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London Film Festival: Mamoru Hosoda's 'Belle' To Screen In Competition

BFI's London Film Festival has often been a place for UK audiences to get their first chance to see some of the highest-profile animated films. LFF hosted the UK (or European) premieres for the likes of Wolfwakers, Song Of The Sea, Loving Vincent, Soul, The Red Turtle, I Lost My Body and When Marnie Was There.

Certain studios and filmmakers have been regular fixtures at the festival, such as Cartoon Saloon and Studio Ghibli. Mamoru Hosoda is one such director, with LFF screening his past features Mirai and The Boy And The Beast. His newest feature Belle is set to follow as it's been revealed that the UK premiere will take place there this October.

Oscar-nominated anime director Mamoru Hosoda returns with an outstanding tale, following a socially awkward girl who transforms herself into a megastar within a virtual world.

High-school student Suzu finds everyday social conventions difficult to deal with and is increasingly drawn into an alternative, virtual world via the U app – an Internet-based environment with five billion members. Here, she excels as singing megastar Belle; her alter-ego even providing her with a confidence boost in reality. U allows people like Suzu, who battles to cope with the loss of her mother, to find some sanctuary from the pain and struggles of their real lives. Yet, within its atmosphere of beauty and wonder, an underlying danger surfaces. Belle/Suzu’s life becomes entwined with a disruptive presence known as the ‘Dragon’, as she recognises that behind this threatening fa├žade someone pained is crying out for help.


Belle has been announced as screening in competition as part of the festival's Official Selection for 2021. It arrives in the wake of extremely positive word-of-mouth from its screening at Cannes this summer and an impressive debut at the Japanese box office. The film will get a wider theatrical release in the US and UK in 2022.

After last year's event took place mainly as a virtual event via BFI Player, this year is returning to an in-person event, with the competition films screening at BFI's flagship Southbank cinema. 

The 65th BFI London Film Festival will take place from October 6- 17, and the full line-up will be revealed on September 7.