August 2024 at BFI Southbank includes Stop Motion, Philip Glass and Béla Tarr

At BFI IMAX, the month’s highlights include Alien: Romulus and some of the best-loved films by Tim Burton.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

The BFI Southbank programme for August 2024 begins with Stop Motion: Celebrating Handmade Animation on the Big Screen, supported by headline partner LAIKA. This major season, taking place at BFI Southbank from 1 August to 9 October and featuring free screenings for children under 16, will celebrate the singular magic and effortless charm of stop motion animation. 

Special events taking place in August will include, ahead of its 15th anniversary re-release, the world premiere of the newly remastered 3D version of Coraline (2009) followed by a Q&A with director Henry Selick and actor Teri Hatcher (11 August), Henry Selick in Conversation (12 August), a screening of Paranorman (2012) followed by a Q&A with writer-director Chris Butler and director Sam Fell (10 August), Peter Lord in Conversation (21 August), a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022) followed by a Q&A with writer-director Guillermo del Toro (18 August), a screening of the BFI-supported Stopmotion (2023) followed by a Q&A with director Robert Morgan (21 August) and a pair of Ray Harryhausen films – Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) – both introduced by Alan Friswell, the conserver and restorer of Ray Harryhausen’s models (4 August). 

This mammoth season, which continues in September, will be accompanied by a free exhibition at BFI Southbank, LAIKA: Frame X Frame, showcasing the boundary-pushing art and science behind every one of the nearly one-million hand-crafted frames that bring LAIKA’s feature films to life. 

Also taking place in August will be Shifting Layers: The Film Scores of Philip Glass, a month-long season dedicated to the collaborations between composer Philip Glass and some of the world’s greatest filmmakers. From his long-standing association with Godfrey Reggio, particularly the celebrated Qatsi trilogy (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi), to his acclaimed scores for The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1988), Kundun (Martin Scorsese, 1997) and The Hours (Stephen Daldry, 2002), Glass’s striking compositions have been used to enhance some of cinema’s most memorable images. 

Special events during the season will include The Philip Glass Effect, a talk about the composer’s career on 14 August with special guests including Richard Guerin from Glass’ publishing company and record label; and the UK Premiere of A Place Called Music (Enrique M. Rizo, 2022), on 11 August, an engaging documentary, which follows Glass and Mexican Wixarika musician Daniel Medina, both in their individual lives and as collaborators. 

Sátántangó (1994)

Completing the line-up of seasons in August is a tribute to the Hungarian maestro Béla Tarr who, across a small but essential body of work, has established himself as one of the major voices in world cinema. Will Heaven Fall upon Us? A Béla Tarr Retrospective will take place at BFI Southbank throughout August, with selected films also available to watch on BFI Player. Tarr is best known for his visionary latter-day films, from Damnation (Béla Tarr, 1988), through the legendary Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994), to the film he decided would be his last, The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011), all of which will screen in the season. 

There will also be an extended run of a 4K re-release of Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000), in which a small Hungarian town is rocked by the arrival of a travelling attraction: a massive stuffed whale, presented by a mysterious figure known as ‘The Prince’. Shot by a team of cinematographers, including noted director Rob Tregenza, this is the most intensely nocturnal of Tarr’s films – a haunting cinematic nightmare without equal. We hope to be able to welcome Béla Tarr for an in conversation event to launch the season at the end of July, with further details to be confirmed soon.  

Starve Acre (2023)Photo by Chris Harris

Special events in August will include a preview of the BFI Distribution release of Starve Acre (2023) on 28 August, followed by a Q&A with director Daniel Kokotajlo and further guests to be confirmed soon. In 1970s Yorkshire, Richard and Juliette relocate to Richard’s childhood home of Starve Acre, hoping the idyllic country surroundings will benefit their young son. However, a sudden and tragic event drives a wedge through the family, which triggers Richard, an academic archaeologist, to bury himself in obsessively exploring a local folkloric myth. Kokotajlo’s follow up to his award-winning debut Apostasy, is an unnerving adaptation of Andrew Michael Hurley’s acclaimed novel; a wildly eerie, slow-burn folk horror, featuring unflinching performances by Matt Smith and Morfydd Clark. Starve Acre, which is supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, will be released by BFI Distribution in cinemas UK-wide on 6 September.  

Sky Peals (2023)

On 9 August there will be a screening of Moin Hussain’s highly anticipated feature debut Sky Peals, followed by a Q&A with director Moin Hussain, lead actor Faraz Ayub and producer Michelle Stein. Blending realist drama with a playful suggestion of otherworldly science-fiction, Sky Peals follows Adam, who lives a lonely and isolated life. Upon hearing of his estranged father’s death, he seeks information about a man he barely knew, and soon begins to wonder if his late parent was actually from another planet. Despite suggestions of far-away galaxies, Hussain’s quietly unconventional character study is a down-to-earth, deeply human tale of alienation, identity and belonging. The film, which is backed by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, is released in UK cinemas by BFI Distribution on 9 August, and will also play on extended run at BFI Southbank.  

The sixth annual S.O.U.L. FEST, in partnership with ABFF London, returns to BFI Southbank in August with exclusive previews of feature films, hand-picked shorts, panel discussions, and practical sessions to support emerging talent in their journey through the film industry. On 31 August the S.O.U.L. FEST Shorts and Awards will screen some of the best short films from Black British filmmakers and announce the 2024 S.O.U.L. Fest Awards.  

Other extended runs during the month include About Dry Grasses, the latest work from Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan; Cédric Kahn’s riveting courtroom drama The Goldman Case; Rich Peppiat’s Kneecap; and an unsung gem of American independent cinema, Alma’s Rainbow (Ayoka Chenzira, 1994).

Essential maintenance work to improve and modernise BFI Southbank will also be completed this month, with all areas of the venue open for audiences to enjoy from early in August, including new and improved seating in NFT3 and new toilets and an updated foyer next to NFT1.  

On-sale dates

Tickets for BFI Southbank screenings in August are on sale to BFI Patrons on 1 July, BFI Members on 2 July and to the general public on 4 July. 


New releases screening at BFI IMAX in August will include Alien: Romulus (Fede Alvarez, 2024), the next instalment of the successful Alien series. Star of Priscilla and Civil War, Cailee Spaeny plays a member of a deep-space crew who, while scavenging aboard a derelict space station, encounter a life form that threatens to destroy them. Director Fede Alvarez wrings every last drop of tension from this scenario, combining visionary sci-fi with edge-of-the-seat horror thrills to bring the series back to what made the original trilogy so successful. Alien: Romulus plays on the UK’s biggest screen from 16 August.  

Corpse Bride (2005)

Also playing at BFI IMAX from 2 August is one of the great triumphs of Studio Ghibli and acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbour Totoro (1988). The film that first introduced the animation house to the world, it is a simple tale of two girls who move to the country with their father to be near to their ailing mother and uncover a magical world in the nearby forest. Finally, with the release of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice (2024) just around the corner, BFI IMAX revisit some of the best-loved works by Tim Burton on the UK’s biggest screen with showings of Edward Scissorhands (1990), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Corpse Bride (2005) and Frankenweenie (2012).