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London Film Festival announces line-up – with social justice ‘a strong theme’

Written by on 8 September 2020

Social justice will be a “strong theme” of this year’s BFI London Film Festival, organisers said as they announced the programme.

The festival will feature 58 films, including new projects by directors Spike Lee, Miranda July and Garrett Bradley.

With the event having to adapt this year due to coronavirus restrictions, it will have an expanded online presence and regional screenings when it takes place in October.

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Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan star in Ammonite

Steve McQueen’s Mangrove – which tells the true story of the Mangrove 9, the group of black activists who clashed with police in London during a protest march in 1970 – will open the festival, while Ammonite, Francis Lee’s follow-up to God’s Own Country, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, will close.

These will be among 13 films which will screen at cinemas around the country, and at the BFI Southbank in London.

Tricia Tuttle, director of BFI Festivals, promised this year’s event will be “a different kind of festival” as details were announced, saying: “Social justice is a strong theme throughout the programme.”

She admitted there won’t be the usual glitz and glam of the red carpets this year, but says film fans won’t be disappointed.

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“We are going to go big and hope to reach lots of people,” she said.

Other films on the line-up include Supernova, starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as a couple dealing with dementia; new Pixar film Soul, featuring the voice of Jamie Foxx; Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss; and Mogul Mowgli, starring Riz Ahmed, who also co-wrote the script.

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July will unveil Kajillionaire, about a family of con artists, starring Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins and Gina Rodriguez, while Bradley will premiere her prize-winning film Time, a documentary about a woman fighting for the release of her husband who is serving a 60-year prison sentence.

Also on the line-up is Lee’s American Utopia, a concert film adaptation of David Byrne‘s American Utopia.

The festival has already announced a new dedicated strand of XR (extended reality) and immersive art, called LFF Expanded.

It runs from October 7 to 18.