BFI Film Festival 2020 selection

The BFI Film Festival is the UK’s premiere platform for welcoming international storytellers, featuring a selection of highly anticipated films.

Taking place October 7th – 18th, this year’s festival will be its most accessible ever, presenting over 50 online premieres as well as screenings in cinemas around the UK, offering audiences a unique chance to engage with the festival in different ways.
See the cinemas across the UK taking part in this year’s festival here:

With some truly standout films coming in 2020, see our pick of 5 films to see at the festival and beyond…


The latest feature from Brandon Cronenberg (son of revered director David Cronenberg), Possessor is a sci-fi horror-thriller which garnered widespread praise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Following the elite, corporate assassin Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough), as brain-implant technology allows her to take control of other people’s bodies to execute high profile targets.
While she holds a special gift for the work, her experiences have caused a dramatic change in her, and as her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, as she soon finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

Details here:


From director Chloe Zhao, whose feature film The Rider stood out as one of the best films of 2018, Nomadland explores life outside conventional society.

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring life through the vast landscape of the American West.
Adapted from the 2017 non-fiction book by Jessica Bruder – Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, the film features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration of the vast expanse of the Western United States.

Details here:

Mogul Mowgli

Director Bassam Tariq’s debut fiction feature, stars Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Star Wars: Rogue One), drawing from his own musical background and British-Pakistani roots to deliver a personal performance in a film about a fierce MC on the cusp of a major tour and commercial success, whose dreams of global fame are cut-down by an autoimmune disease.

A sharp examination of cultural heritage, identity politics, family and the impact of physical illness, Mogul Mowgli is an honest evocation of the British-Asian experience.

Details here:


The Opening Film for this year’s BFI Film Festival, ‘Mangrove’ from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave, Widows, Shame) is the true story of the Mangrove 9, a group of Black activists who were arrested for leading the protest and changed British history by taking a stand against racial discrimination.

The Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill doubled as a community centre for Black Londoners, as police brutality and harassment intensified, the Mangrove also became a site of resistance, leading to a historic protest against police harassment.

‘Mangrove’ is one of five Small Axe films by Steve McQueen.

Details here:


From Francis Lee, director of the phenomenal God’s Own Country, Ammonite is the Closing Film for this year’s BFI Film Festival.

In the 1840s, acclaimed palaeontologist Mary Anning works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis.

As Mary is entrusted to care for a young woman dealing with a personal tragedy, she clashes with her unwanted guest, as the two women inhabit utterly different worlds.
Yet despite the differences in their social spheres and personalities, the two discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for, as they develop an intense relationship altering both of their lives forever.

Details here:

See the full programme and browse through this year’s feature films here:

screening details can be found on each title page.

The entire BFI Film Festival Short Film Programme will be free to watch on BFI Player, you can see the programme here: