The 60th BFI London Film Festi

The 60th BFI London Film Festival

The festival runs from 5 – 16 October.

The 60th BFI London Film Festi

This year’s annual BFI London Film Festival, the 60th, opens with a provocative film called A United Kingdom about the love, marriage in 1948 and reign of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland, and Ruth Williams, a London office worker.

Their interracial union was seen at the time as a slap in the face to Malan’s apartheid South Africa, the UK colonial powers and above all, Seretse’s own people. Directed by Amma Asante, it stars David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Terry Pheto and Jack Davenport.

The festival closes with Free Fire, a thriller directed by Briton Ben Wheatley (High Rise) and with Johannesburg actor Sharlto Copley (District 9) in the leading role. I caught just one scene in the film when Copley is talking in a ripe South African accent and a voice asks: “What the f**k is that accent?” and the reply comes back: ”Swiss or something like that, I think.”!

There are other African-linked films including a documentary called Safari, shot on a hunting ranch in Namibia by the provocative Austrian director Ulrich Seidl turning his camera on fellow Austrians on holiday shooting beautiful and endangered animals.

As usual, there are hundreds of films to choose from at the festival (193 feature films, 52 documentaries and 144 shorts) from countries worldwide and playing at venues all over London.

The festival runs from Oct 5th to 16th and the programme is available here. Tickets can be bought online, by telephone (020 7928 3232) or in person at BFI Southbank from 11.00 to 20.30 daily.

Festival screenings will take place at BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Picturehouse Central, the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Haymarket, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – the Ritzy in Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse and Curzon Chelsea. There is also a 780 seat pop-up venue called the Embankment Garden Cinema screening festival films.


*A United Kingdom is screened on Wed 5th Oct at 19.00 at Odeon Leicester Sq and 19.45 at Vue 7 , as well as Thurs 6th at  11.30 at Odeon Leicester Sq and Tues 11th at 21.00 at  Curzon Mayfair.

*Free Fire is screened on Sun 16th at 19.00 at Odeon Leicester Sq and then at 20.00 at Embankment.

*Safari is screened on Tues 11th at 18.30 at ICA and Sat 15th at 18.15 at Curzon Mayfair.