BFI London Film Festival has unveiled the contenders for its Official Competition, with 50% of the films coming from a female director or co-director.
The ten films in Official competition will compete for the Best Film Award, which recognises inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking.
This year’s selection has films from the United Kingdom, Italy, Hungary, Colombia, USA, Austria, China and Chile.
Half of the films in competition showcase the work of female directors or co-directors (Karyn Kusama, Alice Rohrwacher, Sudabeh Mortezai, Dominga Sotomayor and Cristina Gallego, directing with Ciro Guerra).
Ben Wheatley makes a return to the Festival, and receives his first nomination in the Official Competition with the World Premiere of his latest feature, alongside second-time nominee and fellow UK director Peter Strickland, whilst other world-class directors David Lowery and Zhang Yimou round out the selection, alongside second-time nominee László Nemes.
The 10 films in Official Competition are:
BIRDS OF PASSAGE (PÁJAROS DE VERANO) dirs. Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
DESTROYER dir. Karyn Kusama
HAPPY AS LAZZARO (LAZZARO FELICE) dir. Alice Rohrwacher
HAPPY NEW YEAR, COLIN BURSTEAD. dir. Ben Wheatley
IN FABRIC dir. Peter Strickland
JOY dir. Sudabeh Mortezai
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN dir. David Lowery
SHADOW (YING) dir. Zhang Yimou
SUNSET (NAPSZÁLLTA ) dir. László Nemes
TOO LATE TO DIE YOUNG (TARDE PARA MORIR JOVEN) dir. Dominga Sotomayor
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Artistic Director said: “Representing a tantalizing range of styles, these films tell stories from around the globe – from 3rd Century China to post-Pinochet Chile to contemporary Britain – and transport viewers to worlds both real and imagined. These works are by turns, socially and politically urgent, muscularly thrilling, evocatively personal, spectacular, kinky and wildly inventive. It’s also a real pleasure to see that half of these films come from female directors.”
Meanwhile, the director of Oscar nominated film Room, Lenny Abrahamson, has been named as president of the Festival’s Jury. Abrahamson’s film adaptation of Sarah Waters’ horror novel The Little Stranger will be released this September.
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