We are proud to be partner venue of the 56th BFI London Film
Festival where you can experience this year’s best new films first.
The BFI London Film Festival champions creativity, originality, vision and imagination by annually showcasing the best of contemporary world cinema, documentaries, shorts, animation and experimental film. The festival is a highly regarded and anticipated event in Europe’s cultural calendar, attracting leading international filmmakers, industry professionals and the media together with large public audiences to London for a 12 day celebration of cinema.
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Today I will give you my personal favorite for the Official Competition and First Feature Competition.
FILL THE VOID is definitely a must see. Directed by Rama Burshtein, it is set in an Orthodox Hassidic community in Tel Aviv. This riveting debut feature tells the story of eighteen-year-old Shira, the youngest daughter of a deeply religious family who is about to be married off in a promising match to a young man she does not know. When an unexpected death occurs, grief engulfs the family and Shira’s impending liaison is postponed. Caught between an overwhelming sense of familial responsibility and the unfamiliar sensation of romantic yearning, Shira faces a choice that will ultimately define her future.
IN THE HOUSE directed by Francois Ozon. High-school literature teacher Germain lives a beige, repetitive life; his despair at the state of contemporary education has given way to apathy and he is barely conscious of his curator wife’s boredom. Unexpectedly, he discover a student in his class whose compelling sense of prose and voyeuristic eye for detail stir his long dormant enthusiasm for his work. The daring and talented Claude inveigles his way into the lives of a petit-bourgeois family, developing a particular fascination with the mother and serialises his encounters in essay form under the increasingly voracious guidance of Germain.
NO, starring Gael Garcia Bernal. Desperate to reveals Pinochet’s human rights atrocities to the world, the 16-party “client” is not immediately receptive to Saavedra’s proposal that their best chance at victory is to promise that “no” is simply a vote for “happiness”.
First Feature Competition
WADJDA is my personal favorite. If there is one movie to see during the festival, this is it. Indeed, to shoot a film on location in a country where cinemas themselves have been banned for over thirty years is some kind of achievement for any director. When that filmmaker also happens to be a woman, in a country where it is illegal for women to drive let alone direct, makes Haifaa Al Mansour’s accomplishment all the more impressive. It is the story of a precocious young saudi girl from a lower-middle-class family in capital city Riyadh. It certainly would be interesting to see this work from a major new Arab fillmaking talent.
MY BROTHER THE DEVIL from Sally El Hosaini. Mo is a 14-year-old student living with his Egyptian family on the Hackney housing estate. He shares a bedroom with his charismatic older brother Rashid, and idolises him. Rashid runs with a local gang, dabble in drug dealing, sneaks out to see his girlfriend and surreptitiously slips money into his mother’s purse, though he wants something better than this for Mo, encouraging his younger brother’s college aspiration. However, Mo is keen to play the tough guy, and find it hard to escape the lure of gang life just at a point when Rashid is navigating a necessary escape from it. When Mo discovers secrets Rashid is keeping, the world of both boys are about to be turned upside down.
CLIP from Maja Milos. Jasna is a bored teenage girl growing up in the sticks of Belgrade, unhappy in her environment and keen to find escapes from her complicated family life. She relishes the freedoms of burgeoning adulthood while refusing to accept any of the responsibilities that come with it. So Jasna parties hard with her friends, dressing up in saucy parodies of high fashion, revelling in booze, drugs and sex while recording much of her illicit experimenting on her mobile phone. she falls for Djole, a schoolfriend who she has sex with, though both kids appear incapable of confronting the real emotions their relationship stirs.
I will in the next post, give you my personal favorites for the other categories present in the 56th BFI London Film Festival.