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BFI Future Film Festival announces Events Programme

BFI Future Film Festival announces Events Programme

A 2022 Hybrid edition, online and at BFI Southbank from 17-20 February

Festival programme is available online globally for free, and in person at BFI Southbank, to aspiring filmmakers aged 16-25

·         Events include sessions from industry experts including actor, writer and director Craig Roberts (SUBMARINE, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN), director Domee Shi (BAO, TURNING RED),producers Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (BLUE STORY, BOXING DAY) and Ameenah Allen (ROCKS, ALI & AVA), actor Bukky Bakray (ROCKS) and writer and director Nida Manzoor (WE ARE LADY PARTS)

·         The events programme is complemented by 50 short films from emerging filmmakers aged 16-25, available to watch for free on BFI Player from 17 February – 3 March (UK only), as well as screening at BFI Southbank during the Festival

The BFI today reveals highlights of the events programme for the 15th edition of the BFI Future Film Festival, which will be presented in a hybrid format. There will be two distinct Festival programmes, with one series of free events taking place online for a global audience and a second series of events taking place in person at BFI Southbank from 17-20 February. Special guests this year include actor, writer and director Craig Roberts, whose latest directorial work THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN (2021) premiered at the BFI London Film Festival last year, and Domee Shi, whose work includes the Oscar-winning Pixar short BAO (2018) and new Pixar feature TURNING RED (2022). Also appearing will be writer, director and BFI Future Film Festival alum Nida Manzoor, whose recent work includes WE ARE LADY PARTS (Channel 4, 2021), one of the breakout stars of ROCKS (Sarah Gavron, 2019), the BAFTA Rising Star Award-winner Bukky BakrayJoy Gharoro-Akpojotor, producer of BLUE STORY (Rapman, 2019) and BOXING DAY (Aml Ameen, 2021) and Ameenah Allen, producerof ROCKS and ALI and AVA (Clio Barnard, 2021). Aimed specifically at aspiring filmmakers aged 16-25 who want to progress and learn from experienced professionals from across the screen industries, the Festival is designed to reach as many attendees as possible across the UK and internationally.

How to Tell Stories Inspired by Real-Life Experiences

Highlights of the in person programme at BFI Southbank

On each day of the Festival at BFI Southbank there will be keynote talks and Hot Spot conversations with experienced figures from across the screen industries, giving young filmmakers a chance to hear from industry professionals who know the challenges that they face as they begin to navigate the industry. Confirmed speakers so far include Craig Roberts, the actor, writer and director who, since his breakthrough role in Richard Ayoade’s SUBMARINE (2010), has gone on to direct three features including the hotly anticipated THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN (2021), which was produced with the support of the BFI Film Fund, awarding funds from the National Lottery. As well as talking about his experiences as a successful actor, writer and director, Roberts will also speak about FILMD, an online platform that enables film professionals to connect and collaborate, which he has just launched alongside Craig Heyworth, who will join him onstage for part of his Hot Spot talk. Also speaking will be producer and writer Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, whose recent work as producer includes BLUE STORY (Rapman, 2019) and BOXING DAY (Aml Ameen, 2021), and whose debut film as a writer and director is in development with the BFI, Quiddity Films and BBC Films. Further guests offering young filmmakers advice about their careers will be Ameenah Allen,producerof ROCKS (Sarah Gavron, 2019) and ALI and AVA (Clio Barnard, 2021), who was named as a Screen Star of Tomorrow by Screen International in 2018; and writer and director Nida Manzoor,whose recent work includes the critically acclaimed WE ARE LADY PARTS (Channel 4, 2021).

Ahead of the release of Disney and Pixar’s TURNING RED on Disney+ on 11 March, BFI Future Film Festival will host a special panel with the film’s Director Domee Shi, who won an Academy Award for the Pixar short filmBAO (2018), and the film’s Producer Lindsey CollinsTURNING RED introduces Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old and her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (Sandra Oh), who is never too far from her daughter. Growing up as a teenager is not easy, but to make things even harder, Mei “poofs” into a giant red panda whenever she gets excited. Always putting the story at the heart of everything, Pixar are constantly pushing the boundaries of evolving technology to present their work. This interactive session will give attendees a sneak-peek into their process and will include the opportunity to ask questions.

Director Fred Baillif who worked with a cast of non-professional actors for LA MIF (2021) will share his advice on telling stories inspired by other people’s real-life experiences, ahead of a special preview of LA MIF, which Festival pass holders will be able to attend. Other industry experts speaking during the Festival at BFI Southbank will include Director of Photography Ben Kracun whose most recent work includes the Oscar-winning PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (Emerald Fennell, 2020) and Hair and Make-Up Designer Lisa Mustafa who, alongside her team, will discuss her experience creating the looks for award-winning TV show TOP BOY (Netflix, 2011). In The Player’s Ball: Where to Get your Start in the Games Industry attendees will learn what games companies look for when finding talent within their industry and how a game goes from concept to publishing.

After a successful first year in 2020, this year’s BFI Future Film Festival once again presents a series of events specially curated by our BFI Film Academy Young Programmers. In addition to helping programme year-round BFI Film Academy events, the ten Young Programmers are at the heart of shaping the Festival, not only through curating these Festival events, but also through previewing film submissions from the hundreds the Festival receives. This year, the Young Programmers will present Girlhood Uninterrupted, an event with special guests including the star of ROCKS Bukky Bakray, which will reflect upon depictions of young women in film; the event coincides with BFI Southbank’s current SEEN & HEARD season, which explores female coming-of-age movies. Our Young Programmers will also explore The Final Girl’s Legacy with apanel of horror experts, who will discuss the representation of women in the genre, alongside the origins, influence and relevance of the final girl in the modern slasher. There will also be a session looking at how creatives can move into film from other disciplines, featuring expert input from filmmakers who started out in different mediums, from visual arts and music to theatre and literature. Their final event of the Festival will be The Young Programmers Movie Quiz, where film buffs will be able to take on other cineastes in a battle of knowledge, wit and plenty of woeful film puns to emerge victorious.

Highlights of the online programme, available globally for free

Directing and acting coach Judith Weston, whose students include Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Steve McQueen, will be offering a session on her key strategies in building a meaningful connection between directors and actors, while Casting Director Hannah Marie Williams will be hosting a session on creating safe work environments and representing disabled, neurodiverse talent and creatives in short films. The BFI Film Academy will be hosting a session for aspiring filmmakers who are interested in trainee and mentoring opportunities and aspiring film and TV composers will be able to gain insight into developing their career as a screen score composer.

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There will be a session on adapting material for the screen with Director Tom Dream, Producer Holly Wolfers and Head of Short Film at Ridley Scott Creative Group Nancy Ryan; they will discuss Tom’s short film SHY RADICALS (2020) and how it was adapted from its original source material. Blinkink, an animation studio specialising in animation and mixed-media filmmaking, will also give an in-depth talk on how a production company finds and develops talent. Action Xtreme, a new major studio focused on development, training and the creation of new action content within the UK, will be guiding aspiring filmmakers through the process of staging a safe, dynamic, and cinematic fight sequence for action films.

Further sessions, including daily keynote speakers, will be confirmed soon.

Free Short Films available to watch during the BFI Future Film Festival

These events complement the film programme for the festival which features 50 short films by emerging filmmakers aged 16-25, all of which will be available to watch for free on BFI Player from 17 February – 3 March (UK only), as well as screening at BFI Southbank during the Festival. The Festival would not be possible without the continued support of The Reuben Foundation, who are the Lead Supporter of the BFI’s year-round education programmes, including monthly BFI Film Academy Labs and the BFI Future Film Festival. The Festival are also delighted that Netflix return as the 2022 Festival’s Main Sponsor and year-round sponsor of BFI Festivals.

Award-nominees across ten categories will be in the running for prize money totalling more than £10,000 and further mentorships from industry leaders – the winners will be revealed at the BFI Future Film Festival 2022 Awards Ceremony supported by Netflix, which will take place online and in person at BFI Southbank on 20 February. This year’s Festival is completely free of charge for those attending online, enabling young people from every corner of the UK, and across the world, to benefit from masterclasses and talks from the best in the business. Festival passes for BFI Southbank are available for £15 per day, Thursday Day pass is £5 and Full Festival Pass is £45.

The full programme and the schedule for events is available to explore now on the BFI website: