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London Film Festival 2019
Institute of Contemporary Arts
2 – 13 October

From 2 to 13 October, the world’s best new films come to London. The BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express is your chance to discover the Oscar winners of the future, the most thrilling new talent from across the globe and beautifully restored treasures from the archives. Every feature is being shown in the UK for the first time: films don’t get fresher than this! With 345 films to choose from, there’s a lot to explore, and each year hundreds of leading directors, writers and actors join us on stage to introduce their films and take part in audience Q&As. 

Get your tickets for the 2019 BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express from 12 September at bfi.org.uk/lff or call 020 7928 3232 (10:00 – 20:30 daily).

Aged 16–25? Find out how to get £5 tickets for the #LFF.

Wednesday 2 October, 6:30pm
Prepare to have your pants charmed off by this quirky freeform journey through a Seoul beset by mysteriously appearing sinkholes – all narrated by a catfish.

Wednesday 2 October, 8:50pm
After the funeral of Vasil’s wife, the belief that she has phoned from beyond the grave leads to a journey both touching and absurd.

Thursday 3 October, 6:15pm
The lingering illiteracy, patriarchal power relations and sexual taboos of post-dictatorship Portugal are laid bare in this humorous and sex-positive docudrama with a feminist soul.

Thursday 3 October, 8:50pm
Anna Eborn’s dreamy documentary details six teenagers coming of age over the course of one year whilst marooned in Transnistra, a Soviet-style breakaway republic sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine.

Friday 4 October, 1:00pm
Join a selection of practitioners working with the moving image to discuss the issues that matter to both artists and audiences.

Friday 4 October, 6:30pm
Produced by Michel Franco, this gripping tale focuses on construction site workers who take matters into their own hands when their bosses ignore their requests.

Friday 4 October, 8:45pm
Noura and Lassad’s delicate love story turns into a nightmare when Noura’s husband Sofiane is unexpectedly released from prison, days before their divorce is finalised.

Saturday 5 October, 1:15pm
An aspiring teen gymnast’s world is turned upside down with the arrival of the half-brother she never knew she had.

Saturday 5 October, 3:30pm
A man who wakes up to discover he has undergone a transformation takes a revelatory journey to see if ancestral tradition has a place in modern life.

Saturday 5 October, 6:10pm
An intriguing coming-of-age tale is presented through the allegorical prism of an environmental incident.

Saturday 5 October, 8:20pm
Multiple award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney returns with a fascinating exploration of the contemporary Russian political landscape and a portrait of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Sunday 6 October, 1:00pm
Pailin Wedel’s award-winning documentary is an emotional chronicle of parents doing what they believe is best for their child, no matter what the cost.

Sunday 6 October, 3:30pm
We’re delighted to welcome back Kim Longinotto to the BFI London Film Festival.

Sunday 6 October, 6:00pm
Argentinian actor Romina Paula meditates on motherhood, identity and relationships in this enticing combo of real life and fiction.

Sunday 6 October, 8:20pm
A young woman with cerebral palsy strikes out for independence with the help of a sex worker in this sensational Japanese debut.

Monday 7 October, 3:00pm
James Norton stars as Welsh journalist Gareth Jones whose 1930s visit to Soviet Ukraine uncovered the truth of Stalin’s state-sponsored famine and reputedly inspired George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Monday 7 October, 6:15pm
From José Luis Torres Leiva, one of the true poets of independent Latin-American cinema, comes an assured and compassionate meditation on landscape and the human condition.

Monday 7 October, 8:30pm
An intensive drama about a pre-pubescent girl who actually crashes Germany’s child and welfare system whilst on her quest for love and security.

Tuesday 8 October, 3:15pm
A lifelong friendship is tested by tragedy in this atmospheric and intense first feature from acclaimed British shorts director Fyzal Boulifa.

Tuesday 8 October, 6:15pm
Lupita Nyong’o shines in a delirious zom-com that guarantees you’ll never listen to Taylor Swift in the same way again.

Tuesday 8 October, 8:45pm
This beautifully shot feature debut, winner of the Berlinale Best Documentary Award, couldn’t be timelier for Sudan.

Wednesday 9 October, 3:30pm
A hypnotic and elusive French thriller weaves together the stories of various individuals connected with the disappearance of a woman, her car found abandoned on a remote mountain roadside.

Wednesday 9 October, 6:15pm
The notions of motherhood and the maternal care of a young girl are the focus of this powerful and poignant drama, set in a women’s refuge in Argentina.

Wednesday 9 October, 8:40pm
The matriarch of the Marcos dynasty hopes to see her maternal delusions validated and political power restored, while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy.

Thursday 10 October, 1:00pm
The story of a fishing village in thrall to mysterious sea creatures makes for a spellbinding feature debut from Shahad Ameen.

Thursday 10 October, 3:30pm
Fleabag meets Hong Sangsoo in this funny and savage film that stars its director, Ga-young Jeong, as a woman without boundaries.

Thursday 10 October, 6:15pm
Each year, hundreds of thousands of Filipino women train to become domestic workers abroad. This quietly gripping and often startling documentary shows us how.

Thursday 10 October, 8:45pm
A teenage girl’s habitual fantasies have unforeseen consequences in Svetla Tsotsorkova’s sensitive take on the apparently mundane lives of a mother and her two daughters.

Friday 11 October, 12:45pm
Veteran documentarist Patricio Guzmán completes his trilogy about Chile’s troubled past, meditating on how the Andes shaped its sense of identity.

Friday 11 October, 3:00pm
Ala Eddine Slim’s mesmerising second feature is as bold in its audio-visual wonder as it is audacious in its challenge to conventional narratives.

Friday 11 October, 5:30pm
The Traitor
Italian maestro Marco Bellocchio’s bravura epic gangster odyssey dramatises the extraordinary real life story of Tommaso Buscetta, the first major Camorra boss to turn state’s informant.

Friday 11 October, 8:30pm
Alfre Woodard is quietly devastating as a weary prison warden presiding over her twelfth execution, in this Sundance-winning death row drama.

Saturday 12 October, 12:30pm
This Thai production is the first film to dramatise 2018’s astonishing rescue of the Wild Boars football team from Tham Luang cave.

Saturday 12 October, 3:10pm
Gentrification hits working-class China and a Sichuan Opera troupe struggle to survive in this vivid drama with fantasy flourishes, portraying tradition’s battle against time.

Saturday 12 October, 5:45pm
Portuguese maestro Pedro Costa returns with another poetic portrait of Lisbon’s Cape Verdean community, focusing on one woman’s sorrows and survivor spirit.

Saturday 12 October, 8:40pm
In her ambitious debut, Mariko Minoguchi shifts seamlessly between déjà vu psychodrama, romantic weepie and punchy thriller, constantly playing with the notion of destiny versus chance.

Sunday 13 October, 12:15pm
Observing locals and visitors creates a highly original portrait of the Thai tourist town of Krabi in this collaboration between award-winning directors Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers.

Sunday 13 October, 3:00pm
Reflecting on the legacy of Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture, Ouvertures follows a collective’s process of translating Édouard Glissant’s play Monsieur Toussaint from French to Creole.

Sunday 13 October, 6:00pm
Coup 53
Award-winning director Taghi Amirani’s decade-long investigation into the 1953 CIA/MI6-led coup that overthrew Iran’s democratic Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh is a captivating tour-de-force.