Everything coming your way on BFI Player June/July

BFI Player is the greatest global cinema on demand. You can rent the latest releases, subscribe to classics and explore the best from the BFI national and regional archives. 



Tue 23 June, 18:30 BST, BFI YouTube

Explore Girls on Film: https://podfollow.com/1439182513/view

Girls On Film is a film review podcast that looks at film from a female perspective. Join podcast host, critic and broadcaster, Anna Smith as she speaks to guests about upcoming releases and reactions to recent world events, including the Black Lives Matter movement.

For this latest online edition on BFI YouTube, Anna is joined by Maxine Peake to discuss her new film FANNY LYE DELIVR’D (available to rent on BFI Player from 26 June), Rosamund Pike on her role playing Marie Curie in RADIOACTIVE, Nichola Burley, the star of upcoming BFI release LYNN + LUCY, and director Amma Asante (A UNITED KINGDOM), on her filmmaking and the barriers she has overcome in her career.

THE UNCERTAIN KINGDOM VOLUME I Filmmakers Q&A (Rescheduled from 2 June)

Thurs 25 June, 19:00 BST, BFI YouTube

Head of BFI NETWORK Jessica Loveland talks to Georgia Goggin (producer, THE UNCERTAIN KINGDOM), Ellen Evans (director, MOTHERLAND), Ray Panthaki (director, ERNIE) and Antonia Campbell Hughes (director, ACRE FALL BETWEEN) about their work in volume 1 of the short film anthology, THE UNCERTAIN KINGDOM.

Climate change, migration, disability, homelessness and sexuality are just some of the subjects explored in THE UNCERTAIN KINGDOM, an new and urgent collection of twenty short films from that together offer a unique snapshot of the UK in 2020.

THE UNCERTAIN KINDOM VOL 1+2 are available to rent on BFI Player:

Volume I: https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-the-uncertain-kingdom-volume-one-2020-online 

Volume II: https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-the-uncertain-kingdom-volume-two-2020-online

BFI at Home: YOU DON’T NOMI Q&A with Jeffrey McHale, April Kidwell and Cheryl Hole

Fri 26 June, 19:00 BST, BFI YouTube

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star and ultimate showgirl Cheryl Hole speaks to director Jeffrey McHale and performer April Kidwell about YOU DON’T NOMI, Jeffrey McHale’s fascinating documentary. The film, which screened at the BFI London Film Festival, examines Paul Verhoeven’s divisive and outrageously camp cult classic, SHOWGIRLS.

YOU DON’T NOMI is available to rent on BFI Player: https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-you-dont-nomi-2019-online 

SHOWGIRLS is available to rent on BFI Player: https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-showgirls-1995-online

BFI PRIDE HOUSE PARTY – PRIDE AND PROTEST screening Q&A with director Blaise Singh and contributors, plus a special edition of Queer House Party.

Sun 28 June, from 16:00 BST, BFI Player/18:00 BFI YouTube

Join us in celebrating all the colours of the LGBTIQ+ rainbow on Pride weekend, with a special screening of PRIDE AND PROTEST, which had been programmed to receive its world premiere at this year’s BFI Flare, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Opening with the anti-LGBTIQ+ lessons protests in Birmingham, PRIDE AND PROTEST refuses to shy away from the many issues faced by Britain’s LGBTIQ+ black and people of colour communities. We follow several activists during their day-to-day lives as they fight to hold onto their pride in a racist and homophobic society. Join director/producer Blaise Singh and contributors; queer Muslim activist Ferhan Khan, author Vaneet Mehta and singer Manpreet Dhindsa after the screening for a Q&A on BFI YouTube followed by a special BFI Pride edition of Queer House Party.

Born on the Friday of lockdown, Queer House Party is camp, sexy, inclusive, and it’s live-streamed to you with the aim of bringing solidarity and release to our community, every week. Just like a house party, only from the comfort of your living room.

BFI Pride House Party is a free, ticketed event. Sign up toBFI Flare emails to receive booking links on 23 June for all elements – screening, Q&A and House Party.


Rent new and acclaimed films, without a subscription; features start from just £2.50

FANNY LYE DELIVR’D (2019) directed by Thomas Clay

BFI Film Funded FANNY LYE DELIVR’D sees Maxine Peake’s eponymous Fanny Lye living a quiet Puritan life with her husband John (Charles Dance) and young son Arthur (Zak Adams). But her simple world is shaken to its core by the unexpected arrival of a mysterious young couple (Freddie Fox and Tanya Reynolds) in need.


ON THE RECORD (2020) directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering

This Sundance documentary centres on allegations of sexual abuse and harassment against hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, featuring interviews with some of the over 20 women who have accused him, including Drew Dixon, a former A&R executive who decided to break her silence and go public. A significant #MeToo moment for black women working in the US music industry.

A WHITE, WHITE DAY (2019) directed by Hlynur Pálmason

Iceland’s finest actor Ingvar Sigurðsson gives a heart-breaking and Cannes award-winning performance as widowed cop who becomes increasingly obsessed with his wife’s death. This is no standard police procedural, Hlynur Pálmason’s highly original and emotionally complex drama exploring the ravages of loss screened at the BFI London Film Festival. Hypnotic images highlight the beauty and strangeness of Iceland’s breathtaking landscape, while Sigurðsson’s towering performance reveals the interior devastation of a man consumed by loss.

FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC (2019) directed by Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog’s new film offers a glimpse of Japan’s rent-a-family business, offering everything from a cure for loneliness to a cover up for a secret shame. Herzog meets the man who replaces absent or disappointing relatives, casting Yuchii Ishii, owner of Tokyo-based company Family Romance LLC, as himself in scripted scenarios. Herzog approaches his subjects in a deceptively simple and delicate manner. Part travelogue, part incisive investigation into the problem of loneliness, this film is entirely fascinating.

DARK WATERS (2019) directed by Todd Haynes

Inspired by the shocking true story of Robert Bilott, Mark Ruffalo stars as the attorney who took on the DuPont company in an environmental law suit. Filing a complaint that would mark the beginning of an epic 15 year fight, the case would not only test Bilott’s relationship with his loved ones, but his reputation, his health and his livelihood, in an attempt to uncover a dark secret hidden by one of the world’s largest corporations and to bring justice to a community dangerously exposed for decades to deadly chemicals.



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Pet Shop Boys IT COULDN’T HAPPEN HERE directed by Jack Bond

Released on Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD last Monday by the BFI, after being unavailable worldwide for 30 years, it sold out so quickly that its BFI Player release date came forward to last Friday.

Packed full of iconic Pet Shop Boys tracks, this is a singularly strange, striking and sensational pop movie par excellence that finds Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe embarking on an outstanding musical odyssey from coast to capital, encountering the eccentric likes of screen legends Joss AcklandGareth Huntand Barbara Windsor along the way. Perfect pop surrealism meets road movie to the sound of hits from the duo’s fantastic first two studio albums, including all-time classics ‘West End girls’, ‘It’s a sin’ and ‘Always on my mind’. 


New today – 22 June

THE LAST TREE (2019) directed by Shola Amoo

Femi, a young British boy of Nigerian heritage, has to adapt to the new environment of inner-city London, in this outstanding, BIFA-winning BFI Film Funded drama from Shola Amoo (Amoo’s feature debut, A MOVING IMAGE is also available to view on BFI Player). Sam Adewunmi stars as the teenage Femi who must decide which path to adulthood he wants to take, and find out what it means to be a young black man in London during the early 00s.


New on 29 June

ARMY OF SHADOWS (1969) / LE DOULOS (1962) / LE CERCLE ROUGE (1970) directed by Jean-Pierre Melville


Based on the novel by Joseph Kessel this classic French war drama draws on the director’s own experiences in World War II. The film follows a band of resistance fighters in German-controlled France. As the grip of the occupying force tightens, friendships, loyalty and trust give way to suspicion, secrecy and loss.



The backstabbing criminals in Melville’s shadowy underworld only have one guiding principle: “Lie or die.” By the end of this brutal, twisting and multi-layered policier who will be left to trust? Shot and edited with Melville’s trademark cool with masterfully stylized dialogue and a memorable performance from a stone-faced Jean-Paul Belmondo.



A masterpiece of crime cinema, Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic ex-cop. The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, until a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates.


New from the BFI on 2 July

LYNN + LUCY (2019) directed by Fyzal Boulifa

Starring newcomer Roxanne Scrimshaw and Nichola Burley (Born EqualDrop Dead GorgeousDonkey Punch)

A lifelong friendship is tested by tragedy in this atmospheric and intense first feature from Cannes-prize-winning British shorts director Fyzal Boulifa, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival. Lynn and Lucy are life-long best friends, their relationship as intense as any romance. Neither has ventured far from where they grew up. Lynn, who married her first boyfriend and whose daughter is fast growing up, is delighted when the charismatic, volatile Lucy has her first baby boy. Lucy, however, does not react to motherhood as Lynn expects. Soon, they find their friendship tested in the most extreme circumstances. Beautifully acted, this taut thriller of bad choices, misunderstandings and escalating social unrest skilfully transcends conventional British film genres and tropes.

New on 6 July

CHEVALIER (2016) directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari

Tsangari’s (Trigonometry, BBC Two) feminist portrait of men without women is a dark satire of the neoliberal games we play. Six friends on an octopus-fishing trip aboard a luxury yacht in the Aegean compete to determine which among them is “the best in general”, to formalise and justify their selfish competitiveness. Whilst clearly concerned with gender, CHEVALIER works as a broader social satire, using the limited setting of the yacht to stage an absurdist send-up of the pathologies of 21st-century selfhood.


Explore over 10,000 free archive films on BFI Player from the last 120 years at https://player.bfi.org.uk/free


LGBT BRITAIN ON FILM https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collection/lgbt-britain

This colourful and challenging collection explores screen representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives over the past century. From early glimpses of ‘queer’ characters, this collection charts the path towards ’67 and beyond, through responses to the AIDS crisis to diverse reflections on queer life today.

In celebration of Pride this weekend we’ve chosen to highlight three rare Pride films from events in London and Manchester.

Three to see for free:

Pride in London (1975) (London’s Screen Archives)

A short but sweet show of stylish and colourful characters, parading to bring pride and power to the queer community in Central London from the 1975 UK Gay Pride event held at Shepherds Bush Green.

David is Homosexual (1976) 

An important rediscovery in Britain’s LGBT history, made on a shoestring on Super8 over the hot summer of 1976 by members of the Lewisham branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE). The film follows lonely, isolated office clerk David as he discovers CHE, makes new friends and blossoms into a happy, out gay man. It features rare footage of the 1976 Gay Pride rally in Hyde Park.

Manchester Tickled Pink (1993) (North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University

Shot on Canal St in Manchester in 1993, this vivid record of the ‘Tickled Pink’ celebrations, now known as Manchester Pride, really brings the event to life. Paul Berry, the filmmaker, who briefly appears in this film, was a talented animator who worked for Cosgrove Hall in Manchester and was Oscar nominated in 1991 for his short film ‘The Sandman’.

BFI Recommends

Mon 22/6: – EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1960) directed by Georges Franju

Available to subscribers:https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-eyes-without-a-face-1960-online

BFI National Archive Curator William Fowler is captivated by the strange brutal beauty of Georges Franju’s hauntingly surreal fantasy. Chillingly austere in black-and-white and yet shockingly visceral with murder and operation scenes, he likes to think of this horror classic as the poetic French evil twin to Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, released the very same year. A compulsive, murderous doctor tries repeatedly, and by any means necessary, to repair his daughter’s damaged, once beautiful, visage.

Tue 23/6: LOCAL HERO (1983) directed by Bill Forsyth

Available to rent: https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-local-hero-1983-online 

Technical Delivery Manager Douglas Weir makes the case for Bill Forsyth’s LOCAL HERO as the best Scottish film ever made, with its themes, on the value of the natural world, Scotland and its people just as relevant today as they were in 1983. Oil Exec MacIntyre travels from his box-like office in Texas to Scotland with millions of dollars in an attempt to buy a village, bull-doze it and turn the land into an oil refinery. Things quietly unravel as the beauty and charm of the western isles and its inhabitants start to take effect. Wonderfully written by Forsyth, with great comic turns by Peter Capaldi, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson and the great Burt Lancaster this is Doug’s ideal escape film during lockdown.

Wed 24/6: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) directed by George Romero 

Available to rent: https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-night-of-the-living-dead-1968-online

Cultural Programme Press Manager Liz Parkinson reveals how it was love at first bite for Romero’s un-dead classic, resulting in a fascination with zombies, an obsessively researched dissertation and, eventually, a nervy conversation with the great man himself at BFI Southbank. Frequently cited as a comment on racial prejudice, Romero maintained this was a coincidence – he didn’t intend to cast a black actor (the brilliant Duane Jones) in the lead. But of course, films aren’t just about the filmmaker’s intentions; released shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, the film cannot help but comment on the appalling systematic oppression of black people, which tragically persists today. Not just horror for the sake of horrifying, but getting to the heart of humanity, saying something much more profound than just ‘I’m hungry’.



Mark Kermode gives exclusive introductions to films selected from Subscription. Each one probes the making and mean of the film, and explains why it’s essential viewing.

26 June

The Last Tree (2019) directed by Shola Amoo 


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