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The BFI announces its second quarter 2021 Blu-ray and DVD releases

30 January 2021

The BFI has announced its home entertainment slate for April – June 2021. Among a typically diverse and exciting collection of titles, highlights include the latest addition to the cult BFI Flipside label, I Start Counting, the contemporary and highly topical drama County Lines, a second volume of Play for Today BBC TV plays and the landmark Spike Lee film, Jungle Fever.

19 APRIL 2021

I Start Counting Blu-ray cover art

BLU-RAY: A young Jenny Agutter, in one of her earliest film roles, stars in the cult British classic I Start Counting (1970). A haunting coming-of-age tale like no other, this gripping thriller is presented in a new 2K restoration and is the latest addition to the long-running, collectible BFI Flipside strand. The film has never had a home entertainment release in the UK and is highly sought after. Special features exclusive to the UK release will include a newly filmed interview with Jonny Trunk about Basil Kirchin’s fantastic cult soundtrack, and a selection of rare archive films about the post-war ‘New Town’ dream.

County Lines Blu-ray cover art

BLU-RAY/DVD: April will also see writer/director Henry Blake’s critically-acclaimed first feature County Lines (2019) come to Blu-ray and DVD in a Dual Format Edition. A blistering, BIFA-nominated contemporary drama, inspired by true events and described by Mark Kermode as 'an alarming yet compassionate portrait of a headline-grabbing scandal', the release will also feature short films by Henry Blake and a newly recorded audio commentary.

17 MAY 2021

Play for Today: Volume 2 Blu-ray cover art

BLU-RAY: The BFI’s celebration of the BBC’s seminal anthology series Play for Today continues with a second collection of quintessential episodes. Over three discs, Plat for Today: Volume 2 features a further six plays broadcast between 1972 and 1979 including Peter McDougall's The Elephant's Graveyard (starring Billy Connolly), Just a Boy's Game (starring Frankie Miller) and the much sought-after The Spongers, all available on Blu-ray for the first time.

The included titles are:

  • Stocker’s Copper (Written by Tom Clarke | Dir. Jack Gold, 1972) 
  • The Elephant’s Graveyard (Written by Peter McDougall | Dir. John Mackenzie, 1976) 
  • Gotcha / Campion’s Interview (Written by Barrie Keeffe / Brian Clark | Directed by Barry Davis, 1977) 
  • The Spongers (Written by Jim Allen | Dir. Roland Joffé, 1978) 
  • Victims of Apartheid (Written by Tom Clarke | Dir. Stuart Burge, 1978) 
  • Just a Boy’s Game (Written by Peter McDougall | Dir. John Mackenzie, 1979)

Radio On Blu-ray cover art

BLU-RAY: Radio On (1979), Chris Petit’s haunting blend of edgy mystery story and existential road movie, receives its UK Blu-ray premiere. A bona fide cult classic, featuring music from the likes of David Bowie and Kraftwerk and an early screen appearance by Sting, the film remains one of British cinema's most striking feature debuts and is presented in a new 4K remaster carried out by the BFI.

Jungle Fever Blu-ray cover art

BLU-RAY: An interracial romance causes social turmoil in Spike Lee’s engaging and provocative Jungle Fever (1991). Featuring an all-star cast including Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Anthony Quinn and Samuel L Jackson, the film arrives on BFI Blu-ray 30 years after its original theatrical release.

Maeve Blu-ray provisional cover art

BLU-RAY: Pat Murphy and John Davis’ experimental Maeve (1981) receives its debut home entertainment release. Bringing a feminist alternative to the conventional narrative of the Troubles, this much-overlooked gem of 1980s independent filmmaking is rich in debate and disruption, and ripe for rediscovery.

21 JUNE 2021

Salaam Bombay Blu-ray cover art

BLU-RAY: Mira Nair’s devastating portrayal of child poverty, Salaam Bombay! (1988) comes to Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. A BAFTA and OSCAR nominee, the film is an authentic and unflinching depiction of the hardships faced by thousands of dispossessed children on the streets of Mumbai and remains a powerful and affecting piece over 30 years since its original release.

Piccadilly Blu-ray provisional artwork

BLU-RAY: The electric Anna May Wong stars in E.A. Dupont’s sumptuous showbiz melodrama Piccadilly (1929), restored by the BFI National Archive. A late landmark of British silent cinema, seething with sexual and racial tension, and featuring an early screen performance from Charles Laughton, it is accompanied by Neil Brand’s celebrated 2004 score.

Friendship's Death Blu-ray cover art

BLU-RAY/DVD: Previously announced, but with a new release date, Tilda Swinton stars as an extra-terrestrial android discussing life’s big questions with a British war correspondent, played by Bill Paterson, in Friendship's Death (1987), influential film theorist Peter Wollen’s compelling sci-fi, newly restored in 4K by the BFI National Archive.

Each of these releases will contain a selection of special features and an illustrated booklet (first pressing only) to provide contextual information. Full details on the special features will revealed closer to the individual release dates.