Our essential guide to 2016’s biggest and best UK film festival
London Film Festival, the biggest, glitziest, most glamorous event in the city’s cinephile calendar, opened in cinemas from October 5 and continues to October 16 2016. The event features everything from posh, celebrity-filled red carpet premieres of top Hollywood films to world class cinema. The LFF holds mainly at Leicester Square but also extends to local film houses throughout London.
Guests will have the opportunity for loads of questions and answers and masterclasses with filmmakers, including short films, talks and workshops. See below some of the biggest films to see at the London Film Festival 2016.
1. La La Land
This romantic musical comedy starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, follows the life of a musician and budding actress who meet and fall for each other. The title of the film references the common euphemism for a non-existent dreamland.
It seems Ryan and Emma are fast becoming the movie duo Hollywood directors love to cast. A movie directed by Damien Chazelle, La La Land will thrill lovers of musical and film alike. The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2016.
2. A United Kingdom
David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike are electric in this age-old tale of forbidden love. Set in the 1940s, in Britain and Botswana this Amma Asante romantic drama is based on the true story of Sir Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth Willams Khama.
Amma Asante whose other films include Belle and A Way of Life has enjoyed international acclaim for her directing prowess. This will be the second year in a row a British film directed by a woman will be screened at the opening night gala.
3. Queen of Katwe
This film about hope, determination and will to succeed, features a young Ugandan girl whose life changes when she is introduced to chess. Also based on a true life story, this is a biographical sports drama about Phiona, a ten-year-old chess prodigy from Katwe, who conquers all odds to become the Woman Candidate Master at the World Chess Olympiads.
The Mira Nair movie which had a limited release in North America was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Queen of Katwe will be screened at the LFF and promises to impress with a strong cast, featuring David Oyelowo, Lupita N’yongo and upcoming actor Madina Nalwanga.
It almost seems that all big movie screenings at the LFF are biographical dramas. Yet, Snowden, does not disappoint. This movie by ace Hollywood director Oliver Stone brings yet another Snowden thriller to the big screen. The film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden takes us through the events leading to the moment the former NSA staffer leaked documents implicating the US government of unauthorised surveillance.
The movie was first screened at Comic-con in July before premiering at the Toronto Film Festival. It is set to screen at the LFF this week. Snowden, so far, has already grossed an impressive $23 million worldwide and promises to thrill viewers in London.