The 62nd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® has announced the contenders for the Official Competition and the long list of films in the other “Strands”.
The Best Film Award recognises inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking and this year’s line-up showcases the enormous depth and diversity of talent working in the global film industry today, with 50% of the films from a female director or co-director.
The Festival has also welcomed as Jury President Academy Award-nominated director of Room (LFF Official Competition 2015), Lenny Abrahamson, whose long-awaited film adaptation of Sarah Waters’ horror novel The Little Stranger will be released this September. For the first time, the winner of the Best Film will receive their award in front of a public audience at a special screening on Saturday 20 October at Vue Leicester Square.
And here is the full list of Asian entries in this rich edition of BFI London Film Festival
Shadow by Zhang Yimou (China)
Iconic director Zhang Yimou presents Shadow, set during China’s Three Kingdom’s era (AD 220-280). Blood spills in this visually stunning feature, as a great king and his people will be expelled from their homeland, with jaw-dropping combat scenes. Director Zhang presents mind-blowing visual design that revolutionises the colour palette, using water, calligraphy and graphic interpretations of yin and yang.
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION
Dead Pigs by Scr Cathy Yan (China)
Cathy Yan’s freewheeling, mosaic-like multicultural comedy charts the misadventures of diverse Shanghai denizens, linked by a mysterious epidemic of porcine carcasses drifting towards the city’s harbour.
Soni by Ivan Ayr (India)
Feminist policing, Indian style: Ivan Ayr’s refreshing, class-conscious debut considers the solidarity between a fiery female officer and her superior.
Asako I & II by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan-France)
Do we ever really get over our first love? Asako is about to find out, in this quirky romantic drama with a dash of the uncanny.
Last Child by Scr Shin Dong-seok (South Korea)
Writer-director Shin Dong-seok delivers a devastating debut, an emotionally wrenching family drama that heralds a serious new voice in cinema.
Little Forest by Yim Soon-rye (South Korea)
A young woman jettisons city life for a rural existence, producing a lot of mouthwatering food along the way in this charming take on the quarter-life crisis.
Of Love & Law by Hikaru Toda (UK-Japan-France)
Hikaru Toda’s involving documentary reveals the hidden side of Japanese society, highlighting the diverse human-rights work done by the country’s first LGBT law firm.
Rajma Chawal by Leena Yadav (India)
In Old Delhi, a father decides to get his teenage son’s attention by posing as a pretty girl on social media.
A Family Tour by Ying Liang (Taiwan-Hong Kong [SAR of China]-Singapore-Malaysia)
The personal cost of life in political exile is explored in this delicate drama about a controversial director and her family.
House Of My Fathers by Prod-Scr Suba Sivakumaran (Sri Lanka)
A surreal and disturbing tale centred on two divided villages in a civil war where women are unable to conceive and a remedy is desperately sought.
The Spy Gone North by Yoon Jong-bin (South Korea)
How was a South Korean spy, codenamed ‘Black Venus’, able to ingratiate himself with the highest ranks of the DPRK, including Kim Jong-il himself?
SuBurban Birds by Scr Qiu Sheng (China)
Stand by Me meets Kafka in this dreamy treat from debut director Qiu Sheng, in which time is a flat pretzel.
Burning by Lee Chang-dong (South Korea)
Lee Chang-dong (Poetry) wowed Cannes with this spellbinding, richly complex thriller about obsession, class conflict and suppressed male rage.
Believer byLee Hae-young (South Korea)
Oldboy meets The Usual Suspects in this hall-of-mirrors thriller, as a dogged South Korean narcotics officer tries to smoke out a shadowy drug baron.
The Prey by Prod Jimmy Henderson (Cambodia)
An innocent man sentenced to rot in a Cambodian jail is released for the sadistic pleasure of twisted trophy hunters and forced to fight – or die.
May The Devil Take You by Scr Timo Tjahjanto (Indonesia)
Join Timo Tjahjanto, one of Indonesian cinema’s rising genre filmmakers, for a hair-raising journey into the heart of the supernatural.
Tumbbad by Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad (India)
In old India, a greedy boy seeks out hidden riches in the dungeon beneath an ancestral house guarded by a terrifying deity.
Ash Is Purest White by Scr Jia Zhang-ke (China-France)
Heartbreak and resilience fuel this quietly epic saga, in which one woman’s fortitude and knack for crime carry her through a rapidly changing China.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Scr Bi Gan (China-Taiwan-France)
A dazzling dive into a noir-like dreamscape singles out Bi Gan’s partially 3D feature as the most intoxicating cinematic experience of the year.
Namdev Bhau In Search Of Silent by Scr Dar Gai (India)
In this endearing black comedy, a 65-year-old who can’t take noisy Mumbai anymore sets off on a thwarted quest for Himalayan silence.
Five Men And A Caravaggio by Scr Xiaolu Guo (UK-China)
Acclaimed writer and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo delivers another deeply intelligent and idiosyncratic essay, located between contemporary China and post-Brexit referendum London.
Manto by Scr Nandita Das (India)
Acclaimed filmmaker Nandita Das returns to the Festival with an intelligent biopic that might be set in 1947, but holds up a mirror to contemporary issues in South Asia.
Mirai by Scr Mamoru Hosoda (Japan)
LFF favourite Mamoru Hosoda’s (The Boy and the Beast, Wolf Children) rapturous and fantastical take on childhood is an animation of great beauty and insight.
Screen Talk: Lee Chang-Dong
We’re delighted to welcome Lee Chang-dong to the BFI London Film Festival, to talk about his career and the making of Burning, his keenly anticipated mystery thriller adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami.
You can find the full Programme on the BFI official website