Upekha Bandaranayake

Blu-ray & DVD Producer, BFI Video Publishing

Voted for

MÄDCHEN IN UNIFORM1931Leontine Sagan
Trade Tattoo The Rhythm of work-a-day Britain1937Len Lye
Listen to Britain1942Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister
Salt of the Earth1953Herbert J. Biberman
Killer of Sheep1977Charles Burnett
Hannah and Her Sisters1986Woody Allen
Happy Together1997Wong Kar Wai
Yi Yi1999Edward Yang
Rocks2019Sarah Gavron


This was a real struggle to do and the list changed several times whilst typing it out. In the end I went with my heart - these are the films that have shaped me, thrilled me, moved me and fuelled my love of cinema. Despite repeated viewings they still fill me with wonder and joy.

I'm not sure how I managed to create a list without any musicals, the films of my early years. It also pains me to leave out so many of my current favourite filmmakers - no room for Koreeda, Sciamma, Reichardt, Jenkins or Mills. Any of these could have taken my final spot but narrowly lost to Rocks this time, a local film viewed in my local cinema (big up the Rio) in between lockdowns - a beautiful moment of hope and communion in an otherwise alienating time.