As the dust settles on a whirlwind fashion month, October ushers in a different kind of artistic celebration in the heart of the capital. In parallel to the upcoming glamour of the annual Frieze Fair in Regent’s Park which commemorates 20 years of bringing together a dizzying array of contemporary art, the BFI London Film Festival celebrates its own 67th Birthday.

This year, the festival boasts an impressive lineup of 525 titles from 92 countries, a testament to its commitment to celebrating great filmmaking in a myriad of forms. From features and shorts by new and established talent to television and immersive works showcasing the newest XR technologies (that’s extended reality in layman's terms) –it's a cinephile's delight!

The festival kicked off in style with a screening of the highly anticipated psychological thriller SALTBURN, directed by Brit Emerald Fennell, a triple threat in acting, filmmaking, and writing, and starring rising talents Jacob Elordi (who plays troubled heartthrob Nate in cult series Europhia) and Barry Keoghan (who stars in the latest season on Netflix’s Top Boy). Other stand-outs in the programme include Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark comedy Poor Things, which debuted earlier in August at the Venice Film Festival, Sofia Coppola’s buzzy biopic Priscilla, based on the life of Priscilla Presley, and Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron, rumoured to be his final film. Also high up the pecking order is the triumphant return of Aardman Animations madcap poultry caper, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.

With a staggering 29 world premieres and 47 new films debuting, this year's expansive programme promises to push the boundaries of what "defines" film further than ever. Going beyond the confines of traditional screens, the festival explores the immersive potential of film with two free augmented reality (AR) walks along the Thames, as well as 14 other immersive projects scattered across diverse London venues. “[These] exciting and playful experiences encourage us to find a new relationship with our new hybrid reality,” said the festival’s Immersive Programme Lead, Ulrich Schrauth.

The curtains close on this screen extravaganza on the 15th of October, ending on another high note with The Kitchen directed by Kibwe Tavares and Daniel Kaluuya. For avid filmgoers and casual movie fans alike, the BFI festival flies the flag for cinematic excellence and showcases the very best of modern filmmaking.

Discover more here…

By Ella de Peretti