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    BIFF | 2017    

The Empire Cinema, Leicester Square | Friday & Saturday, May 12th & 13th

It's The British Independent Film Festival's eighth year and we have an amazing line up!

The Festival aims to promote and support independent filmmaking. The Festival provides opportunities for independent filmmakers to have their films screened at great red carpet-style venues to a passionate audience of film professionals, film students, journalists and the general public. 

There are a number of awards up for grabs at the Festival, including the prestigious British Lion Award for Achievement in Film on a Low Budget.

    The Official Selection    

Screening 1

Friday, May 12th | 7:30pm

Love Life

(Amanda Brennan, 18m)


Love Life tells the stories of three different couples over one evening in a restaurant. An awkward first date, a break up and a pair who want to spice up their relationship. Each character in some way struggles to communicate what they really want and need. A sensitive and at times funny account of finding true love.



Director: Justin John Doherty

Writer: Neil Fox

Producers: Justin Doherty & Neil Fox

Cast: Katharine Davenport, James Barnes, Sebastian Badarau & Bean Downes

John is a touring jazz musician who has never met a woman like Alice. That’s because there aren’t many women like Alice. Their love is urgent and physical and they have made heady declarations of devotion to each other.


Blowing out of the city like a whirlwind in the night, Alice and John flee to the coast. However, over the course of this romantic weekend getaway, they come into contact with strangers and friends and the bubble threatens to burst as they discover the vulnerabilities, flaws and manipulations that were previously masked by the blissful waves of new love.

Screening 2

Saturday, May 13th | 12:00pm

Trust Me

(Gyulyara Meliki, 20m)


A love story in reverse. When their two worlds come together it ignites an explosive spark, which will test both of their inhabited lifestyles and questions, if maybe sometimes habits are too deeply engraved to be changed.

Happy Birthday Toby Simpson


Director: Patrick Makin

Writer: Patrick Makin

Producers: Patrick Makin & Celine Palavioux

Cast: Alexander Perkins & Edyta Budnik

Toby Simpson, 33, is stuck in life. Pushed and pulled in all directions by an insane boss, a jealous girlfriend, and an overbearing father, he has completely lost touch with what used to make him happy. After one particularly bad day – his birthday – he finds himself surrounded by a coachload of young people going to the local music festival and wonders how much worse things can get. The answer? Much worse…When he has his belongings stolen by one of the festival-goers, Toby heads into the festival to try find the thief… but finds the possibility of love and freedom instead.

Screening 3

Saturday, May 13th | 3:00pm

On Paper

(Nicholas Nazari, 18m)


Hamilton is an Entry Clearance Officer, a Home Office bureaucrat in charge of scrutinizing newly weds who have recently applied for a spouse visa. The abstract precision of a state-run bureaucratic apparatus is pitted against the imperfections of Hamilton’s own less-than-satisfying life and relationships.

The Great Unwashed


Director: Louis Fonseca

Writers: Louis Fonseca & Nick Horseman

Producers: Izzy Fonseca & Tom Lyle Severn

Cast: Jon Pointing, Bekka Bowling & Michael Ryan

Charlie is a jobless 20-something living in the city. A case of mistaken identity sees him interviewed by a gang of criminal hairdressers where he witnesses a murder and is forced to flee the city. With nowhere else to go, Charlie heads to Wales where his brother Rudyard and his brother’s “spiritual life partner’ Tulip live off the grid in a wood with a load of hippies. The hairdressers, led by the charismatic and violent head-stylist Toni are hot on his heels, on course for a show down with the hippies.

Screening 4

Saturday, May 13th | 5:15pm


(Fred Tilby-Jones, 1m)


In a forest, dark and deep, a nameless man attempts to escape an unseen hunter.

Run It Off

(Liam O'Hara, 14m)


A long-distance runner, losing his way in life, stops a young woman throwing herself off a bridge. As he helps her get home, their night-time jog through the city reveals how a new friendship might give each enough courage to face the next day.

Ten Years

(Connor Snedecor, 10m)


When Maisey bumps into her old school BFF Jonesy after ten years, rekindling their teenage bond proves less simple and more physically challenging than they or their waiter could ever have predicted.

La Lune Folle

(Meneka Das, 10m)


After the loss of a loved one, timid Carly struggles to face her audition at a prestigious music conservatoire.

Best Man

(Freddie Hall, 5m)


Donald is engaged and wants Patrick to be his best man. However, when Patrick is asked to go beyond the call of duty he starts to question Donald's sanity.


(Tony Burke, 4m)


A lonely commuter fantasises about the life of a fellow traveler she sees every morning on the platform.

Doctor for Mr. Chaplin

(Mike Booth, 14m)


In 1919, Charlie Chaplin was the most famous man in the world. When he faints during a film shoot in California, he's taken to his dressing room to be checked by a doctor. But as the doctor soon learns, the Charlie off-screen is not at all like the loveable tramp character he is so famous for.


(Lana MacIver, 3m)


A song that was originally inspired from a disappointing phone call with a professional psychic about Lana’s future. The psychic couldn't give Lana any real answers to her questions due to legal constraints. Being 18 years old, she was feeling lost and alone in such a vast city and was looking for answers.

Sometimes It's Hard Being Sexy

(Blanche Anderson)


A funny, fast-paced and crudely poetic tale of a Londoner's lust for love. Fiona gives a brutally honest and unfiltered monologue filled with pre-date nerves, banter and of course, booze!

The Boy by the Sea

(Vasily Chuprina, 7m)


The story of an unlikely friendship. A young boy sitting by the sea, watching the stones he throws disappear beneath the surface. An old lighthouse keeper. A different truth beyond the water.

Juliet Remembered

(Tamzin Merchant, 19m)


A former actress who has moved into a care home after the death of her husband. She struggles to remember day-to-day things and can't even recognize her son, but can remember every word of her most famous role: Shakespeare’s Juliet.

The Bus Stop

(Justin Malone, 14m)


A comedy-drama about two young boys coming to blows due to religious stereotypes learned from their parents.

The Photographer

(Max Sobol, 10m)


A reclusive street photographer spends his days capturing the lives of strangers who are unaware that they are being watched. His seemingly harmless creative exploits take a more sinister turn when he begins to obsessively photograph a young physiotherapist, and an unexpected revelation forces him to come to terms with the true nature of observation, and his part in it. 

Screening 5

Saturday, May 13th | 8:00pm

Eat Local


Director: Jason Flemyng

Writers: Danny King

Producer: Rod Smith

Cast: Charlie Cox, Freema Agyeman & Tony Curan

Sebastian Crockett is in for the ride of his life when his night of desire with sexy, alluring cougar Vanessa turns into a fight for a survival when she introduces him to some of her friends - a coven of hungry vampires - at a remote farmhouse. As if Sebastian's night couldn't get any worse, a heavily armed band of mercenary vampire hunters led by the steadfast Colonel Bingham crashes the party - and much like the vampires, they're out for blood.

    The Awards    

Saturday, May 13th | 10:15pm

The festival comes to a close with The British Independent Film Festival 2017 Awards where we find out who gets to take home a prestigious BIFF. There are ten awards up for grabs and a chance to support and discover the best in independent film 2017. 

Best Feature Film

Eat Local (Dir. by Jason Flemyng)

*Happy Birthday Toby Simpson (Dir. by Patrick Makin)*

The Great Unwashed (Dir. by Louis Fonseca)

Wilderness (Dir. by Justin John Doherty)

Best Short Film

The Bus Stop

The Photographer

*Juliet Remembered*

The Boy by the Sea

Sometimes It's Hard Being Sexy


Doctor for Mr. Chaplin


Best Man

La Lune Folle

Ten Years

Run It Off


On Paper

Trust Me

Love Life

Best Cinematography

Trust Me


On Paper 

*The Photographer*

Best Music

*Happy Birthday Toby Simpson*


La Lune Folle

Eat Local

Best Director

*Jason Flemyng (Eat Local)*

Patrick Makin (Happy Birthday Toby Simpson)

Gyulyara Meliki (Trust Me)

Justin John Doherty (Wilderness)

Best Actor

Zephryn Taitte (Run It Off)

James Barnes (Wilderness)

*Alexander Perkins (Happy Birthday Toby Simpson)*

Raphaël Tschudi (Trust Me)

Best Actress

*Katharine Davenport (Wilderness)*

Edyta Budnik (Happy Birthday Toby Simpson)

Eva Myles (Eat Local)

Laura Evelyn (Ten Years)

Best Supporting Actor

Charlie Cox (Eat Local)

Tony Curran (Eat Local)

*Ben Hall (Best Man)*

Matthew Lewis (Juliet Remembered)

Best Supporting Actress

*Anette Crosbie (Eat Local)*

Rakhee Thakrar (Juliet Remembered)

Bekka Bowling (The Great Unwashed)

Victoria Emslie (Run It Off)

British Lion Award

(best achievement on a low budget)

Happy Birthday Toby Simpson

The Great Unwashed

*Doctor for Mr Chaplin*


Best Unproduced Screenplay Winners

Josie Martineaux & Ri Versteegh

for “Any Other Life”

Two women attempting to escape their given circumstances find that catalyst for change in one another, but realize that the cost of change is higher than they could have ever imagined.

Best Unproduced Screenplay Special Commendations

Kimberly C. Pierce for "Drowning of the East River” 

Samuel Bernstein for “Elephant & Castle” 

Liam Anderson for "Simon” 

Matt Pacini for "Three Steps to Heaven” 

Jonathan LaPoma for “Land that I Love” 

Vijay Varman for "A God Amongst Men” 

Alex King for "One More Saturday” 

James Gould-Bourn for “Bear Necessity” 

*Denotes the Winner*



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