BFI events

The BFI and Radio Times TV festival is back in May

And here’s the press release.

The press release

The BFI & RADIO TIMES TELEVISION FESTIVAL, the biggest, most exciting public television festival in the UK, featuring the very best TV shows and a star-studded line up, is returning to BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX from Friday 20 May to Sunday 22 May 2022

Over the course of three jam-packed days, the BFI & RADIO TIMES TELEVISION FESTIVAL will preview some of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year, including the BBC’s new adaptation of Sally Rooney’s award-winning novel CONVERSATION WITH FRIENDS and the first chance for members of the public, worldwide, to see Sir David Attenborough’s groundbreaking series for AppleTV+ PREHISTORIC PLANET. Executive produced by actor and filmmaker Jon Favreau and legendary natural history producer Mike Gunton, PREHISTORIC PLANET uses cutting-edge science, world class natural history filming and the very latest CGI to transport audience back 66 million years to the last great dinosaur era. 

The Festival will also reunite the cast and crew from some of the biggest dramas of the last year; including Russell T Davies’ masterly IT’S A SIN, which has just picked up an extraordinary 11 BAFTA nominations, Channel 5’s charming new take the classic on ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, the BBC’s epic adaptation of Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS, starring Ruth Wilson, and the beloved long-running BBC One drama series CALL THE MIDWIFE

There will be sessions dedicated to some of the best comedy series of the past year, including Stephen Merchant introducing a preview screening from the second series of his BBC hit comedy thriller THE OUTLAWS, which is returning soon, Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews will discuss their hilarious comic creation Stephen Toast, who recently returned to screens in TOAST OF TINSELTOWN, and Rose Matafeo will appear to talk about her pitch-perfect millennial romcom STARSTRUCK, which just aired its second season. 

Family favourite MALORY TOWERS, returning for a third season this year, will also be previewed, while the Festival’s much-loved sessions that draw on rarely-seen material from the BFI National Archive, this year celebrates a bona-fide musical superstar, with PRINCE: PURPLE PASSION AND POMP

In addition to the stars appearing live on stage to talk about their hit shows, there will be directors, producers and writers giving audiences the inside track and an exclusive look behind the scenes of some of televisions biggest shows. Names to look out for include: 

  • IT’S A SIN – writer and executive producer Russell T Davies, executive producer Nicola Shindler, actors Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells
  • CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS – actors Alison Oliver and Joe Alwyn, director Lenny Abrahamson, executive producer Emma Norton and series producer Catherine Magee
  • STARSTRUCK – creator and star Rose Matafeo, actor Emma Sidi and writer and actor Nic Sampson
  • CALL THE MIDWIFE – creator and writer Heidi Thomas, executive producer Pippa Harris and key cast members (TBC)
  • THE OUTLAWS – creator and star Stephen Merchant, co-stars Eleanor Tomlinson (TBC), Gamba ColeClare PerkinsDarren Boyd and Jessica Gunning
  • TOAST OF TINSELTOWN – writer and star Matt Berry, writer Arthur Mathews, director Michael Cumming, actors Doon Mackichan and Harry Peacock
  • ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL – actors Nicholas RalphCallum WoodhouseRachelShenton and Anna Madeley, executive producer Melissa Gallant
  • MALORY TOWERS – actors Ella BrightDanya GriverSienna Arif-Knights and Beth Bradfield

More than 20 sessions will take place throughout the weekend, with around half of them being announced today, and the remaining events announced on 26 April. Co-programmed by the BFI and Radio Times, the festival draws on the expertise of both organisations, for a broad range of audiences from telly addicts and boxset-bingeing aficionados, to those who love to discover archive gems and people who love nothing more than coming together to watch the latest prime-time entertainment. 


There’s another Russian film festival no one told me about – Soviet 60s: A Turning Point in Cinema

Am I doing something wrong? Probably. I’m usually doing something wrong.

But at the moment, all I’m trying to do is promote film, particularly Russian film, yet no one wants to tell me about their lovely new Russian film festivals until it’s almost too late. Guys! I can help! I really can! Just let me know that you’re doing a Russian film festival and I’ll tell everyone else! I might even buy tickets and turn up!

The BFI was the previous “let’s not tell the Russian film girl about our Russian film festival” culprit, just before Christmas. Now it’s the Institut Français who’ve taken against me. To be honest, scanning their web site, they don’t seem to want to publicise it very much at all, so maybe it’s not personal — I actually found out about it through Russian Art & Culture. Maybe I’m being just a little bit paranoid? What do you think?

Anyway, I’ve got you intrigued now, haven’t I? Want to know more about it? I do hope so.

Soviet 60s: A Turning Point in Cinema

This will be a monthly film series at the Ciné Lumière (in association with Russian language film charity Kino Klassika) that runs from 18 January to 30 June and that spotlights “a selection of films from the decade that changed both cinema and the world: from beloved Soviet comedies to rarely-screened New Wave classics”.

Here’s the programme

After the jump, I’ll give you full details of all the films, as well as trailers and even a short TV programme about one of them. As you can probably guess, the trailers are all in Russian (and there’s an even an Armenian one!) so you might have to turn auto subtitles on.

Continue reading “There’s another Russian film festival no one told me about – Soviet 60s: A Turning Point in Cinema”
BFI events

Unexpectedly, there’s a Russian Film Festival and no one told me

Firstly, a huge – just immense – apology to all TMINE readers for my absolute and complete failure to review any movies over the past few weeks. I’m so, so sorry! My boss is on holiday, and I’ve had zero time to do anything except do his and my job this whole time.

I hope I’ll have some time this week to review the new movies I’ve watched, but if I don’t, here are some one-line reviews so that you get a sense of whether they’re worth watching or not, IMHO:

  • The Harder They Fall (2021) (available on Netflix): Western featuring Black characters who really did exist, even if the story is made up. It tries hard to be a Quentin Tarantino movie, just without the N word, and has some very literate dialogue and great performances. It’s just not very interesting. Or maybe I just don’t like Westerns? 🤷‍♀️
  • Red Notice (2021) (available on Netflix): Ryan Reynolds is an art thief, the Rock is an FBI profiler who catches him, but they have to team up to capture the world’s best art thief, Gal Gadot. It’s hugely expensive and has a simply fabulous pedigree in virtually every regard, from the cast through to the writer/director and the amazing locations they go to. There’s also a great twist. It’s big problem? It’s just so formulaic, it feels like the plot came from the pull out page at the back of a GCSE revision aid.
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) (in cinemas): first good sequel to the original Ghostbusters (1984). It’s a little bit too much of a sequel for its own good, retreading too much of the first movie, but it’s surprisingly good and even had me crying at the end. It’s also as much a retread of Goonies (1985), as it is Ghostbusters.

Russian Film Festival 2021

Talk about low key! BFI Player has apparently been running a Russian Film Festival for the past two weeks and didn’t bother to tell me. What are the BFI and Roskino’s marketing people thinking? No press releases or anything! Look at my name! Look at my job! And I only found out about it at the weekend.

Fortunately, it runs until 10 December, so there’s still plenty of time to watch everything and if you sign up for the free trial and subscribe using the code they give you, you get an extra month free (it’s only £4.99 a month anyway), so you can watch them all for nothing! Isn’t that the best thing?

The Siege of Leningrad, the Bolshoi Theatre, Leo Tolstoy and Konstantin Stanislavski may all be familar elements from Russian culture and history, but their representations amid these startling ten features are anything but. This collection of new features – many of which only played Russian cinemas as recently as this year – showcase the impressive range and originality of contempoary Russian filmmaking. While festival favourites like Aleksey Fedorchenko and Andrey Zaitsev may be known names to some, there are number of notable debut features here from prodigious new talents, waiting to be discovered.

Russian Film Festival 2021 runs from 12 November – 10 December 2021 and is organised in collaboration with ROSKINO, a state organisation representing the Russian audiovisual content industry internationally with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Russian Cinema Fund.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Masha (2021)
  • A Siege Diary (2021)
  • Tell Her (2021)
  • Last ‘Dear Bulgary’ (2021)
  • The Story of an Appointment (2018)
  • The Conscience (2021)
  • The Bolshoi (2017)
  • Doctor Liza (2020)
  • The Humorist (2019)

I’ll be watching all of these and hopefully covering them in the TMINE Multiplex, in their own post or even individually, since December should be lovely and work-light for me – yes, I will be reviewing things again (yay!) – but for obvious reasons (look at my hair, look at my age), I had already seen Masha, which is a lovely and quite simple piece told in flashback about a young girl growing up in Russia in the 90s and discovering that the friends and family who’ve been looking after her are the new wave of gangsters that have emerged since the end of communism. It’s a mix of violence and coming-of-age story that’s deceptively uncomplicated, yet packed with emotion and shows the gradual decline into lawlessness over the period. The young star, Polina Gukhman, gives a wonderfully expressive performance and steals the movie. Loved it!

BFI events

January at the BFI will include Truffaut and Bowie seasons

Look all these lovely things! What a great way to start the new year!

With special guests including director Oliver Stone (PLATOON, JFK), director Joanna Hogg (THE SOUVENIR PART II), Ricky Gervais and cast of AFTERLIFE, the cast and crew of FRESH MEAT, writer and director Romola Gari (AMULET), director Déo Cardoso (A BRUDDAH’S MIND), critic and broadcaster Mark Kermode, comedian and broadcaster Adam Buxton and more

BFI Southbank begin 2022 with seasons dedicated to Francois Truffaut and David Bowie

The BFI will kick off 2022 with a celebration of iconic French filmmaker FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT, with a major two month season at BFI Southbank, BFI Distribution re-releases of THE 400 BLOWS (1959) and JULES ET JIM (1962) and more. Also in January will be BOWIE: STARMAN AND THE SILVER SCREEN, a month-long season dedicated to actor and performer DAVID BOWIE, coinciding with what would have been his 75thbirthday; includes screenings of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (Nicolas Roeg, 1976), MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (Nagisa Ōshima, 1983), THE HUNGER (Tony Scott, 1983) and many more. Also in January, the BFI will present an epic ode to the spirit of adventure and to the achievements of explorers – TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: EXPLORATION AND ENDURANCE ON FILM; the season marks 100 years since the death of Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, and the symbolic close of the ‘heroic age’ of Antarctic exploration.  

On 14 January BFI Southbank will welcome Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone for a special In Conversation event, where he will discuss his memorable and thought-provoking work such as PLATOON, JFK, NIXON, WALL STREET and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. Regular event MARK KERMODE LIVE IN 3D AT THE BFI, in which critic and broadcaster Mark Kermode is joined by surprise guests from across the film industry to explore, critique and dissect current and upcoming releases, cinematic treasures and industry news, will this month take place on 17 January, with guests to be announced soon.

BFI Southbank will host a pair of must-see TV comedy events in January. Firstly, there will be a preview of the third season of Ricky Gervais’ poignant comedy AFTERLIFE (Netflix/Derek Productions, 2022) on 6 January. This event will include a preview of the first two episodes from the final season, as well as a chance to hear from Ricky Gervais and the cast, who will take part in a Q&A following the screening. From its first episode, FRESH MEAT broke new ground thanks to its cripplingly self-aware yet heartfelt portrayal of university life, shaped loosely by writer-creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain’s own experiences together in Manchester. On 15 January, BFI Southbank will mark the 10th anniversary of the show with a special event featuring archive clips and a Q&A with actors Jack WhitehallZawe AshtonJoe ThomasKimberley NixonGreg McHugh and Charlotte Ritchie, as well as the writer-creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.

Film previews in January will include BFI-backed THE SOUVENIR PART II (Joanna Hogg, 2021), in which film student Julie is picking up the pieces in the aftermath of her tumultuous relationship with the enigmatic Anthony. Beautifully expanding on Julie’s personal and creative coming-of-age journey, THE SOUVENIR PART II is an exquisite, sensational concluding chapter that also stands alone as a singular piece; the preview on 17 January will be followed by a Q&A with director Joanna Hogg. There will also be a Woman with a Movie Camera powered by Jaguar preview of Romola Garai’s directorial debut AMULET (2020) on 21 January followed by a Q&A with writer-director Romola Garai; this moody, intensely unsettling horror-thriller is bursting with haunting imagery and gruesome scares, and stars Carla Juri, Imelda Staunton and Alec Secareanu. Also in January, BFI AFRICAN ODYSSEYS present the UK Premiere of A BRUDDAH’S MIND (2020) on 22 January, followed by a Q&A with director Déo Cardoso. Based on real events, this political drama follows a Black student, Saulo, inspired by the Black Panthers, who challenges his school in the largely white city of Fortaleza. Despite a calm and articulate demeanour, Saulo’s teachers describe him as a delinquent and try to expel him, but he isn’t alone in his struggle against racism and fascism in Brazil. Also returning in January will be the LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (LSFF), the programme for which will be announced soon. 

Continue reading “January at the BFI will include Truffaut and Bowie seasons”
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2021? Including The Tourist and The Mezzotint

Whenever it can, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to be doing this as often as I used to, particularly since the last one of these was in November 2020, but I will when I can. And if there’s not much on.

This December, there’s a showing of Doctor Who‘s City of Death, previews of The Tourist, the Ghosts Christmas special and this year’s Ghost Story for Christmas (The Mezzotint), and a collection of Christmas specials past, as well as some slightly odd music-related treats. Plus more!

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2021? Including The Tourist and The Mezzotint”