LFF announces competition titles

Sixty per cent feature female director or co-director

by Amber Wilkinson

Honey Boy
Honey Boy Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival
The BFI London Film Festival has announced the 10 films that will compete for its Best Film Award at its 63rd edition, which runs from October 2 to 13.

Among the selection are several films produced or co-produced by the UK. They include the latest from Soi Cowboy director Thomas Clay, Fanny Lye Deliver’d, a 17th Century costume drama starring Maxine Peake and Charles Dance, and Rose Glass' feature debut Saint Maud, which sees a mysterious nurse become dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient. Films that have already attracted plaudits elsewhere, include Alma Har’el's Honey Boy, which won a Special Jury Prize for Vision and Craft at Sundance and Monos, which also took home a Special Jury Award at the US festival.

Sixty per cent of the films are from a female director or co-director with 16 countries represented. Isabel Sandoval - who brings Lingua Franca to the festival - is the first transgender director to compete in the section.

Festival director Tricia Tuttle 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.”

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)

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