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What to watch at this year's London Film Festival

For the 64th edition of the BFI London Film Festival, proceedings are a bit different. This year will comprise a hybrid festival mixing over 50 virtual premieres, free online events and cinema screenings. Whilst some are only available in cinemas (moving romance Ammonite, Pixar’s latest Soul and recent Venice Festival winner Nomadland) the vast majority are available wherever you are in the country. So Daily Information have picked ten must-see films that you can enjoy from your sofa, through BFI Player.

Kajillionaire – Laugh – 7th October

Following on from the likes of Me and You and Everyone We Know and The Future, director-writer Miranda July returns with the off-kilter comedy Kajillionaire about a family of con artists preparing for their next scheme. With Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood taking the lead and supporting turns form the likes of past Oscar nominees Debra Winger and Richard Jenkins, this film promises a much-needed fix of US indie charm that has been sorely lacking of late.

Honeymood – Laugh – 8th to 11th October

The London Film Festival has often given audiences access to international films that they may not otherwise get exposed to. This is the case for Talya Lavie’s Honeymood, which looks to be a fascinating and thoroughly entertaining look at Israeli life, as it follows a bride and groom on a surreal journey through the streets of Jerusalem.

Shirley – Dare – 9th to 12th October

Elisabeth Moss has gone from strength to strength in recent years thanks to her exceptional turns in the likes of The Handmaid’s Tale, Her Smell and The Invisible Man. And so Shirley, which explores the life of author Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House), promises another tour de force from the performer that may very well lead to her first Oscar nomination.

Relic – Cult – 9th to 12th October

The London Film Festival is the home of not just glitzy award contenders and art house curiosities, but also some of the best recent genre and horror works. And one of the most interesting picks this year is Natalie Erika James' directorial debut, Relic. Following three generations as they grapple with dementia and what manifests from it, it looks like an atmospheric chiller with a particularly strong turn from the ever fabulous Emily Mortimer.

Wolfwalkers – Family – 10th October

If you’ve seen the likes of The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and The Breadwinner, you will be aware of the soulful beauty of Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon’s work. And their latest, Wolfwalkers, looks like another work that explores folklore in a moving, exciting manner. Focusing on the blossoming friendship between two girls, one of whom may be able to transform into a wolf at night, it promises another gorgeous production from this team.

Mogul Mowgli – Dare – 10th to 13th October

Rapper-actor Riz Ahmed is someone whose new work is always worth seeking out. And Mogul Mowgli promises to be a fascinating story, as a British-Pakistani rapper grapples with an illness that may throw his life off course. Director Bassam Tariq has directed a number of fascinating short films and documentaries, making him perfectly placed to break out with this potential indie gem.

The Cheaters – Treasures – 11th to 14th October

The British Film Institute (who organise the London Film Festival) have a track record of rediscovering seemingly lost masterpieces and there is a fascinating 'Treasures' strand to the festival. The work that has caught Daily Info’s eye is Paulette McDonagh’s Australian crime drama from 1930, The Cheaters. The film’s restoration (by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia) feels like an intriguing piece of silent cinema that otherwise might not have received the exposure it deserves.

Supernova – Love – 11th October

Actor-director Harry Macqueen follows up his debut (Hinterland) with the touching drama Supernova. Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci play a couple who grapple with a diagnosis of early onset dementia. A powerful exploration of the subject matter, the film promises emotionally moving scenes containing two of the best actors of their generation.

Another Round (Druk) - Journey – 14th October

Having previously teamed up for the devastating The Hunt, actor Mads Mikkelsen and director Thomas Vinterberg (one of the founding members of the Dogme cinematic movement) are back together for Another Round. Telling the story of a quartet of friends who set out to see if their lives will be better if they maintain a constant level of alcohol in their blood, it promises to be another controversial watch and once again show what a phenomenal screen presence Mikkelsen is.

Possessor – Cult – 16th October

David Cronenberg is a name synonymous with horror. But now it is time for the director’s son, Brandon, to prove himself, as he emerges as one of the most exciting new voices in the genre. Having shown promise with his debut Antiviral, Possessor looks to be an utter mindwarp, following a spy who can inhabit other people’s bodies so she can commit assassinations. Having gone down a storm at other festivals (although with the caveat that for some it may prove too much), this is a film to not be missed, with a cast (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Andrea Riseborough, Sean Bean, Tuppence Middleton, Christopher Abbott) stacked with talent. Daily Info’s resident horror fan can’t wait.

And if you want to see work from the future of cinema, why not explore the short film programme which will be available for free throughout the festival?

Explore the whole line-up and book tickets for all of the virtual screenings on the British Film Institute website. And you can find all the latest Oxford cinema listings on our What's on page.

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