After a dismally un-diverse announcement from the Venice Film Festival, the BFI has flexed its programming muscles to bring us a London Film Festival line-up announcement that’s both diverse and exciting, packed with hotly-anticipated releases and exhibiting the work of up-and-coming filmmakers.
With 60% of the films in competition being directed by women, the announcement is a welcome one after years of male dominance in the industry and the film festival circuit.
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)
Also screening at the festival will be Bacurau, which won the Jury Prize in Cannes; The Lighthouse, which is being hailed by those lucky enough to have already seen it as the best film of the year; Portrait of A Lady on Fire by acclaimed French director Céline Sciamma; Mati Diop’s debut feature Atlantics; Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco; Matthias & Maxine from young visionary Xavier Dolan.
Joining them will be Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, the Adam Driver-starring CIA thriller The Report, Kristen Stewart’s Jean Seberg biopic Seberg, Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood starring Tom Hanks, the European premiere of Taika Waititi’s bonkers Hitler satire Jojo Rabbit, and the ever-hyped Timothée Chalamet-starring period drama The King. Out of the entire out-of-competition programme, 40% of films are directed or co-directed by women.
The festival will open with The Personal History of David Copperfield by Armando Iannucci, and close with a screening of Martin Scorsese’s 3.5 hour-long gangster epic, The Irishman. The Indiependent’s film team will be attending the festival to give you first-hand reactions, reviews and news fresh from the capital.
Words by Steph Green