The 66th BFI London Film Festival (which takes place Oct. 5-16) has announced that it will premiere Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and director Nora Twomey’s new feature My Father’s Dragon (Cartoon Saloon) at the event this year. Also on tap is Creature, a new collaboration between acclaimed choreographer Akram Khan and Oscar winner Asif Kapadia and the previously announced opening night gala, the big screen adaptation of the smash-hit, Olivier-winning stage musical Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical.
Netflix has just announced the release dates for its upcoming feature animation slate, including these two LFF premiere titles.
As part of its mission to spotlight the impressive range of creative talent within the U.K., BFI London Film Festival will help launch a rich selection of homegrown world premieres. In addition to the three U.K. productions World Premiering as part of the episodic strand, the Festival will present the claustrophobic whistleblower comedy Klokkenluider, the directorial debut of actor Neil Maskell (Kill List) which stars Amit Shah, Tom Burke and Jenna Coleman, and Welsh filmmaker Jamie Adams’ bittersweet part-improvised love story She Is Love, starring Sam Riley (Control) and Haley Bennett (Cyrano). Award-winning short filmmaker Dionne Edwards delivers on the promise of early work with her heart-swelling debut, Pretty Red Dress, which investigates Black masculinity and family dynamics.
Other U.K. debuts launching at the Festival include: Andrew Cumming’s wildly inventive Palaeolithic low budget horror, The Origin; Fridjof Ryder’s dark thriller Inland, starring Mark Rylance and acclaimed British-Kenyan artist, Grace Ndiritu’s long-form debut, Becoming Plant.
U.K. Documentary cinema is also well represented with world premieres including the rapturous Name Me Lewand by Edward Lovelace (The Possibilities Are Endless) that explores the experience of a deaf Kurdish boy, If the Streets Were on Fire, an exhilarating portrait of London’s BikeStormz community which was featured in LFF’s Works-in-Progress showcase as part of U.K. New Talent Days 2021, and two new films Kanaval: A People’s History of Haiti in Six Chapters and Blue Bag Life, produced by Natasha Dack-Ojumo, co-Founder of Tigerlily Films (Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché). Yemi Bamiro also returns to LFF with his follow up to Michael Jordan portrait, One Man and His Shoes, with Super Eagles ’96, about the Nigerian football team.
You can find details on the previously announced XR selections and Short Films in Competition on the BFI London Film Festival website.
My Father’s Dragon
BFI LFF WORLD PREMIER (On Netflix November 4 & in Select Theaters)
From five-time Academy Award-nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers) and Academy Award-nominated director Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner), comes an exquisite film inspired by the Newbery-honored children’s book from author Ruth Stiles Gannett. Struggling to cope after a move to the city with his mother, Elmer runs away in search of Wild Island and a young dragon who waits to be rescued. Elmer’s adventures introduce him to ferocious beasts, a mysterious island and the friendship of a lifetime.
Directed by Twomey and written by Meg LeFauve, who both executive produce alongside Tomm Moore, Gerry Shirren, Ruth Coady and Alan Maloney, My Father’s Dragon voice stars Jacob Tremblay, Gaten Matarazzo, Golshifteh Farahani, Dianne Wiest, Rita Moreno, Chris O’Dowd, Judy Greer, Alan Cumming, Yara Shahidi, Jackie Earle Haley, Mary Kay Place, Leighton Meester, Spence Moore II, Adam Brody, Charlyne Yi, Maggie Lincoln, Jack Smith, Whoopi Goldberg and Ian McShane.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
BFI LFF WORLD PREMIERE (On Netflix December 9 & in Select Theaters)
Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and award-winning stop-motion legend Mark Gustafson reimagine the classic Carlo Collodi tale of the fabled wooden boy with a whimsical tour de force that finds Pinocchio on an enchanted adventure that transcends worlds and reveals the life-giving power of love.
Del Toro helms the project as director with Gustafson, writer with Patrick McHale and producer with Lisa Henson, Gary Ungar, Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico. The voice cast features Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson and Burn Gorman.