Every October, the British capital gets to see an incredible array of contemporary films from world renowned directors and actors, alongside the stars of tomorrow courtesy of the BFI London Film Festival (LFF).
Now in its 62nd year, the prestigious LFF 2018 takes place over 12 days, from 10 to 21 October. A total of 225 films will be screened in 14 cinemas across the capital, made by filmmakers from 77 different countries, reflecting the festival programme’s international richness.
Included in this year’s programme are four movies made by Turkish filmmakers or on location in Turkey. Two are feature films – Ahlat Ağacı / The Wild Pear Tree (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan) and Holiday (dir. Isabella Eklöf), and two short films – Morgenmensch / Morning Person (dir. Özgür Anil), and Between Relating and Use (dir. Nazlı Dinçel).
Ticket sales for all screenings start on Wednesday, 13 September, and early purchase of tickets is highly recommended as most LFF films sell out well in advance of their screening date.
Ahlat Ağacı / The Wild Pear Tree
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s follow-up to his Palme d’Or-winning Winter Sleep is a persuasive portrait of a young writer at odds with his hometown and family.
One of the standout films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, The Wild Pear Tree (pictured above and top) was described by IndieWire’s Eric Kohn as “a visual sophistication unparalleled” in international cinema. The movie been selected as Turkey’s submission into Foreign Language Film Oscar race in 2019, and also nominated for Best International Film at Jerusalem Film Festival and for the Best Film at SIYAD Turkish Film Critics Association Award this year.
In The Wild Pear Tree,the acclaimed auteur turns his spotlight onto an aspiring writer, who returns home after university hoping to scrape together enough money to publish his first novel, but his ambition is slowed by the gambling past of his father.
“Ceylan’s discursive but consistently engrossing account of his opinionated but bemused protagonist’s fraught dealings with his parents and clumsy encounters with various locals constitutes another gently penetrating dissection of the flawed male psyche. Again, the wry tone is Chekhovian: detached yet compassionate, subtle but clear, quiet yet hugely expressive. With its vivid gallery of superbly played characters and exquisite tapestry of interwoven themes, this is Ceylan to the core,” writes Geoff Andrew for the BFI.
Dates + venues: 16 Oct (19:30 at Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1), 17 Oct (14:15 at BFI Southbank, NFT2)
More info and tickets: whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/wildpeartree
An internationally co-produced (Denmark-Netherlands-Sweden) drama directed by Isabella Eklöf, Holiday is one of the films in the First Feature Competition for The Sutherland Award, which recognises the most original and imaginative directorial debut at BFI London Film Festival.
Holiday has also been nominated in other film festivals including Göteborg, Sundance and Taipei this year, and it won the International Competition for Grand Prix at T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival 2018.
This modern dark gangster tale is set in the beautiful port city of Bodrum, on the Turkish Riviera. It shows a love triangle featuring the trophy girlfriend of a petty drug lord who gets caught up in a web of luxury and savagery.
“Punctuated by scenes of extreme violence, Isabella Eklöf’s arresting debut is not an easy watch, but nor is it an unthinking provocation. Instead, Elköf has crafted a complex and often uncomfortably ambiguous portrait of male abuse and domination, shot with a chilly formalism at jarring odds with the sun-drenched vistas of her luscious Mediterranean locales”, writes Michael Blyth for the BFI.
Dates + venues: 15 Oct (21:00 at Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 5), 16 Oct (12:45 at Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3), and 17 Oct (14:00 at BFI Southbank, Studio)
More info and tickets: whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/holiday
Morgenmensch/ Morning Person
Part of the LFF’s short films programme Lust To Love And In Between, Austria-based Turkish director Özgür Anil’s 5-minute clip is about a young woman finding herself in a difficult situation with her family when she is caught between their expectations and her desires.
The film is one of 12 shorts being screened as part of a theme that shows the universality of desire and breadth of love.
Dates + venues: 12 October (18:10 at Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3), 14 October (11:45 at Vue Leicester Sq, Screen 6)
More info and tickets: whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/lusttoloveandinbetween
Between Relating And Use
Part of the LFF’s short films programme Today Is A Thing Of The Past, American-based Turkish director Nazlı Dinçel’s Argentina-USA co-production is a 9-minute clip providing a path to ethical exploration, borrowing words from Laura Mark’s Transnational Object and DW Winnicott’s Transitional Object.
The film is one of 12 shorts being screened in a collection that combines the unknown behind the familiar and the history behind the present, inviting us on expeditions into new cinematic territories.
Date + venue: 13 October (13:45 at BFI Southbank, NFT3)
More info and tickets: whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/todayisathingofthepast
For the full festival programme, including special events, and tickets for screenings, visit the LFF section of the British Film Institute’s (BFI) website: whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff