Roll out the red carpet: LFF 2015 programme revealed
Date posted: 01.09.2015
This morning saw the official launch of the programme for this year's BFI London Film Festival. Spanning 238 films from 57 countries across 16 London cinemas, this year's titles boast a scintillating mix of highly-anticipated hits and undiscovered gems which are sure to set the capital alight during the 12 days of the festival next month.
We're proud to have helped several of the festival highlights make their way to the silver screen this year, from the bright lights of the Centrepiece Gala, to the inspiring and unique work produced through our production and funding schemes.
We're proud to be backing this year's Centrepiece Gala, sponsored by the Mayor of London. This year will see the first red carpet outing for The Lady in the Van, Nicholas Hytner's adaptation of Alan Bennett's 1999 hit West End play of the same name. Starring Maggie Smith, the film follows the real-life story of Miss Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman who parked the van she lived in opposite Bennett's house for 15 years.
It's a London story through and through, with filming locations in the capital including Waterloo Bridge, St Charles Square in Kensington & Chelsea, St Augustine's Church Hall in Haringey, Regents Park Road and Kingsland Road, as well as Alan Bennett's actual house and street in Gloucester Crescent.
This year's festival sees the return of the London Calling shorts package, which showcases some of the best shorts from the capital's emerging filmmaking talent. Drawn from the films produced through this year's London Calling and London Calling Plus schemes, this package of seven shorts spans a diverse range of stories, places and themes.
The trials and tribulations of teenage attractions take centre stage in Balcony, which sees first love blossom in an area rife with racial tensions, and Rainbow Party, a controversial drama about teenage sexuality and peer pressure. We see young people facing tricky situations in Above, which follows a teenage mother as she is released from prison, Japanese Samurai Sword, a high-octane thriller about family ties and gangland allegiances, and Jacked, which stars This is England's Thomas Turgoose as a wayward car thief. Retro technology exposes a compelling true story in mixed media documentary 160 Characters, while The Girl in the Dress stars comedian Nick Helm as a Henry VIII living statue who happens across a woman in a wedding dress hours before the big event.
Fans of artist filmmaking are well catered for this year, with three of our FLAMIN Productions projects in the festival programme.
Sarah Turner's feature-length Public House will screen in the Documentary Competition. This hybrid-genre documentary focuses its attentions on the Ivy House pub in Peckham, which became a symbol of the fight against gentrification when it was taken over by the community following its sale to property developers in 2012. Turner uses a heady mix of to-camera testimonies and minimalist opera to celebrate the community spirit which saved this neighbourhood hub.
You can also catch Beatrice Gibson's Crippled Symmetries, which will be screening in the Experimenta strand's 'Scores' package. Inspired by American modernist William Gaddis' epic modernist novel J R, it explores and satirises ideas of identity, society and abstraction.
Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey's Dream English Kid 1964-1999 AD screens in the same strand as part of a special event surrounding the artist's body of work.