The best film festivals on the GWR network

Film festivals are a great way to catch the latest releases, both mainstream and obscure. So, if you want to be the first to see the newest blockbuster, or you fancy exploring the outer reaches of the industry, here’s our guide to what’s on offer. And make sure you travel by GWR train to ensure you get the best seats in town.

BFI London Film Festival

10–21 October
Must see: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone star in Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest sensation The Favourite (18 October). If you’ve never seen one of Lanthimos’ films before, you’re in for a treat – they are totally off the wall and often darkly funny. Check this out and pay particular attention to his exceptional dialogue, with characters seemingly talking about nothing and yet all the while revealing their insecurities.

Something different: Rachel Maclean’s latest film, Make Me Up (12 & 14 October), is set in a dystopian world where a group of women are forced to compete against one another in demeaning tasks. It sounds like the premise of every reality TV show going, but in the hands of Maclean, you can be sure things will get dark – very dark. But first, let yourself be taken in by the film’s saccharine costumes, before everything turns ugly.

FilmBath Festival

1–11 November
The programme for FilmBath Festival 2018 has yet to be announced, but expect some big hitters (last year included Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and the usual F-Rated films: productions that have been directed and/or written by women.

Film Africa, London

2–11 November
Must See: This year’s opening gala film comes from debut director, Ghanaian-American hip-hop star Blitz Bazawule. The Burial of Kojotakes (2 November) is an intimate look at a Ghanaian family that, although seemingly happy, is beset by tragedy. Seven years after the accidental death of his bride at the hands of his brother Kojo, Kwabena returns with the promise of riches and a thinly-veiled desire for revenge.

Documentary: The Ancestors (4 November) follows guitarist and vocalist John Kitime as he tries to gather together his former bandmates and rekindle the sounds of his youth – the music that formed the soundtrack to Tanzania’s independence era. Can he make Tanzania’s Zilipendwa music current once again?

Cornwall Film Festival

9–11 November
Must see: Keira Knightley and Dominic West star in Colette (10 November), a true story about the eponymous novelist and Nobel Prize laureate. Discover how she fought to be recognised for her work, previously published under her husband’s name, in a literary world dominated by men.

Animation: Wallace and Gromit return with a new ‘scratch n sniff’ version of their 2005 classic Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (10 November). This means that audiences will get a whiff of what’s on screen, including the Stinking Bishop and smelly bunny burps. It sounds weird, but should be great fun.