:00 PM ~ Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5
  • Oct 18, 2014 12:15 PM ~ Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1

Tickets go on sale from Thursday 18 September.
(Priority booking opens at 10am for Cinema Members on 11 September and for Champion Members on 10 September.)

LFF 2014 Digital Brochure.

EAST END FILM FESTIVAL: 14-25th June 2014

The East End Film Festival kicks off this weekend from Saturday 14th June to Wednesday 25th June.  East End Film Festival

Here is my pick of films to catch over the festival:

 

Saturday 14th June

Hackney’s Finest 9pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
A crowd pleasing tale of mayhem and ineptitude in East London, Hackney’s Finest is a riotous, knowing comedy-thriller that pits a group of hopeless Hackney drug dealers against a group of corrupt policemen, Russian thugs & Welsh-Jamaican arms dealers. An irreverent tale of greed, corruption and the fight for survival it serves as a knowing antidote to the tired British gangster genre. Festival Link

Inna Vision Film School Screening2pm @ Genesis
Based in East London, the Inna Vision Film School works with adults with and without lived experience of mental health issues. Making a powerful, engaging short films, the participants touch on various aspects of mental health experiences, with a particular focus on African and Caribbean communities. Festival Link

This Ain’t No Mouse Music1pm @ Red Gallery (Part of the “Grits n’ Gravy” screenings: A Cinematic Celebration of the Deep South)
Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records, has sought out blues, zydeco, Cajun, tex-mex, klezmer and Appalachian bluegrass, recording artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins, Flaco Jiminez and Michael Doucet. Taking in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, family picnics and beer joints, with music from Ry Cooder, Richard Thompson, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal, immerse yourself with a life loving music obsessive. Festival Link

Sunday 15th June

Blue Caprice5.30pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
Many films claim to seriously explore the African American experience. But few manage it as powerfully, and to such harrowing ends, as Blue Caprice, Alexandre Moors’ psychological drama inspired by the ‘Beltway Sniper’ shootings that took place in 2002 in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.  Festival Link

Concerning Violence3pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
Göran Hugo Olsson (The Black Power Mixtape) returns with another powerful filmic retrospective conjured from the archive. Inspired by Frantz Fanon’s book The Wretched of the Earth, Olsson’s film takes a look back on Africa’s independence and liberation movements, and the uprisings that led to much of Africa’s decolonisation. Festival Link

Tuesday 17th June

Angels in Exile6.30pm @ Rich Mix
A challenge to pervading myths about street children, Angels in Exile folds back the violent and often graphic image of homeless youth to show children facing a cycle of violence, rape, abductions and murder. The street kids of Durban, South Africa mostly have no way out, and director Billy Raftery commendably embeds himself within the community, many of whom are huffing glue as a means of temporary escape, and who are in turn facing addiction and a life of crime. Made over the course of 8 years. Festival Link

Family Reunion8.45pm @ Genesis
“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.” – Arthur Miller
It’s that time of life; Dad, recently widowed, is now mourning the passing of his best friend, ‘Uncle’ Bernie. Joined by his adult children, Karen and Jason, the three return from the day’s funeral back to their family home. Cold and without the warmth their home once knew, Karen and Jason assure Dad of the imminent loving, family reunions ahead. Festival Link

Wednesday 18th June

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz9pm @ Genesis
Programming prodigy, information activist and tragic casualty of the crackdown on so called internet ‘piracy’, Aaron Swartz is a true internet celebrity, in the positive sense of the term. From his role in developing RSS to co-founding Reddit, he lay claim to being a genuine pioneer in the digital realm. But he was also a political campaigner, one whose dream of a better world meant access to information; a cause that would eventually land him in a two year legal battle for downloading academic material at MIT. Faced with 35 year jail term and punitive fines, he took his own life at 26, and promptly became a symbol for those fighting for a free web. Festival Link

White Shadow6pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
In Tanzania, witch doctors believe that albino body parts bring health, posterity and cures for dangerous illnesses. Within this environment is young albino boy Alias, who witnesses his father’s murder and is promptly sent to the city, where he lives with his uncle Kosmos, and becomes a hustling young businessman, selling DVDs and mobile phones. But despite some happy moments, not least potentially falling in love, Alias is locked in a fight for survival. Festival Link

Thursday 19th June

Leave to Remain6.30pm @ Genesis
Social discrimination and adjusting to life in the UK are given powerful, emotive force in Leave to Remain, the debut feature from lauded television director Bruce Goodison. A young Afghan boy arrives at a refugee home, and encounters a society and a system that is seemingly rigged against him, and where the story he tells is seemingly more important than the truth. Festival Link

Saturday 21st June

One Rogue Reporter4.00pm @ Rio
Recovering tabloid hack Rich Peppiatt has fallen out with the rag trade, it’s safe to say. Having mercilessly turned on the tabloid industry during the Leveson Inquiry, accusing the industry of both Islamaphobia and fitting the facts to match the story, here he turns his hand to filmmaking, in One Rogue Reporter  he delivers a mercilessly satirical dissection of his former trade. Festival Link

Sunday 22nd June

Drowned City6.30pm @ Genesis
Transmitting illegally on London’s radio airwaves can lead to an unlimited fine and a jail sentence. Filmed over a 3 year period, Drowned City follows 3 pirates with very different stories. A story of clandestine climbs up telephone pylons and tower-block rooftops, it’s an exploration of why people take dangerous risks just to play illegal music. Jay, who began his career aged just 13, left the scene by choice at 32 without ever being caught, whereas Sam Supplier’s pirate career was ended by a 2005 police raid, a huge fine and 2 years on bail. A film about aspiration, London, music and dwindling cultural scene, one which may soon only be preserved by ex-pirates telling tales about serving their communities through illegal acts. Festival Link

Irons In The Fire7pm @ Genesis
‘Irons in the Fire’ follows five inspirational young people, facing up to struggle as they conquer success. This Film Festival Premiere delivers a powerful story of how five young people, overcome adversity to reach their current success. Elevated by Idris Elba’s narration and George the Poet’s punchy & enlivening words, the film explores the importance of maintaining your own identity whilst appreciating the opportunities that exist for young people. Festival Link

Payday7pm @ Genesis
Narrated by George the Poet, PAYDAY is a unique performance documentary, which delves into the finances and lives of four twenty-somethings. The film focuses on the contrasting lives of our diverse cast from the moment they receive their ‘payday’ money to how they go on to spend, save or squander it. Festival Link

 Jammie x