The 64th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, is set to be its most accessible ever as attendees are invited experience the world’s best new films virtually.

To make things easier for you we’ve outlined some of the must-see films and online events to take part in over the next 9 days, no matter where you are based.

A majority of the films screening at BFI London Film Festival 2020 will do so as virtual premieres. 58 feature films will be screened between 7th-18th October and most will be available to view on the BFI Player.


This year’s feature film strands focus around the following themes: Laugh; Journey; Dare; Create; Love; Cult; Debate; Family; and Treasures.

Opening LFF 2020 is Steve McQueen’s highly-anticipated Mangrove,  a retelling of the story of the Mangrove Nine – a group of black activists accused of inciting a riot at a protest.

Steve McQueen’s Mangrove (2020)
Image credits: Amazon Studios

There are also some interesting British selections – including Harry Macqueen’s Supernova, a drama about dementia starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth; Ben Sharrock’s Scotland-set refugee comedy, Limbo; and Aleem Kahn’s After Love, which stars Joanna Scanlan as a woman who discovers her late husband had another family in Calais.

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan will be closing the festival in Ammonite, from God’s Own Country filmmaker Francis Lee.


This year’s short films are all completely free to view on BFI Player. Strands include: Kids Will Be Kids; My Time to Shine; Secrets & Lies; This is the Rhythm of My Life; UK Focus; We Built a World; and Q&As with Short Film Programme Filmmakers.

The UK Focus strand gives attendees the chance to see some of the best in UK filmmaking talent, with a varied and diverse selection of stories. Expensive Shit – written and directed by Adura Onashile and produced by Rosie Crerar – follows a nightclub toilet attendant as she is both overlooked by and integral for a group of depraved men set on a hideous act.

Other short films to check out include Akinola Davies Jr’s Lizard, John Ogunmuyiwa’s Mandem, Luna Carmoon’s Shagbands, Molly Manning Walker’s Good Thanks, You? and Tommy Gillard’s Shuttlecock.

Virtual Cinema Tour

13 films will be taken out to cinemas in London and across the UK – including Scotland’s own Glasgow Film Theatre.

Glasgow Film Theatre will be screening the following titles:

Online Events

This year’s Screen Talks offer a series of in-depth interviews with leaders in contemporary cinema including David Byrne, George Clooney, Letitia Wright, Miranda July and Riz Ahmed.

Miranda July is set to take part in this year’s Screen Talks
Image Credits: BFI

BFI NETWORK have opened up their filmmaker conversations to a wider audience beyond London. You can now register to hear from some of the debut filmmakers from this year’s LFF programme.

BFI NETWORK@LFF Case Study: Relic
Wednesday 14th October – 11am

Writer/director Natalie Erika James will be discussing her experiences making Relic. BFI NETWORK will be delving deep into the triumphs and challenges of getting the film made as well as sharing valuable insight and advice for new filmmakers looking towards making their first feature.

Sign up to the event here.

BFI NETWORK@LFF Case Study: One Man and His Shoes
Thursday 15th October – 3pm

Filmmaker Yemi Bamiro will be sharing his experiences of making One Man and His Shoes, a documentary examining the cultural and commercial phenomena of Michael Jordan against the increasing commodification of Black culture.

Sign up to the event here.

BFI NETWORK@LFF Case Study: After Love
Friday 16th October – 1:30pm

Writer/director Aleem Khan will be speaking with BFI NETWORK about his experiences making After Love, the BFI funded drama. Aleem will be exploring the many challenges faced by independent filmmakers whilst sharing advice on how he built his career.

Sign up to the event here.

Let us know on social media @shortcircscot what you’re most looking forward to seeing!

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