BFI London Film Festival Announce Competition Film Program, ‘Honey Boy,’ ‘Monos,’ ‘The Perfect Candidate’ Among Premieres


The 63rd BFI London Film Festival has announced its official competition selections for the 2019 edition Wednesday morning. Among the already exciting lineup of its 60% female filmmaker slate, premieres include Alma Har’el‘s “Honey Boy,” from Amazon Studios. The semi-autobiographical memoir to Shia LaBeouf’s life with his alcoholic father premiered at Sundance Film Festival and heads to Amazon streaming later on November 8.

Another Park City favorite that’ll be making its round in London is Alejandro Landes“Monos.” The film was selected as Columbia’s official submission to the Academy Awards. Haifaa Al Mansour’s “The Perfect Candidate” will premiere at LFF. It follows the complicated journey of one Saudi woman’s push to run for electoral candidacy once all her paths become stifled at the arc of the country’s social oppression.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director says: “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”.

“Lingua Franca”

Isabel Sandoval is the first transgender filmmaker to compete in competition at LFF. Her feature drama “Lingua Franca,” stars the director and writer as a transwoman and undocumented immigrant in Russia working as a caregiver in this intimate character study from the Filipino filmmaker.

LFF’s Official Competition Jury, those who will select the Best Film at the close of the festival, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The BFI London Film Festival runs from 2 – 13 October 2019, bringing the world’s best new films to London. The full festival program will be announced August 29. Descriptive notes for the films selected can be found at the BFI website.

The ten films screening in competition this year 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 LFF’s Opening Night gala will be Armando Iannucci’s “The Personal History of David Copperfield.” The festival will close with Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” for the film’s International premiere. The fest will also see the European premiere of Rian Johnson‘s witty whodunit, “Knives Out.”

Below you can find the official competition trailer.

What do you think of the BFI London Film Festival’s in-competition slate? Comment below!