63rd BFI London Film Festival Programme Launch

After 62 successful years, the BFI Film Festival returns to London from the 2nd to the 13th of October, 2019. In collaboration with American Express, the full programme was announced earlier this morning, boasting a wide range of genres, filmmakers and special events.

This years strands explore the themes of Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Experimenta and Treasure. The 63rd annual film festival plays close attention to the restored archives of world cinema, alongside their usual balance of both independent and mainstream film screenings.

Last year’s festival hailed a diverse programme, from the Coen Brother’s whacky short stories in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, to the breath-taking war documentary They Shall Not Grow Old by Peter Jackson. The Favourite stormed through the awards, winning Best British Independent Film, Best Director (Yorgos Lanthimos), Best Actress (Olivia Coleman), Best Support Actress (Rachel Weisz), Best Costume Design (Sandy Powel), Best Hair and Make-Up (Nadia Stacey) and Best Production Design (Fiona Crombie). This year, the BFI offers yet another mixture of films to celebrate all aspects of cinema.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
Official Competition

The Best Film Award Official Competition was announced yesterday, with 60% of all directors and co-directors being female. The winner will be chosen by an Official Jury on the 12th of October at Vue Leicester Square, following a sell-out ceremony last year. The ten contenders are as follows:

  • 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)

Strand Galas & Special Presentations

The most anticipated events – the headline and strand galas – open the festival with Armando Iannucci’s The Perosnal History of David Copperfield. Closing the festival will be Martin Scorsese’s ninth De Niro collaboration The Irishman. Sandwiched between these galas are the following special presentations:

  • Knives Out (dir. Rian Johnson)
  • The Aeronauts (dir. Tom Harper)
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (dir. Marielle Heller)
  • Greed (dir. Michael Winterbottom)
  • Hope Gap (dir. William Nicholson)
  • Jojo Rabbit (dir. Taika Waititi)
  • The King (dir. David Michôd )
  • Le Mans ’66  (dir. James Mangold)
  • Marriage Story (dir. Noah Baumbach)

The events programme contains screen talks from directors Kim Longinotto, Rian Johnson and Lukas Moodysson, as well as a surprise movie screening on the 9th and 10th of October. If that wasn’t enough, the 63rd BFI LFF will also be hosting DJ nights, debates and movie quizzes.

Festival Awards

Of course, one of the main features of the festival is the Festival Awards, which aims to celebrate new, innovative films from emerging filmmakers (as well as experienced ones). The categories are Official Competition, First Feature Competition, Documentary Competition and Short Film Competition. The honorable award nominees will offer film screening throughout the 12-day festival.

Many exciting guests are set to attend the red carpet, including high-profile stars Robert Pattinson and Timothée Chalamet. With 229 features and 116 shorts to be premiered during the festival, everyone is bound to find something to enjoy.

The Lighthouse (2019)

To explore the full programme, visit bfi.org.uk. Booking opens for BFI Members on the 5th of September 2019, followed by public bookings on the 12th.  Don’t forget, the BFI offers a 25 & Under scheme, allowing 16-25 year olds to attend the festival cheaper. For more info, click here.



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