BFI LFF 2019 Competition Winners

by Alexa Dalby

Best Film Award in Official Competition
MONOS – Alejandro Landes

Wash Westmoreland, Official Competition President said: “Monos is a stunning cinematic achievement; marrying dynamic visuals, faultless performances and groundbreaking storytelling. It’s a masterpiece!”

The Official Competition jury also gave Special Commendations to Honey Boy (Alma Har’el) and Saint Maud (Rose Glass).

Of Honey Boy, Westmoreland commented: “Its blisteringly honest performances and clear-eyed, inspired direction make this brilliant film an unforgettable experience.”

And of Saint Maud and Rose Glass, Westmoreland said: “This dazzling directorial debut marks the emergence of a powerful new voice in British cinema.”

Sutherland Award in First Feature Competition

Jessica Hausner, First Feature Competition President said: “Atlantics is a film that intrigued us by its original and refreshing use of genre elements in a story that also has a strong political impact. Set in a country that is going through transition, this film dares to invent a poetic fable, mysterious and challenging.

“A crime scene that becomes a nightmarish tale, held together by a story of the endurance and persistence of young love.”

The First Feature Competition jury also gave a Special Commendation to HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD (Bora Kim).
Jessica Hausner said: “We would also like to attribute a special commendation to House of Hummingbird, a film that surprisingly talks about the ambiguity within human relationships. Friendship, family, love – are questioned by the fact that feelings always are contradictory and change with time. A very profound insight on human existence.”

Grierson Award in Documentary Competition
WHITE RIOT – Rubika Shah

Yance Ford, Documentary Competition President commented: “In the spirit of the Grierson Award criteria, White Riot is both a provocation and a tremendous opportunity. In this moment around the world the film implies that perhaps the lessons of the past were never learned.

“This rhetoric and politics of this moment in our history is familiar. And although language and symbols evolve, their meaning remains. Without nostalgia for 1979, the power of White Riot is that it points directly at 2019.

“Rubika Shah has used the power of film to remind us of where we have been and asks how long it will take us to change course.”

Short Film Award in Short Film Competition
FAULT LINE – Soheil Amirsharifi

Jacqui Davies, Short Film Competition President said: “This is a film that provoked intense discussion as we continued to decode it long after watching; for its sophisticated layering of story, beautifully controlled performances and uncompromising and singular vision that provokes the audience to piece together the unseen events that motivate all of the characters’ actions.

“This subtle and unusual film manages to do something profoundly transgressive – formally and politically – whilst concealing the very things that make it so subversive. We all were desperate to watch this film again and again.”

The Short Film Competition jury also gave a Special Commendation to IF YOU KNEW (Stroma Cairns).
Davies said that the jury gave the commendation “For demonstrating real understanding of the components of film – image and sound – as it brilliantly exploits their possibilities and to produce a highly sensual and tactile experience for the audience, communicating unrepresented lives in cinema – from a filmmaker whose career we are excited to follow.”

The BFI London Film Festival 2019 Competition sections showcase an incredibly diverse range of talent from Britain and across the world; over 60% of the films in Competition across all sections are from a female director or co-director, with 16 countries represented across the producers and co-producers.

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