16 films to discover at the London Film Festival 2021
The 2021 British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival kicks off in the UK this week and News week will be there to cover the biggest films, interview the stars present.
This year’s festival sees a welcome return to live events and screenings after 2020 goes live due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Movie stars are heading to London for the event, while a major HBO TV show will also host its first season 3 there.
There are a whopping 159 films screened at the BFI London Film Festival in 2021, with many more shorts, TV shows, and XR experiences.
You can see the full program guide here for everything streaming in London and online, but here’s a look at 14 movies and two TV shows to get you excited at the 2021 London Film Festival.
The more they fall
Writer and director Jeymes Samuel is reviving the Western genre with this Netflix film. The more they fall will have its world premiere at the opening night gala of the BFI London Film Festival with many stars expected.
Jay-Z is credited as a producer on the Western while Regina King, Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz, and Jonathan Majors all have major roles. The more they fall gets a theatrical release on October 22 before arriving on Netflix from November 3, 2021.
The world premiere of The more they fall will take place on Wednesday 6 October.
Kristen Stewart is the latest actress to star as Princess Diana in this upcoming biographical drama. The trailers have caused a stir online as everyone expects the American to nail the British accent, but the crowds attending the UK premiere in London will be among the first to know.
After being screened at the film festival, Spencer releases worldwide on November 5, 2021.
The British premiere of Spencer will take place on Thursday, October 7.
Ron went wrong
This lively effort by 20th Century Studios will premiere at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival as part of the Family Gala. Zach Galifianakis voices Ron, a lovable, digitally connected device in this story about friendship in the age of social media.
Olivia Colman, Ed Helms, Rob Delaney and One Direction star Liam Payne lend their voices to the family film. Starting October 22, the film will be released in US theaters for 45 days before being available on digital platforms.
The world premiere of Ron went wrong will take place on Saturday 9 October.
Last night in Soho
The man who brought the world Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead and Warm down tries his hand at horror with his new film Last night in Soho. Edgar Wright writes and directs this film which features The Queen’s Gambit breakout star Anya Taylor-Joy and former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith.
Last night in Soho will be released in the United States in theaters on October 29, 2021.
The British premiere of Last night in Soho will take place on Saturday 9 October.
Rebecca Hall makes writing and directing debut with new Netflix movie Who passed, with Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. Based on Nella Larsen’s short story, the black-and-white film tackles issues of race and class, following the unexpected reunion of two high school friends.
Who passed will have a limited theatrical release starting October 27 before streaming on Netflix on November 10, 2021.
french cinema Titanium could be one of the most discussed screenings at the London Film Festival. The R-rated sci-fi thriller – the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival – has already been released in the US but will premiere to UK audiences at the festival.
The British premiere of Titanium will take place on Saturday 9 October.
The French dispatch
The French dispatch was one of many films whose release has been delayed by the pandemic. After a year of waiting, Wes Anderson’s latest film has almost been released in the United States. Prior to that, the three-part film, the full title of which is The French Freedom Expedition, Kansas Evening Sun, premiered in the UK during the London Film Festival.
The all-star cast includes Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody and Edward Norton with Saoirse Ronan, TimothÃ©e Chalamet and Elisabeth Moss also scheduled to appear. The French dispatch hits theaters in the US starting October 22.
The British premiere of The French dispatch will take place on Sunday 10 October.
The tender bar
George Clooney’s new film was a late addition to the festival. He directs and, with his longtime collaborator Grant Heslov, produces the film based on the novel by JR Moehringer. Ben Affleck, Christopher Lloyd, and Tye Sheridan all appear in this coming-of-age drama that will eventually land on Amazon Prime Video on December 17, 2021.
A projection of The tender bar will take place at the LFF on Sunday 10 October.
Munich: On the brink of war
1917 Star George MacKay made a name for himself in a WWI-based film and he’s back on our screens, this time in an inspired story from before WWII. Munich: On the brink of war is based on the book by Robert Harris which sees a British official and a German diplomat cross paths in Munich in 1938 as they attempt to prevent a war in Europe. Also on the bill are Jeremy Irons and Jessica Brown Findlay.
There is currently no release date scheduled for this film.
The power of the dog
Jane Campion wrote the screenplay and directs this upcoming Western drama based on the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons star in the film which has received rave reviews since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September.
The power of the dog will receive a short theatrical release in November before airing on Netflix on December 1.
The British premiere of The power of the dog will take place on Monday 11 October.
Stage & Screen Legend Kenneth Branagh Brings Us Family Drama Belfast, located in the working-class environment of Northern Ireland in the 1960s.
Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe and Judi Dench star in the film, which is set to be successful in the upcoming awards season.
The European premiere of Belfast will be held as part of the American Airlines gala on Tuesday, October 12.
The lost girl
The lost girl marks Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut as she also wrote the screenplay adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novel. In this beach vacation story, a woman takes a dark turn, Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard and Normal people star Paul Mescal all appear.
The film will be released in limited theaters ahead of its Netflix release starting December 31.
The British premiere of The lost girl will take place on Wednesday 13 October.
The first of two great TV shows to watch, Danny Strong’s Sick dramatizes the rise of opioid addiction in the United States.
Michael Keaton stars as a doctor who begins to see the damage done by these legal drugs while Peter Sarsgaard, Will Poulter, and Rosario Dawson also appear in this upcoming Hulu miniseries.
Sick screened at the London Film Festival on October 13, the same night it premieres on Hulu.
Will Smith produced and stars in this highly anticipated film that highlights the father of two of the world’s most famous athletes. Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard is at the center of this sports biographical drama.
Alongside Smith, Dylan McDermott and Jon Bernthal appear while Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton play young tennis prodigies Venus and Serena Williams. king richard is scheduled for November 19 in the United States.
The British premiere of king richard will take place on Friday October 15th.
Episodes 1 and 2 of season 3 of Succession will receive their world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival 2021. A large part of the cast, Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin and Alan Ruck, are expected to appear along with the executive production team which includes Adam McKay and Will Ferrell .
Season 3 Episode 1, Secession “arrives on HBO on Sunday, October 17, 2021.
The world premiere of Succession will take place on Friday, October 15.
BFI London Film Festival 2021 to close Shakespearean style thanks to Joel Coen Macbeth’s tragedy. The reimagining of the Scottish play stars Denzel Washington and Coen’s wife and four-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as Lord and Lady Macbeth.
The film will hit theaters on December 25 before arriving on Apple TV + on January 14, 2022.
The European premiere of Macbeth’s tragedy will take place during the closing gala evening on Sunday 17th October.
The full program of the BFI London Film Festival 2021 runs from Wednesday October 6 to Sunday October 17.