Lights, Camera, Action

This year’s line-up of films at London Film Festival feature some extraordinary and powerful stories

With the official line-up for the 60th BFI London Film Festival released in full, one of the world’s premier film festivals, this year’s diverse programme is made up of 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, and includes 18 world premieres and eight international premieres. Here’s our pick of the best films to catch this year.

La La Land

American 2016 romantic musical comedy-drama written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, JK Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Callie Hernandez, Rosemarie DeWitt and Meagen Fay, the plot follows a musician and aspiring actress who meet and fall in love in LA.

Arrival

American 2016 science fiction drama directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, it is based on the short story “Story of Your Life” by author Ted Chiang. The movie stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

A United Kingdom

Starring Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo, this yetto- be-released biographical film from British director Amma Asante tells the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and London office worker Ruth Williams, based on the book Colour Bar by Susan Williams.

Snowden

2016 political-thriller Snowden from Oliver Stone will be making its debut at festivals. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular whistleblower, this super-charged film follows Edward Snowden as well as delves into the personal back story of this extraordinary figure.

Queen of Katwe

A 2016 biographical sports drama, Queen of Katwe tells the inspiring story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi (played by newcomer Madina Nalwanga), who became the first titled female chess player in Ugandan history at the 40th World Chess Olympiads.

A Monster Calls

A 2016 fantasy drama directed by JA Bayona, it’s based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Patrick Ness. The dulcet tones of Liam Neeson steal the show in this visually stunning fantasy about a young boy’s struggle to cope with his mother’s terminal illness.

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