BFI announces the films screening in competition at the London Film Festival

London Film Festival
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There are 11 films screening (and competing) in Official Competition at this year’s London Film Festival – here’s the full list.

Each selection for this year’s 67th BFI London Film Festival Official Competition will be competing for the Best Film Award, which rewards inspiring, inventive and distinctive international filmmaking.

The first entry is Irish-UK thriller Baltimore, which is co-directed and co-written by Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor. The duo recently also worked together on documentary feature The Future Tense. 

Dear Jassi is an Indian entry from director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar. Written by Amit Rai, it’s the story of a young couple who are separated by time, distance and societal expectations.

Sudabeh Mortezai writes and directs Europa, an Austria-UK production. Lilith Stangenberg stars as Beate. She’s an executive at a mysterious corporation known as EUROPA, which is looking to expand into the Balkans region. It’s a seemingly philanthropic entity, but is actually looking to buy lands from the locals of a remote Albanian valley.

Drive My Car's Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s next feature is also in competition. Evil Does Not Exist is another entry focused on corporate greed, as a plan to build a glamping site near the village inhabited by the main characters has a negative impact on their lives.

Sci-fi romance Fingernails is an American entry in the competition. Directed and written by Christos Nikou, it stars The Bear's Jeremy Allen White and Jessie Buckley. They play a couple who allegedly are experiencing true love – it’s been proven by a controversial new piece of technology. When Anna (Buckley) has doubts, she starts working at an institute that tests whether people’s relationships are genuine. There, she meets Amir (Riz Ahmed).

Gasoline Rainbow, which will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, is directed, written, shot and edited by Bill Ross IV, alongside Turner Ross. It stars Tony Abuerto, Micah Bunch, Nichole Dukes, Nathaly Garcia and Makai Garza. They play five teenagers who go on one last trip to the Pacific Coast.

I Am Sirat stands out for being a documentary feature. Deepta Mehta and Sirat Taneja direct this looks into the life of a transgender woman living in New Delhi, India.

Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel stars Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick. The two play backpackers who take jobs at The Royal Hotel, an Australian Outback bar run by Billy (Hugo Weaving). As the two experience Australian drinking culture, the behaviour of the men around them becomes more concerning and the situation rapidly grows out of their control.

Self Portrait: 47 Km 2020 is a documentary by Zhang Mengqi. Here’s the synopsis:

“In the winter marking 10 years since the director began filming her 47 KM series, she tries to get a new building constructed in the village. The girls, who had thus far been the subjects of her films, take up the camera themselves, and begin recording scenes of the village.”

Another feature starring some big names, Starve Acre sees Morydd Clark and Matt Smith’s rural family life disrupted when their son starts acting strangely. The film is directed by Daniel Kokotajlo, who co-wrote the script with Andrew Michael Hurley.

The final entry in LFF’s Official Competition is Together 99. It’s a sequel to the 2000 film Together, with Lukas Moodysson returning to write and direct. The original film was set in 1975, and this sequel returns to the characters living in the Together commune in 1999. The last two residents decide to organise a reunion of their old friends.

It’s clear there’s a lot of international talent represented in these selections. There’s also something here for lovers of all genres. If you’re based in London or heading there for the festival this year, these are definitely titles to look out for.

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