British Film Institute

British Film Institute

The BFI is the UK’s lead organization for film, television and the moving image. It is a cultural charity that restores and distributes films across the globe. It cares for the BFI National Archive, one of the most significant film and television archive in the world.

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British Film Institute
  • 2 X 50 Years of French Cinema

    Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville & Jean-Luc Godard • Documentary • With Michel Piccoli • 1995 • 50 minutes

    Jean-Luc Godard produced this ambitious project, directed by his wife, Anne-Marie Miéville. Travelling around six regions (each of which featured in a classic film) he interviews young local...

  • 90° South

    Directed by Herbert G. Ponting • Documentary • With Herbert G. Ponting • 1933 • 73 minutes

    Sound version, with commentary by expedition photographer Herbert Ponting, of the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910-13 to Antarctica, under the leadership of Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

  • 100 Years of Japanese Cinema

    Directed by Nagisa Oshima • Documentary • With William B. White, Nagisa Oshima • 1996 • 52 minutes

    The forces and themes that have shaped his nation's cinema drive Nagisa Oshima's forceful and erudite essay. Based entirely on archive footage, it considers the rediscovery of Daisuke Ito's Chuji's...

  • 40,000 Years of Dreaming

    Directed by George Miller • Documentary • With George Miller • 1996 • 65 minutes

    Mad Max director George Miller explores the tradition of film production in Australia, forging a link between the imported technology of filmmaking and the ancient Aboriginal creation myths. In parallel with tracing...

  • Abstract Cinema

    Directed by Keith Griffiths • Documentary • With Stan Brakhage, William Moritz, John Whitney, Michael Scroggins, Jules Engel • 1993 • 51 minutes

    Exploration of the work of pioneers in abstract cinema using rare archive film, film clips and interviews to demonstrate the influence of the early cin...

  • The Animals Film

    Directed by Victor Schonfeld & Myriam Alaux • Documentary • With Julie Christie, Richard Ryder, Roger Ulrich, Lord Houghton, Peter Singer • 1981 • 136 minutes

    Documentary about the abuse of animals in factory farming, sport and research. Made over a period of two years in Britain and the U.S., i...

  • Around India with a Movie Camera

    Directed by Sandhyu Suri • Documentary • 2018 • 72 minutes

    Award-winning filmmaker Sandhya Suri (I for India) skillfully weaves together archival footage—including hand colored sequences—with a new score by composer Soumik Datta to create an emotionally resonant story about life across India fro...

  • Cinema of Tears

    Directed by Nelson Pereira Dos Santos • Documentary • With Raul Cortez, André Barros, Christiane Torloni, Patrick Tannus, Cosme Alves Neto • 1995 • 95 minutes

    Personal view of the Latin American cinema by Brazilian director Nelson Pereira dos Santos, based on an adaptation of a novel by Silvia O...

  • Dreams That Money Can Buy

    Directed by Hans Richter • Drama • With Jack Bittner, Werner Brandes, Norma Cazanjian, Lauren Denny, Joseph Freeman • 1948 • 81 minutes

    Joe, a young man down on his luck, discovers he has the power to create dreams, and sets up a business selling them to others. The 'dreams' he gives to his clie...

  • Drifters

    Directed by John Grierson • Documentary • 1929 • 50 minutes

    Story of the North Sea herring fleets. Filmed around the coast of Yarmouth and Lowestoft and Lerwick in the Shetlands in all weathers, but using some studio sets for interiors.

  • Every Day Except Christmas

    Directed by Lindsay Anderson • Documentary • With Alun Owen • 1957 • 40 minutes

    Lindsay Anderson followed his Free Cinema debut O Dreamland with this affectionate tribute to working-class life, depicting the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden market. On the back of his renowned Free Cinema film ...

  • Frida Kahlo & Tina Modotti

    Directed by Laura Mulvey • Documentary • With Miriam Margolyes • 1983 • 29 minutes

    This tautly structured documentary sheds light on the work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Italian photographer Tina Modotti, women icons of the Mexican Renaissance. The film not only explores the two women's a...

  • Invocation - Maya Deren

    Directed by Jo Ann Kaplan • Documentary • With Jana Sheldon, Helen Mirren, Hella Hammid, Alexander Hackenschmied, Amos Vogel • 1988 • 53 minutes

    Maya Deren is a legend of avant-garde cinema. This authoritative biography of the charismatic filmmaker, poet and anthropologist features excerpts from...

  • London

    Directed by Patrick Keiller • Documentary • With Paul Scofield • 1994 • 85 minutes

    A 'fin-de-siecle' personal portrait of London from an English experimental filmmaker, shot over a period of twelve months, which saw the election of John Major as prime minister, renewed IRA bombings, the 'Black W...

  • The Miners' Hymns

    Directed by Bill Morrison • Documentary • 2011 • 52 minutes

    The ill-fated coal mining communities in North East England are the subject of this inspired documentary by multi-media artist Bill Morrison. Their story is told entirely without words, yet the film is far from silent: it features a rem...

  • Minute Bodies: The Intimate World Of F. Percy Smith

    Directed by Stuart A. Staples • Documentary • With tindersticks • 2016 • 55 minutes

    This meditative, immersive film by tindersticks' Stuart A. Staples is a tribute to the astonishing work and achievements of naturalist, inventor and pioneering British filmmaker F. Percy Smith (1880-1945).

    Based...

  • Momma Don't Allow

    Directed by Karel Reisz & Tony Richardson • Documentary • With Chris Barber, Monty Sunshine, Pat Halcox, Ron Bowden • 1956 • 22 minutes

    This lively Free Cinema short captures a night out at the Wood Green Jazz Club, where teenagers jive to trad jazz. Funded by the BFI Experimental Film Fund, it ...

  • Silent Shakespeare

    Directed by Various • Documentary • With Jill Crossland, Sally Telling, Peter Mcgowan, Mandy Garside, Frances Newbery • 1999 • 88 minutes

    The cinema's love affair with Shakespeare dates from the earliest days of film. In its infancy film was regarded as a rather lowbrow medium, and the budding ...

  • The Song of Ceylon

    Directed by Basil Charles Wright • Documentary • With Lionel Wendt, Alberto Cavalcanti, John Grierson, Stuart Legg, Basil Charles Wright • 1934 • 38 minutes

    The Song of Ceylon was originally commissioned as a series of short travelogues, but spawned an ambitious film transforming travelogue (exo...

  • The Song of the Shirt

    Directed by Sue Clayton & Jonathan Curling • Documentary • With Martha Gibson, Geraldine Pilgrim, Anna Mcniff, Liz Myers, Jill Greenhalgh, • 1979 • 135 minutes

    The plight of women in the 1840s London rag trade is explored and deconstructed. Informed by experimental film practice and evoking a se...

  • Turksib

    Directed by Viktor Turin • Documentary • 1929 • 78 minutes

    With bold and exhilarating flair, Turksib charts the monumental efforts to build a railway linking the regions of Turkestan and Siberia in 1920s USSR. With its signature use of Soviet montage and a similarly typical portrayal of huge col...

  • Typically British: A Personal History of British Cinema by Stephen Frears

    Directed by Stephen Frears & Michael Dibb • Documentary • With Gavin Lambert, Michael Apted, Alan Parker, Stephen Frears, Alexander Mackendrick • 1994 • 74 minutes

    Shown on the set of `Mary Reilly', Frears hosts a guided tour through seventy-five years of British cinema from Hitchcock's `Black...

  • We Are the Lambeth Boys

    Directed by Karel Reisz • Documentary • With John Rollason, Thomas Ahearne, Patrick Ahearne • 1959 • 53 minutes

    Karel Reisz’s honest and sympathetic depiction of South London teens aimed to challenge the media perception of ‘Teddy Boys’, and would be one of the last films to appear under the Fre...

  • The World of Gilbert and George

    Directed by Gilbert and George • Documentary • With Gilbert and George • 1981 • 69 minutes

    Personal film by and about Gilbert and George who have worked together as sculptors since 1968 making living sculptures, photo-pieces, drawings, paintings, video sculptures, books and works in other forms.