London Film Festival Unveils Works-in-Progress Showcase

The BFI London Film Festival’s annual Works-in-Progress showcase, now in its third edition, will present nine new feature films and documentaries by U.K.-based filmmakers.

The showcase, which is part of the festival’s U.K. Talent Days focus, will be an in-person event on Oct. 8 screening extracts from each project introduced by their producer to an invited audience of international buyers and festival programmers. The projects are either in production or post-production. Clips will also be available online via a secure platform to a wider pool of invited international industry professionals.

The annual Buyers & Sellers event returns as an in-person fixture at which international sales agents can meet with U.K. buyers, and [email protected] will host masterclasses and events for 12 U.K.-based writers, directors and producers to interact with international filmmakers and industry executives at the festival.

Festival director, Tricia Tuttle, said: “Connecting independent filmmakers and moving image creatives in the U.K. to commissioners, distributors and financiers is vital for co-investment and distribution, as well as creative development and future collaboration.”

Works-in-Progress Showcase

“Embers”

Director: Christian Cooke; writers: Christian Cooke, Dave Florez; producers: April Kelley, Sara Huxley, Arthur Landon, Marnie Paxton-Harris; cast: Ruth Bradley, Christian Cooke, David Wilmot, Clare Perkins, Samuel Anderson.

Amy, a sexual surrogate, is employed to help a high-security psychiatric patient overcome his intimacy issues in order to make parole. Incarcerated for 18 years, Dan must confront his dark past if he is to have any chance of freedom.

“Girl”

Director-writer: Adura Onashile; producers Rosie Crerar, Ciara Barry; cast: Déborah Lukumuena, Danny Sapani, Leshantey Bonsu, Lana Turner. 

A love story between 24-year-old Grace and her 11-year old-daughter, Ama, a dual coming of age that centers Grace’s inability to leave the past behind or let herself become the woman she could be against Ama’s burgeoning puberty and curiosity of the world. As Grace is forced to confront the truth of her past, she has to come to terms with her trauma and its effects on Ama.

“Hoard”

Director-writer Luna Carmoon; producers: Loran Dunn, Helen Simmons, Andy Starke; cast: Hayley Squires, Joseph Quinn, Saura Lightfoot Leon.

This tale of mother and daughter follows them in their loving routines. After a man called Michael comes to stay, once suppressed shimmering memories begin to haunt as grief never really heals.

“Kindling”

Director-writer: Connor O’Hara; producers Jamie Gamache, Mark Foligno; cast: George Somner, Conrad Khan, Wilson Mbomio, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Tara Fitzgerald.

The film follows a group of young men who return to their home town in order to turn their friend Sid’s final summer into a celebration of life, love and friendship. Sid gives each person a category – love, home, friends, family and location – and asks them to find an item that connects them all with the word they’ve been given.

“Robin” (documentary)

Director-producer: Orban Wallace; co-producer: Charlie Whitehead; executive producers: Kat Mansoor, Orlando Von Eisendel.

A young woman, Charlie, decides to reimagine/bring to light the film her sister Robin was making before dying in 2010 of an overdose at the age of 27. Robin’s film was a portrait of the musician Peter Doherty at the height of his fame, a project she was offered by her writer and filmmaker father Peter Whitehead who had made a film with the Rolling Stones. Ten years after Robin’s death Charlie discovers Robin’s rushes.

“Sandcastles” (documentary) 

Director: Inma De Reyes; producers: Aimara Reques, Beth Earl, Ronny Merdinger; cast: Borja Miranda, Erik Miranda, Matias Miranda, Raquel Miranda.

Filmed over the course of five years, the film follows Borja, a young boy in the provincial Spanish town of Castellon. His patriarch grandfather Matias pins his own unfulfilled dreams of becoming a professional bullfighter onto his grandchild, with the hopes that it will get the family out of poverty. But the reality of bullfighting today is not as grandfather remembers it; yet the family believes Borja will be the one who will make it against all odds.

“Scala Club Cinema” (documentary)

Directors: Jane Giles, Ali Catterall; producers: Andy Starke, Alan Marke, Jim Reid; cast: John Waters, Adam Buxton, Stewart Lee, James O’Brien, Isaac Julien, Caroline Catz, Mary Harron, Beeban Kidron, Princess Julia.

The riotous inside story of the infamous sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll repertory cinema which inspired a generation during Britain’s turbulent Thatcher years.  It features new interviews with diverse audience members who went on to become filmmakers, musicians, writers, actors, activists and artists, combined with previously unseen archive material, iconic movie clips, animation and graphics.

“The Secret Army – the film you were never supposed to see” (documentary)

Director: John O’Kane; producers: John O’Kane, Darragh Macintyre.

Commissioned by BBC Storyville and BBC Northern Ireland, the feature documentary follows Northern Ireland journalist Darragh MacIntyre as he unravels the story behind a 1972 American documentary, “The Secret Army,” made with and about the IRA during the bloodiest year of the entire Northern Ireland conflict.

“Silent Roar”

Director-writer: Johnny Barrington; producer: Christopher Young; cast: Louis McCartney, Ella LIly Hyland, Mark Lockyer.

Dondo is a young surfer. His fisherman dad Willy disappeared a year ago. Dondo finds a friend in local minister Paddy. Sas is a young fireraiser, sailing through exams but looking for more meaning in life.  She questions Dondo’s new found religion, puzzled why he would go to church without parental pressure. Sas herself has religious parents who remind her daily to run away. They build a strong bond through passionate disagreement, cemented on a trip to sea – for Dondo to find Willy, for Sas to escape.

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