The first two weeks of March, ahead of the return of BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA + Film Festival , will see the culmination of a three-part season counting down Sight And Sound’s 100 Greatest Films of All Time , with screenings of the films voted from 30th place up to the prestigious top-spot taking place at BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX . Results of the world-famous once a decade critics’ poll were revealed in December, and saw a female filmmaker take the number one place for the first time since the poll’s inception in 1952. The winner, Chantal Akerman’s mesmerising Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) will screen alongside the rest of the top 30 during the first two weeks of March.
Also in March is the return of Busting the Bias, a weekend of screenings, talks and immersive presentations taking place between 3 and 5 March that celebrate Disability filmmaking, intersectionality and community-led action towards an inclusive film industry. The weekend will champion accessible and equitable practices and cultures within filmmaking and exhibition and tackle conversations around authentic on-screen representation, advocacy and inclusion for Disabled talent and audiences. The full programme will be announced soon.
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Highlights of the events programme at BFI Southbank will include a film preview of Hassan Nazer’s heart-warming ode to Iranian cinema, Winners (2022), which picked up the Audience Award at the 2022 Edinburgh International Film Festival and two British Independent Film Awards, screening at BFI Southbank on 9 March. Mark Kermode, one of the nation’s most respected film critics, returns with regular event Mark Kermode Live in 3D at the BFI on 13 March. Joined by surprise industry guests, Kermode explores, critiques and dissects new and upcoming releases, film news, cinematic treasures and guilty pleasures.
Playing on International Women’s Day, 8 March, as part of the WOW – Women of the World Festival (which takes place at the Southbank Centre from 10 to 12 March), will be an exclusive, one-off screening of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play Prima Facie, starring Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) in her astonishing West End debut. Tessa is a young, brilliant barrister. She has worked her way up from working-class origins to be at the top of her game. An unexpected event places her at the point where the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof and morality diverge. After sold-out runs in cinemas across the UK , Prima Facie returns for one night only at BFI Southbank and will be followed by a panel discussion with special guests including Jude Kelly, Helena Kennedy KC and more to be announced soon. This screening is made possible with the kind support of Empire Street Productions and National Theatre Live. A donation from each ticket sold will go to support The WOW Foundation’s work, which includes the WOW Festival, the world’s biggest, most comprehensive festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people.
Also taking place on International Women’s Day, On Her Shoulders: Black Women in Broadcast Journalism will spotlight the work of Juliet Alexander, who presented Ebony on the BBC , which in 1982 became the UK ’s first Black news and current affairs TV magazine programme. Previously a journalist at a time of great racial unrest, Alexander worked on The Guardian and The Sunday Times, as well as co-presenting Black Londoners on BBC Radio London with Alex Pascall. This event will feature TV extracts from a pioneering career and a panel discussion about the achievement and the progress of Black women in broadcast journalism with guest speakers including producer and commissioning editor Maxine Watson, and Sky Newscaster Gillian Joseph, hosted by author Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff.
Our monthly free screening for seniors will also take place on International Women’s Day and celebrate Wendy Toye with a feature and short double-bill. Toye, who originally trained as a ballet dancer before turning to acting and then directing, on both the stage and screen, inspired a generation of female filmmakers to pursue a career in a male-dominated film industry. The Teckman Mystery (1954) is a stylish whodunnit, detailing a biographer’s investigation into the death of a young airman. It will show alongside her award-winning short The Stranger Left No Card (1952).
Completing the International Woman’s Day line-up will be a Woman with a Movie Camera screening of Fashion Reimagined (Becky Hutner, 2022), a documentary following fashion designer Amy Powney as she decides to use prize money from winning the coveted Vogue award for the best young designer of the year, to create a fully sustainable clothing collection. The screening of this urgent documentary will be followed by a Q&A with director Becky Hutner.
BFI Southbank will mark the centenary of poet, singer and artist Ivor Cutler, with a selection of special events in early March. Part of the British satire boom and Beatlemania, Cutler played a role in the Greenham Common movement, was a latter-day labelmate of Oasis and second only to The Fall in the number of John Peel sessions he recorded. His great absurdist wit – popular with both children and adults – was discovered by each new generation from the late 1950s until his death in 2006. In all that time, he never compromised his style, remaining a beloved member of the counterculture. Curated by Dick Fiddy, Ian Greaves and William Fowler, Ivor Cutler and the Eccentric Miscellany will be a selection of events celebrating Cutler’s life as well as other eccentrics from all corners of the UK , such as Margaret Rutherford, Vivian Stanshall and Bruce Lacey, who have graced British screens over the years.
New releases screening at BFI Southbank in early March will include the BFI Distribution release of Creature (2022), the new film from Academy Award winning director Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy, Diego Maradona). Released in cinemas UK -wide on 24 February, following its world premiere at the 66th BFI London Film Festival, Creature is a genre-busting collaboration between Kapadia and the Olivier Award winning choreographer Akram Khan, based on the English National Ballet’s 2021 stage production.
There will also be screenings of Lukas Dhont’s Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix-winner, the striking, emotionally charged drama Close (2022), about best friends Leo and Remi. This tender and tough coming-of-age story movingly charts the pitfalls of masculinity and the power of friendship. Screening from 3 March, Close will also be the subject of BFI Southbank’s monthly Members Salon on 6 March.
In addition, screening from 24 February will be Hirokazu Koreeda’s Broker (2022), which focuses on the semi-illicit world of adoption markets, and won Song Kang Ho (Parasite, Memories of Murder) the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022.
New releases that must be seen on the biggest screen in the UK , BFI IMAX , will this month include a pair of much-anticipated sequels. Screening from 3 March, Creed III (Michael B Jordan, 2023) marks the directorial debut of star Michael B. Jordan, and is a thrilling continuation of the Rocky legacy. Opening on 17 March at BFI IMAX will be Shazam! Fury of The Gods (David F. Sandberg, 2023) where this time the eponymous superhero and his foster siblings are facing off against the evil Daughters of Atlas, who have a weapon that could potentially destroy the world. With Helen Mirren battling Zachary Levi, there is only one place to experience the magnificent entry in the DC Extended Universe.
When can I book?
Tickets for screenings in early March are on sale to BFI Patrons and Champions on 6 February, BFI Members on 7 February and to the general public on 9 February.
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