Opening with the World Premiere of ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICALClosing with European Premiere of Rian Johnson’s GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
American Express Gala is the European Premiere of Sam Mendes’ EMPIRE OF LIGHT
The Festival also announces:
London, embargoed until Thursday 1 September, 11.00am.
The 66th BFI London Film Festival (LFF) in partnership with American Express today announces the full programme line-up, which will be presented in cinemas and online, across the UK. Over twelve days from 5 – 16 October, the LFF will return to its fantastic flagship venues in the heart of London – BFI Southbank and the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, which between them host Galas, Special Presentations and Official Competition. Films and series from all strands of the Festival screen in many of central London’s iconic cinemas with a curated selection of features showcased at 10 partner venues across the UK.
The full programme features films, series and immersive art works from over 63 countries with 41% of the programme made by female and non-binary directors/creators or co-directors/creators and 34% made by ethnically diverse directors/creators.
An impressive number of major alumni filmmakers return to LFF including: Darren Aronofsky, Noah Baumbach, James Benning, Marco Bellocchio, Bertrand Bonello, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Richard Eyre, Kevin Jerome Everson, Patricio Guzmán, Mani Haghighi, Mia Hansen-Løve, Joanna Hogg, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Rian Johnson, Asif Kapadia, Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy, Sebastián Lelio, Sébastien Lifshitz, Tobias Lindholm, Edward Lovelace, Martin McDonagh, Santiago Mitre, Michel Ocelot, Ruben Östlund, François Ozon, Park Chan-wook, Alexandre O. Philippe, Laura Poitras, Sarah Polley, Lucía Puenzo, João Pedro Rodrigues, Jerzy Skolimowski, Paolo Taviani, Guillermo del Toro, Lars von Trier, Nora Twomey. Major emerging alumni returning to LFF with new features include: Ali Abassi, Fyzal Boulifa, Lukas Dhont, Alice Diop, Sally El Hosaini, Soudade Kaadan, Hlynur Pálmason, with the Festival also introducing audiences to a thrilling new generation of international filmmakers with 39 debut features in LFF.
Every feature and series screens to audiences in the UK for the very first time, with many shown publicly to for the first time ever anywhere in the world. Premieres include 23 feature film and 3 series World Premieres, 6 feature film International Premieres and 15 feature film and 2 series European Premieres. As previously announced the LFF Expanded programme of Immersive Art features 6 World Premieres. World Premieres from filmmakers and artists include: GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO; a new series from television auteur Hugo Blick, THE ENGLISH, starring Emily Blunt and a brand new commission AR from acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin, HAUNTED HOTEL: A MELODRAMA IN AUGMENTED REALITY. International Premieres include SHE SAID, starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan and based on the booked from New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and award-winning documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner’s LAST FLIGHT HOME. Major European Premieres include: EMPIRE OF LIGHT from Sam Mendes; GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY from Rian Johnson; MY POLICEMAN, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Emma Corrin, Harry Styles and Rupert Everett; Chinonye Chukwu’s TILL, starring Danielle Deadwyler and Whoopi Goldberg; ALLELUJAH, directed by Richard Eyre adapted from Alan Bennett’s play, with stars including Judi Dench and Jennifer Saunders; Frank Berry’s AISHA starring Letitia Wright and Josh O’Connor, and LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER, directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and also starring Emma Corrin alongside Jack O’Connell. LFF will host the European Premieres of several major new filmmaking voices: Sundance award-winner Nikyatu Jusu with NANNY; acclaimed theatre director Lila Neugebauer’s CAUSEWAY starring Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry and photographer and documentarian Elegance Bratton’s THE INSPECTION.
Audiences will enjoy a rich programme of fiction, documentary, animation, artists’ moving image, short film, newly restored classics from the world’s archives, and exciting international works made in immersive and episodic forms. LFF for Free will return to BFISouthbank with a programme of in-person events and screenings as well as a programme of free short films and events that will be available across the UK virtually. The Festival will also be accessible UK-wide via a specially curated programme of feature and short films on BFI Player, which viewers will be able to enjoy for a full week after the Festival (from 14 – 23 October).
Ben Roberts, CEO, BFI said: “I’m immensely proud of the BFI London Film Festival and the talented team who take it from strength to strength every year. They continue to find creative ways of reaching new audiences across the UK, including through our free programme and a wider range of work, including our Series and VR and immersive works. The LFF provides a vital platform for global filmmakers to showcase their work and I’m excited to see such a bold and expansive range of films, more World Premieres than ever and an incredible range of debuts from UK directors. We couldn’t do it without our loyal supporters, including our principal partner of 13 years American Express, so huge thanks to them and our many other sponsors, funders, partners, including the UK Government and the UK’s National Lottery players who do so much to enable both the Festival and our work throughout the year.”
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said: “If there is something that unites these brilliant but disparate works, it’s the boldness and ambition of their filmmakers and creators. As we emerge from an unprecedented period of disruption and change – a global health crisis, instability, climate change – artists are our North Star, helping guide us and shape our understanding in a complex and often confusing world. And the work here reminds me again of why we love films, television, visual storytelling of all kinds…it has the power to help us see. We are so grateful to these artists for their incredible films, series and immersive works and can’t wait to share it with audiences.“
The LFF is delighted to invite audiences once again to its London hubs on the South Bank and in the West End, with both areas remaining at the heart of the BFI London Film Festival experience. Each night, a Gala will screen at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on an 18-metre screen with full high-spec 7.1 channel surround sound, ensuring every seat in the over-2000-seater venue is the best in the house. The BFI’s iconic flagship venue BFI Southbank, will host the prestigious Competition Titles, the LFF Series programme, Screen Talks and LFF For Free Events. A host of London cinemas will also screen titles from the programme including: Odeon Luxe West End, the Prince Charles Cinema, ICA, Curzon Soho and Curzon Mayfair, each of them welcoming special guests to present their work to audiences across London’s West End.
The LFF is one of the world’s leading film festivals, with a programme that offers audiences the chance to be among the first to see hotly anticipated films from the most exciting new and established filmmakers from around the globe. The LFF competitive sections will recognise remarkable creative filmmaking achievements, and be presented in a digital ceremony, open to all on the final evening of the LFF. A soon-to-be announced set of juries will select the winners across five categories: Official Competition, First Feature, Documentary, Immersive Art and XR and Short Film. The LFF Audience Award, introduced in 2021, allows Festival-goers to vote for their favourite feature, while a new category, Audience Award – Best Short Film, is also introduced this year.
As previously announced, LFF Expanded is presented in partnership with the National Theatre, and returns in 2022 for its third year, and features ground-breaking work from artists and creative teams working in immersive media including virtual, augmented and mixed reality, from across the UK and internationally. The programme takes place across multiple venues on London’s South Bank; 26 Leake Street, the award-winning venue located in the Leake Street graffiti tunnel, National Theatre and at BFI Southbank. This programme includes the World Premiere, commissioned by the LFF, of Guy Maddin’s HAUNTED HOTEL: A MELODRAMA IN AUGMENTED REALITY. Presented at BFISouthbank, this evocative, immersive exhibition transports the audience into a surreal paper world, created from an eclectic selection of clippings drawn from Maddin’s own personal archive, set to an intricate soundscape by acclaimed composer Magnus Fiennes.
Following last year’s incredibly successful debut, the LFF Series strand returns to showcase some of the best in new episodic programming from around the world, including three World Premieres at this year’s festival. Audiences can enjoy screenings of some of the most anticipated and exciting new series presented across a number of the LFF strands. The Series programmed is headlined by the World Premiere of Western THE ENGLISH starring Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer, and includes the long-awaited third season of Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom trilogy, THE KINGDOM EXODUS; SEÑORITA 89, from director and showrunner Lucía Puenzo and producers Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín, and the previously announced espionage thriller A SPY AMONG FRIENDS and comedy-drama MAMMALS.
The Festival aims to be inclusive, accessible and welcoming and includes many ways audiences can engage outside of the Official Selection: through LFF for Free, Screen Talks with major filmmakers and actors and virtual Q&As across the Festival. Young cinema goers, Audiences aged 16-25 and emerging professionals can also enrich their engagement of the Festival in a number of key ways: our 25 & Under £5 tickets, available across selected titles in the Festival; our FAMILY screenings, our education programmes, and via events and screenings for young aspiring professionals presented with BFI Film Academy and the BFI Future Film Festival.
A full programme of events and screenings is available for professional and press delegates across the Festival.


As in previous years, the feature film programme is organised by strand to encourage discovery and to open up the Festival to new audiences. These are: Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Experimenta, Family and Treasures. Audiences can also find a new and exciting Series programming in many of the strands.
We are delighted to welcome back our Principal Partner, American Express, with this year marking an extraordinary thirteen years of partnership.
Their support makes the Festival possible, as does that of the UK Government, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the National Lottery.
Our heartfelt thanks also go to returning partners American Airlines as Main Sponsor and Official Airline Partner, and to our official Hotel Partner, The Londoner, as well as Main Funding Contributors the Mayor of London and Film London.
We are also delighted to warmly welcome back our sponsors Bloomberg Philanthropiesand Netflix.
A huge thank you goes to the Festival’s generous in-kind Sponsors: Christie’s, Dalston’s Soda, Fourpure, Global, Getty Images and Ocean Outdoors.
Please see below a wetransfer link to press releases from a selection of the Festival’s sponsors and funders:
LFF partner venues around the UK include:
Additional screenings on selected titles may also be added during the Festival window at other venues. These are at the discretion of the distributor and will be signposted on the Festival website where added.
The 66th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 5 October – Sunday 16 October 2022.

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