BFI London Film Fest lines up Guggenheim, Timoner docs

He Named Me Malala, Brand: A Second Coming (pictured), In Jackson Heights and Janis: Little Girl Blue will continue their festival runs at the BFI London Film Festival in October.
September 1, 2015

Documentaries by Davis Guggenheim, Ondi Timoner, Walter Salles, Amy Berg and Frederick Wiseman will screen at the 59th annual BFI London Film Festival next month.

This year’s line-up includes 238 fiction and doc features, including the 12 docs that are up for the Grierson Award in the festival’s Documentary Competition category.

Guggenheim’s He Named Me Malala and Timoner’s Brand: A Second Coming (pictured) will both receive gala treatment, while Wiseman’s In Jackson Heights and Salles’ Jia Zhangke: A Guy From Fenyang will screen in competition, as will Jennifer Peedom’s Sherpa, which Discovery recently acquired for global broadcast next year.

Other doc competition titles are João Pedro Plácido’s (BE)LONGING, Mor Loushy’s Censored Voices, David Sington’s The Fear of 13, Alexandra Bombach and Mo Scarpelli’s Frame By Frame, Alexander Sokurov’s Francofonia, Tom Heymann’s Mr. Gaga, Patricio Guzman’s The Pearl Button, Sarah Turner’s Public House and Hanna Polak’s Something Better To Come.

Both The Fear of 13 and Public House are world premieres.

Elsewhere, director John Dower will explore the Church of Scientology with help from Louis Theroux in My Scientology Movie, a world premiere. Also bowing in London is William Fairman and Max Gogarty’s Chemsex, about the chemsex scene in London’s gay community. The film screened earlier this year as a work-in-progress at Sheffield Doc/Fest and was last week acquired by Peccadillo Pictures.

Maya Newell’s Gayby Baby, about four Australian children whose parents are gay, will have its European premiere, as will George Amponsah’s The Hard Stop, about a man shot to death during a ‘hard stop’ police procedure in 2011.

Film essayist Mark Cousins will return to London with I Am Belfast and David Evans’ doc My Nazi Legacy is also set to screen.

The festival’s music program is heavy on documentaries and includes Berg’s Janis Joplin doc Janis: Little Girl Blue, the Jack White-exec produced PBS doc The American Epic Sessions, Brendan Toller’s look at The Ramones’ manager Danny Says, John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll, James Caddick and James Cronin’s Elephant Says, Sacha Jenkins’ hip-hop fashion doc Fresh Dressed and Bobbito Garcia’s Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives.

Les Blank’s restored 1974 doc on Leon Russell, A Poem Is A Naked Person, will continue its festival run in London, as will the restored version of Marcel Ophuls’ 1976 film The Memory of Justice.

Other docs screening in London include Listen to Me Marlon, Sembene!, Being Evel, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, Live From New York!, (T)ERROR, Hitchcock/Truffaut, Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words and My Love Don’t Cross That River.

The BFI London Film Festival runs from October 7 to 18. For the full program, visit the festival’s website.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.