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The BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, is introducing a new works-in-progress showcase as part of its industry program.
In what is designed to become an annual event, the festival will present projects for film, TV and immersive platforms by U.K. emerging talents. The inaugural showcase will feature seven projects that are currently in production, post-production or near completion.
Will Poulter and Andrea Riseborough star in two of the seven projects to be presented to an invited audience.
The projects will be presented to an invited audience of international buyers and festival programmers on Oct. 9online as part of 2020’s virtual and physical hybrid festival. Clips will be screened from each of the projects followed by a short Q&A with the director and or the producer.
Said BFI London Film Festival director Tricia Tuttle: “The LFF has always been a platform for supporting new and emerging filmmakers and an important showcase for discovering new talent for commissioners, distributors and financiers. A works-in-progress event uses the moment of the festival to offer more direct support for the incredible talent that we have in the U.K. and the producers and businesses backing them.”
Here are this year’s projects:
8 Bar (working title), directed by Ewen Spencer, with producers Aleksandra Bilic, Jamie Clark and David Upshal. The documentary about music genre Grime is told by its originators, “mapping the blueprint of the U.K’.s most vital cultural revolution in decades.”
The Feast (Gwledd), directed by Lee-Haven Jones, with producer Roger Williams, starring Anne Elwy, Nia Roberts, Julian Lewis Jones. “A wealthy family gathers for a sumptuous dinner in the Welsh mountains with the intent is to secure a business deal to mine in the surrounding countryside,” according to a plot description. “When a mysterious young woman arrives to be their waitress for the evening, the family’s beliefs and values are challenged as her quiet yet disturbing presence begins to unravel their lives.”
Here Before, directed by Stacey Gregg, with producer Sophie Vickers, starring Andrea Riseborough, Martin McCann, Jonjo O’Neill. “When a new family moves in next door, their young daughter, Megan, quickly captivates Laura, stirring up painful memories of her own daughter who died several years previously. Before long, Laura’s memories turn to obsession as Megan’s unsettling behavior begins to convince her of something supernatural. As Laura’s determination to get to the bottom of it becomes all consuming, her family begins to fracture, and the line between the extraordinary and the real becomes ever more obscured in this haunting story about a mother’s love.”
If the Streets Were on Fire, directed by Alice Russell, with producer Gannesh Rajah and executive producer Julia Nottingham. The documentary focused on “a landscape decimated by austerity measures,” in which a community called “Bike Life” has “sprung up in the void, providing one of the last safety nets for young people who are searching for hope in difficult circumstances.” Through the lives of two men from the community, the film explores what it means to be a young person “dealing with the realities of street life at this unprecedented moment.”
The Score, directed by Malachi Smyth, with producers Matthew James Wilkinson, Ben Pullen, and co-producer Isabelle Georgeaux, starring Johnny Flynn, Naomi Ackie, Will Poulter. Combining real-time heist-thriller suspense with offbeat romance, the film is about two small-time crooks on a mission – the “score” – that they both expect will transform their circumstances. But one falls in love with the waitress and begins to question his life choices.
Sweetheart, directed by Marley Morrison, with producer Michelle Antoniades, starring Jo Hartley, Nell Barlow, Ella-Rae Smith. Socially awkward and environmentally conscious teen AJ has a few things on her mind. “Mostly how the methane from the cows is destroying the planet, and how she’d rather be anywhere in the world than on holiday with her painfully ‘normal’ family.” Following AJ’s suspension from school, mother Tina drags her to the family’s favorite coastal caravan park where they are joined by other family members. AJ is “determined to have the worst week of her life, until she meets a suspiciously happy lifeguard named Isla who sees through AJ’s uniquely adopted persona.”
Untitled Baff Akoto Project, directed by Akoto, with producers L-A Appiah and Akoto, featuring Lazara Rosell Albear, Odilon Ngonda, Suhyene Idrissu. The project is described as an “experimental artist film” that is “thematically concerned with heritage, plurality and identity; a mediation on the societal politics and historic legacies of African diasporic migration.” It will focus on an Afro-Cuban resident of Brussels who came to Europe from the Caribbean 20 years ago, alongside a French-Congolese family in Paris and a young, second generation, Swiss-Ghanaian exploring their Afropean identities.
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