The BFI London Film Festival has announced the features in its Official Competition selection, with 60% of the films from a female director or co-director, and 16 countries represented across the producers and co-producers.

The 10 films in Official Competition are:
·       FANNY LYE DELIVER’D (United Kingdom-Germany, dir-scr. Thomas Clay)
·       HONEY BOY (USA, dir. Alma Har’el)
·       LA LLORONA (Guatemala-France, dir. Jayro Bustamante)
·       LINGUA FRANCA (USA, dir-scr. Isabel Sandoval)
·       MOFFIE (South Africa-United Kingdom, dir. Oliver Hermanus)
·       MONOS (Colombia-Argentina-Netherlands-Germany-Sweden-Uruguay-USA, dir. Alejandro Landes)
·       THE OTHER LAMB (Ireland-Belgium-USA, dir. Małgorzata Szumowska)
·       THE PERFECT CANDIDATE (Germany-Saudi Arabia, dir. Haifaa Al Mansour)
·       ROSE PLAYS JULIE (Ireland-United Kingdom, dir-scr. Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor)
·       SAINT MAUD (United Kingdom, dir-scr. Rose Glass)
The Best Film winner will be chosen by the Official Competition Jury, whose members of which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Established in 2009 and first won by Jacques Audiard for A Prophet, Best Film Award recent winners include Sudabeh Mortezai’s Joy, Andrey Zvyagintsev’sLoveless, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women and Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier.
This year’s selection spans a range of genres; from gothic psychodrama and hallucinogenic thriller, to provocative period piece and taut social commentary.

Over half of the films in competition are from female directors or co-directors (Alma Har’el, Isabel Sandoval, Małgorzata Szumowska, Haifaa Al Mansour, Rose Glass and Christine Molloy, co-directing with Joe Lawlor).

Writer, director, actor Isabel Sandoval is the first transgender director to compete in Official Competition.

Joining them are UK director Thomas Clay, making his festival debut, alongside Jayro Bustamante who returns to present a third feature in London, as does Oliver Hermanus.

The other competitive categories, the Grierson Award for Best Documentary, the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature and the Short Film Award in the Short Film Competition, will be revealed at the full programme launch tomorrow, 29th August.
For the first time, the winner of each competitive section, including the Official Competition, will also be awarded a commemorative 35 mm print of their winning film, provided by festival sponsor CPC London.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said: “Our Official Competition showcases the best in global filmmaking. These filmmakers each have unique and distinctive voices and their films by turns reveal truths about human existence; explore stories we haven’t seen before or examine familiar ones in new ways; address pressing social and political issues, and make audiences feel and think. It’s striking that so many of the filmmakers here are telling strongly political stories, but never dogmatically so. We have selected 11 directors in these ten films who invite viewers to probe and ponder, to be changed – either subconsciously or wildly and irrevocably – by their work”.

Official Competition titles will screen nightly across the Festival in the two premier screens of the Vue Leicester Square, with a red carpet-style reception for the attending filmmakers each evening.
The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 2nd October-Sunday 13th October 2019.  

The winner of Official Competition will be announced on 12th October 2019.

Staff Reporter

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