BFI Player

See something different.

Catch Me Daddy

Two young lovers are forced on the run through nocturnal Yorkshire.

Just Jim

Craig Roberts (Submarine) makes his debut as a director.

Fidelio: Alice’s Journey

The sexual liberation of Alice, a ship’s engineer.

BFI London Film Festival 2014

240 films. From 72 countries. 16 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.

7-18 October 2015

Lastest news

Live stream from Opening Night

Watch live red carpet action on YouTube from Opening Night Gala Suffragette.

Live stream from Opening Night

Last chance to buy

See all films with tickets available

Festival live blog

With so many hyped UK premieres making up the bulk of the LFF programme, it’s easy to overlook the gems featured in the suitably named Treasures selection – writes Matthew Thrift.

Ahead of their forthcoming release on BFI Blu-ray, two resplendently restored films by the great Senegalese filmmaker – and so-called ‘Father of African cinema’ – Ousmane Sembène receive rare big-screen outings this evening. His debut short, Borom Sarret (1963) – an exquisite 20-minute portrait of a Dakar cart driver – playing alongside his devastating 1966 masterpiece, Black Girl.

Black Girl (1966)

Black Girl (1966)

These were “the first sub-Saharan films made by an African, in Africa, for Africans,” says one scholar in the excellent documentary Sembene!, which also premieres tonight. ”[They] invented a new language to represent black people.”

An ideal companion piece to the two films, Sembene! avoids hagiography – not least in its recounting of the director’s diversion of a fund to help young filmmakers into his own feature, Camp de Thiaroye (1988) – serving up a focused biographical introduction to the man and his films.

Here’s hoping that the documentary’s final title card detailing the ongoing project to restore his remaining films, sees them featured in upcoming Treasures programmes in years to come. From the evidence presented in Sembene!, they’ll be as unmissable an event as those playing tonight.

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw has weighed in with his first review of Suffragette, following a screening for the press at the crack of dawn this morning.

Turns out he liked it. He even compares it to that all-time classic The Battle of Algiers.

In a four-star review, he writes: 

“It is a thoroughly valuable and absorbing film, with some terrifically managed suspense sequences that might conceivably have been admired by Gillo Pontecorvo … Suffragette is a tart reminder to those who are casual about democratic gender equality that votes for women were not something that naturally evolved due to the ruling class’s innate decency; they had to be fought for. A startling list of statistics over the final credits gives the staggeringly recent appearances, and indeed non-appearances, of women’s suffrage around the world.” 

Read the full review

Just under two hours to go till the red carpet arrivals begin!

Read more from the live blog

BFI Shop

From the BFI Shop

On Yer Bike

A two-disc collection which provides a fascinating portrait of the British cycling experience on film.

Buy now

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

A vibrant modern classic, based on Alan Sillitoe’s largely autobiographical novel.

Buy now

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

A passionate tale of rebellion with then newcomer Tom Courtenay as a sullen, disillusioned delinquent.

Buy now

Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush

A coming-of-age comedy following the exploits of sex-obsessed Jamie as he attempts to join the Swinging 60s.

Buy now

Bronco Bullfrog

A fully remastered presentation of this powerful, authentic record of the then-emerging suedehead subculture.

Buy now

Deep End

A darkly comic and utterly compelling portrait of Britain in an era of uncertainty, starring Jane Asher and Diana Dors.

Buy now

Explore film & TV

Watch talks, interviews and trailers

What’s on

Highlights at BFI venues

Sight & Sound

Film of the week: By Our Selves

Toby Jones, Andrew Kötting (as a straw bear) and their merry men revive the wanderings and wonderings of Northamptonshire peasant poet John Clare, writes David Jays.
David Jays
Thursday 1 October 2015

More from Sight & Sound

Support the BFI

Become a BFI Member

Enjoy a world of benefits with BFI Membership. Choose the package that suits you.

Join now

Explore film & TV

BFI National Archive

We hold a magnificent collection of film and television, from the birth of cinema to today.

Read more

British certification & tax relief

British certification

Qualify for tax relief through the cultural test for film, animation programmes, high-end television and video games.

Read more

Follow @bfi

BFI on Twitter

Back to the top

See something different

Subscribe now for exclusive offers and the best of cinema.