Following the reveal of the opening film, Jeymes Samuel’s star-studded Western The Harder They Fall, and the closing movie, Joel Coen’s Shakespeare adaptation The Tragedy Of Macbeth, more exciting announcements are underway for the BFI London Film Festival 2021. Ahead of the full line-up announcement on Tuesday, the festival organisers have unveiled the eight films set to play in official competition – and it’s an exciting list.

This year’s Official Competition selection features the latest work from The Great Beauty director Paolo Sorrentino, The Hand Of God, as well as Justin Kurzel’s return to his Snowtown roots with Nitram. Plus, there’s the latest animated work by Japanese master Mamoru Hosoda, Belle, and the UK’s own Harry Wootliff with her follow-up to Only You, titled True Things. Also screening in the election are Michaelangelo Frammartino’s Il Buco, Pana Panahi’s Hit The Road, Michel Franco’s Sundown, and Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Lingui, The Sacred Bonds.

“With Official Competition our aim is to present a curated programme that showcases the breadth and richness of international cinema for our audiences,” says LFF director Tricia Tuttle. “Anyone new to the LFF should consider Official Competition a big neon sign that is blinking: ‘enter here’. This eight film selection is full of individual cinematic diamonds – each one unique and beautiful in its own way. Together they are dazzling and demonstrate the endless potential of cinema in the hands of a great filmmaker. With a selection like this we have made the jury’s job very difficult indeed.”

Stay tuned for the full festival programme launch on 7 September. As well as London-based screenings, this year’s BFI London Film Festival is due to include a selected programme screening with UK-wide cinema partners, and a range of films available to screen digitally on the BFI Player.

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