The BFI London Film Festival will take place 10 to 21 October.
Vs. (TRAILER) directed by Ed Lilly with Costume Design by Grace Snell and Hair & Make Up Design by Emma Croft will premiere on 13 October (also playing 15 October). Director Ed Lilly’s feature debut stars Connor Swindells as Adam, an angst-ridden youth who has been shunted around the care system since early childhood, but is finally assigned by case worker Terry (Nicholas Pinnock) to a foster home in Southend, where his biological mother lives. After a chance encounter in an arcade, Adam is drawn into the seaside resort’s underground hip-hop scene by promoter Makayla (Fola Evans-Akingbola). She encourages him to develop his speedy word skills to take on the town’s reigning battle rap champions, played by Joivan Wade and real-life MC Shotty Horroh. Combining rhyme-laden set pieces with downbeat drama, Vs. offers a very British take on the 8 Mile template – BFI
Tim Sidell shot short film Naptha, directed by Moin Hussan, after wrapping Tom Beard’s feature Two For Joy, starring Samantha Morton and Billie Piper. Filmed on location in Cornwall the short will receive its World Premiere 18 October – BFI
Feature documentary Evelyn will receive its World Premiere 12 October and is directed by Oscar winning Orlando von Einsiedel, with cinematography by Franklin Dow. When Orlando von Einsiedel’s brother, newly diagnosed as schizophrenic and suffering from intense depression, took his own life at 22, Orlando and his other two siblings buried the trauma, rarely talking about it. Over a decade later, the remaining family set out on a hiking tour, visiting landscapes Evelyn liked to walk, to reflect on his life and death. The result is an intensely personal and moving take on the emotional impact of suicide within a family and a powerful account of the benefits of creating safe spaces for emotional communication. Shot in a subjective style and against the stunning backdrop of the British countryside, Evelyn is an emotionally raw film that documents the difficult, yet rewarding, attempt to navigate the rocky highlands of collective trauma… BFI
Short film Leash, shot by Diana Olifirova and directed by Harry Lighton, will play on the 14 October… filmed and set in a local, Welsh town, the narrative explores issues relating to immigration post-Brexit, but with a twist – BFI
TIM SIDELL | GRACE SNELL | EMMA CROFT | DIANA OLIFIROVA