This year’s BFI London Film Festival is offering film fanatics globally a unique opportunity to access an array of shorts on their BFI Player.

The LFF Shorts program features films with strong female lead performances and a range of powerful, emotive performances covering a range of topics. From the hard-hitting Good Thanks, You? and Expensive Shit to the commanding Dolapo is Fine the importance of identity and self-discovery is also a common theme.

It’s refreshing to watch the different perspectives, geographical locations, and idealisms on topics such as racism, identity, and power from filmmakers across the globe. This was displayed effectively in Dolapo is Fine, directed by Ethosheia Hylton; written by Joan Iyiola & Chibundu Onuzo. Starring Doyin Ajiboye, Joan Iyiola, and Gina McKee Dolapo is Fine follows the journey of a black girl at boarding school who is persuaded to change her hair from her signature afro to wearing a wig so she can “fit in” and secure a job in finance. The short displays the importance of being true to who you are. Top quote from the film: “I wouldn’t wanna work anywhere that would make me change my hair.”

Chicken written by Alana Hicks and featuring Mariah Alone takes an interesting route of, on the surface, a simple error – a wrong purchase, and a mother/daughter dynamic like every other. However, add to that the mother and daughter are black and living in Sydney then you get an extra layer to consider, “I have seen darkies before on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air” says a local shop worker. Although a slow start to this short it is one with a powerful outcome.

Shagbands written by Luna Carmoon, Expensive Shit written by Adura Onashile, and Good Thanks, You? Written by Molly Manning Walker all tackle the topic of sexual assault and how it can affect an individual and the people around them. Shagbands explores friendship, toxic family dynamics, and unspeakable crime. Expensive Shit features a strong performance and welcome return from Modupe Adeyeye (Hollyoaks) portraying the difficulties of being a migrant working in a nightclub ladies’ toilet coerced to drug a female victim in order for bosses to take advantage. Good Thanks,You? sees Jasmine Jobson and Micheal Ward from Top Boy reunite as a couple. Jobson displayed an emotional and engaging performance as her character experiences sexual assault.

Highly recommended. You can watch these shorts along with other short films on the BFI player for free until Sunday 18 October 2020. Find out more here.


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