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BFI London Film Festival 2023
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Thursday 4 – Sunday 15 Oct 2023

The text BFI London Film Festival 2023 against a graphic of colored lights and geometric shapes

The 67th BFI London Film Festival (LFF) in partnership with American Express returns at the ICA with 36 screenings presented over twelve days. This year’s selection includes new works by established filmmakers as well as debut features; films widely acclaimed on the international festival circuit as well as new discoveries

Explore the full programme on the BFI website

Past Programmes:


A man stands inside a church door. He looks out to a foggy field in Vietnam

Thursday 4 Oct, 7pm
Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell
Cannes Caméra d’Or winner Thien An Pham’s debut locates us in stranger-than-fiction places in bustling Saigon and the picturesque Vietnamese countryside.

Two men playing muic, one on a black electric violin, the other on a KORG keyboard. Both are singing into mics, against a painted backdrop of a house inside the woods, by a river, a mountain range in the back

Thursday 5 Oct, 6:30pm
The Klezmer Project
This playful docufiction brings to light the profound beauty of klezmer music and its links to vanishing Jewish communities from Buenos Aires to Eastern Europe.

A line of men and a child wait to enter a cinema. Film stills and Arabic text decorate a board outside the building

Thursday 5 Oct, 9pm
Celluloid Underground
This poetic, dexterous film manifests Ehsan Khoshbakht’s intense and multifaceted relationship to cinema, inspiring us to reflect on our own trajectories.

A person with white makeup, black eyes, a head crown that looks like a papier mache beehive, and a white coral-like structure over

Friday 6 Oct, 8:45pm
Following the life of radical queer performance artist Gena Marvin in Russia, Agniia Galdanova’s documentary is every bit as bold and brave as its protagonist.

A young woman with blonde hair takes a selfie in the bathroom. Someone peeks in.

Saturday 7 Oct, 12:40pm
Do Not Expect Too Much of the End of the World
Radu Jude’s follow-up to the Golden Bear-winning Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is a pin-sharp, caustically funny critique of workplace culture and oppression.

Two women, with vivid orange and blonde hair, lie on deckchairs under a tree next to a lake, eyes closed

Saturday 7 Oct, 4pm
A desperate search, three deaths, two robberies and an escape are all thrown into the mix in Víctor Iriarte’s ambitious reimagining of film noir.

A scientific drawing of an axolotl in white, against a black background

Saturday 7 Oct, 6:30pm
A Common Sequence
Artist-filmmakers Mary Helena Clark and Mike Gibisser’s thought-provoking, visually striking work discovers a present that exists outside of time and space.

Saturday 7 Oct, 8:30pm
Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival, Angela Schanelec’s enigmatic adaptation of the Oedipus myth is a shapeshifting puzzle.

Two women stand in an amusement park, looking lost

Sunday  8 Oct, 4pm
Silver Haze
Dirty God director Sacha Polak and star Vicky Knight reunite for this daring drama about love, family and forgiveness, loosely inspired by Knight’s life.

An animation of three Vietnamese women rowing a boat down a grey stream lined with black wooden trees and grass

Monday 9 Oct, 4:15pm
Right Here, Right Now
What happens when our environments call us to action? Six pressing shorts exploring the consequences on our sense of self and place.

Monday 9 Oct, 6:30pm
That They May Face The Rising Sun
A rural Irish community in the 1980s is portrayed with quiet beauty in this heartfelt drama, based on acclaimed writer John McGahern’s novel.

A woman with short hair looks straight ahead, a tired expression

Tuesday 10 Oct, 3:15pm
A young Jewish woman’s relationship with a British policeman stationed in British Mandatory Palestine has lasting consequences for the region in this historical thriller.

Tuesday 10 Oct, 6pm
Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry
A fiercely independent woman’s tranquillity is disturbed by an unexpected affair in this wry, tender and understated drama from Georgia.

Tuesday 10 Oct, 8:30pm
The New Boy
Six years after his searing Western Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton returns to the Festival with an artful and fiercely political tale of spiritual world’s colliding.

Wednesday 11 Oct, 6:20pm
The Rye Horn
This evocative rural Galician-language drama provides a feminist gaze on a difficult decision a midwife is obliged to make.

Wednesday 11 Oct, 8:40pm
A teen actor’s quest to gain authenticity in her performance as a pregnant runaway becomes a rich study of Dominican girlhood.

Thursday 12 Oct, 3:30pm
Award-winning short filmmaker Daina O. Pusić’s feature debut is a bold, modern-day fairytale about a family navigating the unknown.

Thursday 12 October, 6pm
The Animal Kingdom
A father and son explore a post-human world of delirious transformations in a wildly distinctive science fiction-fantasy drama from French writer-director Thomas Cailley.

Thursday 12 Oct, 8:50pm
Little Girl Blue
Marion Cotillard gives an extraordinary performance in this formally daring docudrama, in which a film director investigates her mother’s life and untimely death.

A group of beachgoers watch a plane drop parachute packages across the water

Friday 13 Oct, 3:50pm
Red Island
French writer-director Robin Campillo offers a searching exploration of memory and politics, in this boldly conceived story of boyhood in 1970s Madagascar.

Friday 13 Oct, 6:30pm
James Benning chronicles a year in the life of Allensworth, the first town in California to be founded and governed by African Americans.

Friday 13 Oct, 8:30pm
Dialogues Between Past, Present and Future
These works put the past in conversation with both the present and the future, exploring recurring themes throughout different temporalities, often using first person narration or an engagement with archival materials.

Saturday 14 Oct, 1:45pm
This offbeat, subtly humorous work explores the slippage of reality and imagination, and the possibility of fiction for bringing new forms into being.

Saturday 14 Oct, 3:30pm
Everything Worthwhile is Done with Other People
Drawn from Zaman’s five-year collaboration with a group of Black & Global Majority women affected by incarceration, this engaging work interrogates the intersections of structural racism, classism and misogyny.

Saturday 14 Oct, 6:30pm
Fox Maxy’s feature debut is a lively, rhythmic journey using images from the filmmaker’s personal archives created over a nearly ten-year period.

Saturday 14 October, 8:45pm
For the Haunted and Possessed
Horror can reveal the insidious impositions afflicting society, ecology, geopolitical relations and our very bodies. The supernatural and occult can be a tangible force, bringing these oppressions into focus and directing us towards acts of resistance.

Sunday 15 Oct, 12pm
Víctor Erice and Pedro Costa in conversation
Join the filmmakers for an intimate discussion about their craft, following their new films at the festival.

Sunday 15 Oct, 1:40pm
It Can’t Be That Nothing Can Be Returned
In this digitally rendered speculative future, the dead from the war on Ukraine are given the choice to live again – to reckon with past trauma.

A statue of a moustachoid man being carried through the sky by yellow support

Sunday 15 Oct, 3:50pm
The Land is the Living Witness
How does land attest to colonial histories, liberation struggles and migration routes? These films consider the politics of space, and trace the journeys of people and objects across it.

Sunday 15 Oct, 6pm
Room in a Crowd
Rooted in Filipino realities – both concrete and cinematically reimagined – John Torres’ meticulous yet generous approach is a synthesis of the personal and the political.

Sunday 15 Oct, 8:30pm
First Feature Competition  
The Sutherland Award recognises the most original and imaginative directorial debut. Introduced in 1958 and named in honour of BFI Patron George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, recent winners include Manuela Martelli’s 1976, Laura Wandel’s Playground and Mati Diop’s Atlantics.