Why LFF 2020 is Great News for Showroom Cinema

If you know me, you know I love Showroom Cinema. 

Pre-pandemic, I used to visit at least once a week. In fact, I was nearing the end of their David Cronenberg film course just before the world went to shit. 

You can read my gushing love letter to the UK’s best cinema (yep!) here

The Light, Odeon, Cineworld and other cinemas have slowly opened up in Sheffield over the past month or so. 

Showroom is *finally* opening its doors on September 18th – and it couldn’t be better timed. 

Last week, Showroom announced that they’ll be screening films from BFI’s London Film Festival (LFF) 2020.

This is the first time that the festival will be accessible to people outside of the capital. This is a big deal, as the film industry is notoriously elitist and London-centric. 

When I was freelancing at uni in Birmingham, it was difficult to land features in film magazines. I simply didn’t have the access that my peers in London had. 

Opening LFF up to the rest of the UK will allow the films – some of which have never been screened before – to be enjoyed by a much more diverse audience. Now, we won’t be lagging behind. 

The films will be shown between 7-18th October. There will also be Q+As and in-depth talks if you want to delve deeper into these exciting new features. 

Here are some highlights to look out for:

Ammonite 

As Francis Lee is a gay man from West Yorkshire, it only seems fitting that his latest feature should screen at Showroom cinema. 

His last film, God’s Own Country, was drowned out by the love for Call Me By Your Name the same year. 

But, if anything, the intimate relationship between a young farmer and an immigrant worker was much more impressive. 

His latest, Ammonite, stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. It’s a period piece involving fossil hunter Mary Anning, who falls in love with a young woman. 

Nomadland

Chloé Zhao’s last film, The Rider, followed a young cowboy who suffers a brain injury. It was an intimate study of masculinity and demonstrated her mastery of docu-fiction. 

Nomadland is another docu-fiction hybrid, but this time comes with the star power of Frances McDormand. 

It’s inspired by a nonfiction book (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century) and follows Frances as she loses her home and heads out to find seasonal work.  

It’s had rave reviews from TIFF and is already getting Oscar hype. 

Mangrove

After the Oscars glory of 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen turned his hand to a heist thriller. Widows was a fantastic genre piece and proved that McQueen has much more up his sleeve than Oscar-bait. 

Mangrove opens LFF 2020 and will be screening at Showroom cinema. It tells the story of black activists the Mangrove 9 who, 50 years ago, clashed with police during a protest. 

If his previous work is anything to go by, this is definitely worth a watch. 

Shirley 

Early on in lockdown, I binged The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. It’s a fantastic horror-series, and this new film will illuminate it even further. 

The hit series was based on the novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. Whilst Shirley is largely fictional, it weaves in details from Shirley Jackson’s life. 

Josephine Decker’s last film, Madeline’s Madeline, was an experimental look at the relationship between director and actor. If this and the positive reviews for Shirley are anything to go by, she’s definitely one to watch. 

Learn more about LFF at Showroom on their website.

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