The UK’s largest festival for young, emerging filmmakers, the BFI Future Film Festival 2024 returns from 15 – 18 February with a hybrid format that maintains a tradition of live and in-person screenings and events at BFI Southbank alongside a globally accessible online programme, kindly supported by Main Sponsor Netflix.
This year’s festival will also include a UK-wide programme in collaboration with BFI Film Academy partners, with screenings and events echoing the spirit of the BFI Future Film Festival providing young people across the country a chance to participate in the UK’s largest festival for budding screen creatives.
This year’s BFI Future Film Festival will include four jam-packed days filled with masterclasses, workshops, screenings, and networking opportunities, with events programmed across three strands: Storytelling, Business of Film and Career Ladder. With a host of industry experts and screen creatives leading the sessions, both online and in-person, the BFI Future Film Festival is the best way for filmmakers aged 16 to 25, across the UK and beyond, to break into the screen industries. The full industry programme will be unveiled on 24 January.
Today the BFI is pleased to announce the film programme for the BFI Future Film Festival 2024, which will once again be available to view for free worldwide on the BFI YouTube channel and screened at BFI Southbank. Separated into eight strands – Digital, Family, Funny, Identity, Our Planet, Relationships, Society and Towns & Cities – the film programme is a collection of fifty-five shorts by talented filmmakers from across the globe, selected by the Festival team and the BFI Film Academy Young Programmers from more than 1100 submissions.
All of the films screening throughout this year’s BFI Future Film Festival will be in contention for the prestigious BFI Future Film Festival Awards. The nominees will be announced soon, alongside the juries of industry experts who will judge each category. The winners will be revealed on the final day of the Festival.
For more information, and events programme updates from 24 January, visit www.bfi.org.uk/future-film-festival.
Digital – Liberating or restrictive, useful or addictive, the digital world governs all of our lives. These films explore how we construct our online identities, and how they, in turn, reconstitute our relationship with the world around us.
CRATE DOG (Jesse Padveen, 2023) sees a woman, mourning the death of her dog, decide to order a new pet from a mysterious online pop-up ad, leading to a bizarre and unsettling delivery.
LOVESHOTS (Pauliina Leskinen, 2023) questions whether digital love is less demanding than in real life, as a girl who wants to escape the dating scene finds herself in a relationship with an AI.
MAKING IT UP (Alice Guymer, 2023) weaves together themes of consumerism, standards of beauty and social media as we follow the grim lengths one girl will go to in order to be pretty.
SEEING READ (Beth Perkin & Natasha Perkin, 2023) finds Zoey plunged into a world of stress when she decides to text Miles, the guy she likes, and ask him out on a date… only to be left “on read”.
Family – Sometimes our relationships are most fraught with those closest to us. Dealing with conflict, bereavement, love and the intricacies of sibling dynamics, these films mine the richest seams of modern family life.
36,000 WORDS FOR LOVE (Zeb Goriely, 2023) is an experimental film documenting a weekend spent at the filmmaker’s home, using nothing but a microphone and a vintage film camera.
ARE YOU OKAY? (Jack McLoughlin, 2023) sees Carl and his sister Leanne forced to confront some dark truths after their car breaks down on the journey to find mental health support for Carl.
CARIAD BRAWDOL (Rhys Prichard, 2022) follows two brothers from a small Welsh town as they share their final day together, filled with uncertainty and tension, before one departs for university.
HOW TO BUILD A LIFE (Matthew Reese, 2023) sees Louis, a young man with Asperger’s, talk candidly with his brother about the bullying which nearly ended his life and how he was able to find hope.
LAST SEEN (Wiktoria Weintritt, 2023) shows Wiktoria ruminating on her last memory of seeing her father, which forces her to question the credibility of memory and how they fade with time.
LILLO (Andrea Figueroa Chávez, 2023) follows a boy grieving the loss of his father. He uses his imagination to find the strength needed to harvest his dad’s corn before the wind takes it first.
PLEASE BE HAPPY (Elif Gönen, 2023) is an experimental documentary that explores the varying relationship dynamics within three families on the intersection of parenthood and queerness.
STIR (Tiffany Whitney Chang, 2023) depicts tensions rising as, while an annual dinner unfolds, the women in the kitchen grapple with an unusual predicament – the accidental murder of a family pet.
STITCHES AND SOLACE (Blanche Malet, 2023) sees a young woman address her late father while reminiscing about the days surrounding his funeral, as she tries to come to terms with his passing.
Funny – Feeling like a little fun? These are films all about the quirkier side of life. From hungover mornings to alien invasions, these comic stories are guaranteed to make you laugh.
ANNA MCGEE’S WILD RIDE (Ava Bounds, 2023) offers a snapshot of the absurdity of life when a teenager on the cusp of adulthood flies through her entire future while stuck in a traffic jam.
DOUBLE VODKA AND BLACKCURRANT (Dean Conway, 2023) sees a hungover university student procrastinate with her best friends all morning, despite waking up an hour late for work.
GALACTIC GREED (Hokin Chang, 2023) shows an alien on his way to Earth discovering that he cannot afford the gas prices. Forced to hit the slot machines with his only coin, he soon gets too greedy…
GHOST INSURANCE (Django Pinter, 2023) follows a charismatic door-to-door Ghost Insurance salesman, who happens upon a curious father and his much more sceptical daughter.
LEMONADE STAND-OFF (Max Mir, Matthew Poole, Kanhaiya Trivedi, 2023) depicts how a sunny day in the park devolves into a duel to the death when two lemonade sellers turn to guerrilla warfare in a battle to ensnare customers.
PILLS! PILLS! PILLS! (Kate Saltel, 2023) follows shy intern Lobster Lobster, who struggles to keep up during their first day at a pharmaceutical company in this frenetic and fun animation.
THE BOSS LEVEL (Owen Heaton, 2023) is an action-comedy following Rachel as she attempts to make an audition on time, despite the efforts of her restaurant boss who is determined to stop her.
Identity – These films explore the way identity can be shaped by factors both internal and external, probing our feelings of displacement, alienation, and oppression surrounding racial and national identity. How do you know who you truly are?
AWAY FROM THE FIELDS (Safeen James, 2022) follows three Nigerian boys on a colourful journey of discovery as they mix and mingle with familiar faces in their London neighbourhood.
DREAMS OF HOME (Justin Kaminuma, 2023) is a visual poem crafted from footage of the filmmaker’s life, following a boy through abstract landscapes in search of a place seen in his dreams.
FIRST NIGHT (Haneol Lee, 2023) explores the isolation of the immigrant experience as a Korean father attempts to order food for his family at a deli – without much help from a dictionary.
ROCK SPRINGS (David Huang, 2023) sees a Chinese miner forced to make a difficult decision in the days leading up to the Chinese Massacre of 1885 in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SOUVENIR, UK! (Los Oushi Lin, 2023) is a travelogue-style reflection and exploration of the complex experience felt by Chinese students studying abroad.
THE LAST SEPTEMBER (Sophia Shi, 2022) follows an Asian-American high schooler, under the stress of college applications, whose world view is irrevocably changed by the box-checking process.
THE OATH (Jeffrey Lo, 2022) finds Catherine musing on her national identity as she prepares for her USA naturalisation ceremony and realises the weight held by the words of the Oath of Allegiance.
Our Planet – The world is a big place, and sometimes, it seems too complex to grasp. This collection of films highlights the order and the chaos which define not only our planet, but our universe. From global heating to the minutiae of changing ecosystems, these films ask how we are impacting ourselves, and our environment, through our actions.
BIRD DRONE (Radheya Jegatheva, 2023) follows a lonely seagull looking for love, who struggles to accept that his newfound object of affection is a human-operated drone with limited battery life.
LUCIDITY (Kit Warner, 2023) is the ominous and ethereal experience of a photographer who reimagines and explores the dreamlike memory of a beach.
SÆKÝR (Edith Morris, 2023) captures Stöðvarfjörður, a remote fishing village in Iceland where trolls, spirits and hidden folk roam, using a roll of super 8 and a cassette recorder.
THE DARKLING FOX (Henry Fish, 2023) shows a hunter trapped in an isolated and mysterious woodland as he begins to be tormented by his former prey.
THE NEST (Valèria Cuní, 2023) sees Genís tag along with his older brother, Martí, and their friends to spend an afternoon making mischief in a nearby farmhouse – exposing their differing attitudes.
Relationships – These films spotlight our closest interpersonal relationships, showing what happens when they break down, as well as how they can lift us back up again. From the secrets we keep from our dearest friends and loved ones, to the lengths we will go to help them, these works interrogate relationships both romantic and platonic.
APPETITE (Peiying Wang, 2023) explores the link between food and sex, and the conflict between instinct and social discipline, while a man and woman eat together at a restaurant.
DEEPER STILL (Max Callaby, 2023) is a personal story of friendship, the search for fulfilment and the lengths we go to attain it as an explorer comes up a tireless miner in this stop motion animation.
FLOWERBOY (Nicolas Schönberger, Thomas Hütte 2023) can read the customers who come to his flower shop like an open book, but when a shopper gifts him a flower of his own his ordered world is shaken up.
PALLBEARER (Martin Crasborn, 2023) follows the budding relationship between two young pallbearers as they are confronted by their fear of being vulnerable.
TIPSY SUGAR FLIPPING (Amber Clarke-McGrath, 2023) depicts three best friends on a drug-fuelled night out in their small seaside university town, but one friend doesn’t want the party to end.
WHEN ALL IS SAID & DONE (Satchel Aubrey, 2023) shows how Lucy and Jaswant’s plans to move out of their university housing become emotionally charged.
WIPE YOUR TEARS ON MY EARS (Imogen Graham, 2023) demonstrates the power of love with an emotional tribute to the people supporting the filmmaker through the shifts of mental health.
Society – These films tackle the thorniest issues of the contemporary period head-on, from social constructions of gender and self-image to geopolitical conflicts. Each of these works is concerned with constraint by, and liberation from, societal boundaries.
ALL UP THERE (Bonnie MacRae, 2022) is a portrait of youth, womanhood and medical misogyny following 20-something Eilidh as she urgently seeks answers after debilitating pain pauses her life.
AND HOW MISERABLE IS THE HOME OF EVIL (Saleh Kashefi, 2023) sees a dictator spend the last moments of his life sat in silent contemplation as a large group of people break into his house.
BLOOD FROM A STONE (Charles Humphreys, 2023) finds a young northern boxer struggling with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia as he battles to cut weight for an upcoming bout.
EMPTY SPACES (Ayan Novruz, 2023) sees a humanoid creature’s routine of stuffing itself with different materials disrupted by an unexpected presence, leading to profound, irreversible changes.
GUARDIANS (Minerva Navasca, 2021) is a documentary that walks us through the psychological reality of a girl’s journey home on foot through concerned phone calls with friends and family.
JUST ONE PINT (Lauren Hammersley, 2023) is a 2D animation following Haley, a 23-year-old girl who uses alcohol to deal with the emotional trauma of a break-up from an abusive boyfriend.
ROOM (Ian Dani Kim, 2023) is a stop motion animation that follows a teenage boy’s struggle with mental health, which he expresses by locking himself in an imaginary room inside his head.
THE THIRD EAR (Nathan Ginter, 2023) follows a life drawing model whose sense of self-image spirals after he sees a botched depiction of himself and sprouts an ear from the back of his head.
TO THE BRINK (Hugo Docking, 2023) is a violent stop motion cabaret for the cynical and depraved which shows how guilt, alcoholic apathy and the apocalypse threaten to push a man to the brink.
Towns and Cities – What defines our relationship with the built environment? Utility, community, subculture… alienation? Each of these films destabilises our inherited understanding of the towns and cities in which we live.
DANCING IN THE SHADOWS (Elliot Bloom & Alexandra Gordon-Gibson, 2022) is the story of a lonesome figure aimlessly searching for self-expression in a nighttime metropolis.
DOG FACTORY (Brody Salmon, 2023) finds two brothers playing in the apocalyptic ruins of a Lancashire mill town, before they encounter a dangerous loner living out of an ice cream van.
DREAM FACTORY (Alex Matraxia, 2023) is an experimental short that explores the historical role that cinemas played as queer cruising grounds, and their relationship with desire and fantasy.
LONDON’S ROCKETSHIP LAUNCHERS (Julia Mervis, 2022) follows the filmmaker’s quest to uncover the purpose of the large, circular metal frameworks dotted around London’s landscape.
SOUR DAYS (Faye Craig, 2023) finds Mirah in pursuit of a normal day as she navigates the many misfortunates that await her in the outside world – the personifications of her mental struggle.
SOUTH FACING (Reneque Samuels, 2023) shows how the loss of a family shop leads a young British Caribbean girl to consider her own identity and her sense of home.
THE SKATEBOOK (Sofia Negri, 2022) is an animated documentary bringing together voices from the London skateboard scene to share their fears, hopes, and thoughts about what it means to them.