The 2016 London Film Festival starts today with the 12-day festival filled to the brim with dramas, documentaries and everything else in between from all around the globe. But with so much to choose from, where do you start? That’s where we come in! Here’s our rundown of 10 films to see at the London Film Festival.

10 Films to See at the London Film Festival

La La Land

Director:Damian Chazelle
Cast:Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in this upbeat LA romance which sees aspiring actress Mia (Stone) working as a personal waitress to movie stars in between her auditions, while jazz musician Sebastian (Gosling) plays in dive bars in order to scrape by. Naturally the two meet and fall in love, but as they both start to get relative success, their bond is threatened. La La Land is the second film from ‘Whiplash’ writer-director Damien Chazelle and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, so we’ve got high hopes.

When:Friday 7th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 16th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 La La Land


Director:Denis Villeneuve
Cast:Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Plot details for Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival are, unsurprisingly for a sci-fi, relatively thin at the moment. But we do know Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner star and if the trailer is anything to go by, this could be cracker. The plotline goes a little something like this; ‘When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.’

When:Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th and Thursday 13th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Arrival


Director:Benedict Andrews
Cast:Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn

Based on the 2005 play ‘Blackbird’, Una isn’t going to be for the fainthearted. Rooney Mara plays a 27-year-old woman, who turns up to the workplace of 55-year-old Ray (Ben Mendelsohn), a man convicted of sexually abusing Una 15 years earlier. The play was actually recently revived on Broadway with Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels playing the leads, and this version has been adapted by Harrower himself; which is always a sure sign that the winning formula won’t be altered too much.

When:Sunday 9th, Monday 10th and Thursday 13th

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Una

Nocturnal Animals

Director:Tom Ford
Cast:Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon

The debut film from fashion designer Tom Ford surprised most of us back in 2009 with the brilliant ‘A Single Man’. Well, Ford is back and this time it looks like he’s got some bigger toys to play with. Nocturnal Animals sees Amy Adams play a wealthy LA art gallery owner who is reading the manuscript of a novel written by her ex-husband (Armie Hammer). Called ‘Nocturnal Animals’, the novel revolves around a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. Is it a threat? We don’t know but we can’t wait to find out!

When:Friday 14th, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Nocturnal Animals

Free Fire

Director:Ben Wheatley
Cast:Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson

Ben Wheatley is one of the hottest and most unique directors working in the UK today, so naturally his 70s crime thriller Free Fire has got the critics talking. The film is set in a Boston warehouse where two gangs meet to complete the sale of some weapons. Somehow we don’t think the deal is going to go smoothly…

When:Sunday 16th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Free Fire


Director:Oliver Stone
Cast:Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo

It was only a matter of time before a film about the exploits of Edward Snowden was made – we’re just surprised it’s happened so quickly. Oliver Stone is the man entrusted with telling the story of a Snowden (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt); a computer analyst turned whistleblower, who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency to The Guardian newspaper in June 2013.

When:Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Snowden

Birth of a Nation

Director:Nate Parker
Cast:Nate Parker, Armie Hammer

Birth of a Nation is a historical drama set around the slave uprising in 19th century America. Writer/director Nate Parker also stars in the film as Nat Turner, a preacher in the pre-civil war South who uses the pulpit to rebel against his owner, played by Armie Hammer.

When:Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Birth of a Nation


Director:Alice Lowe
Cast:Alice Lowe, Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie

You may not know the name but Alice Lowe is definitely an ‘I recognise her!’ sort-of-actress. Having appeared in various TV comedies, and in films like Hot Fuzz and the hilarious black comedy Sightseers, Lowe is making her directorial debut at the London Film Festival with Prevenge; a twisted comedy which stars Lowe as Ruth, a seven month pregnant woman who decides to go on a killing rampage. Blame the hormones!

When:Thursday 13th and Sunday 16th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Prevenge

David Lynch: The Art Life

Directors:Jon Nguyen, Olivia Neergaard-Holm

David Lynch is undoubtedly one of the all-time great Hollywood movie directors – as evidenced by Mulholland Drive recently being voted the best film of the 20th century so far. But despite his fame, it’s fair to say he’s kept a low profile with not many of us knowing what makes him tick. Well, here’s your chance to find out. The Art Life was filmed over a four year period, during which more than 20 conversations were recorded at Lynch’s home in LA. The documentary is said be to be so intimate that he even narrates the film himself.

When:Sunday 9th, Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 David Lynch

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

Director:Werner Herzog

Lo and Behold is a new documentary from legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, which makes it essentially unmissable. This time around Herzog explores the impact of the Internet across the globe, from those who live in the cyber wilderness to those who are always connected.

When:Thursday 13th and Friday 14th October

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Lo and Behold

For the full London Film Festival schedule and info on how to get tickets, head over to the BFI Website.



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