The 67th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express has announced the line-up and competition categories for this year’s LFF Awards, celebrating the most innovative new films premiering this year and an incredible range of talent from across the world.
The winners of these four competitive awards will be chosen by LFF Awards Juries, the members of which will be announced in the coming weeks, and will be revealed on the final day of the Festival – 15 October 2023 – with surprise screenings of the winning features also taking place that night.
The films screening in Official Competition this year showcase a remarkable range of filmmaking talent from across the world, with 11 countries represented across the selection, which include a mixture of established directors and sophomore films. From a provocative sci-fi romance and an urgent, exceptionally crafted thriller to a haunting British folk horror and a sweeping love story that explores modern day relationship dynamics in Punjab, India, the films selected for Official Competition celebrate passionate and inspired global filmmaking.
The 11 films screening in Official Competition are:
BALTIMORE (Ireland-UK, dir-scr. Christine Molloy, Joe Lawlor)
DEAR JASSI (India, dir. Tarsem Singh Dhandwar)
EUROPA (Austria-UK, dir-scr. Sudabeh Mortezai)
EVIL DOES NOT EXIST (Japan, dir-scr. Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
FINGERNAILS (USA, dir-scr. Christos Nikou)
GASOLINE RAINBOW (USA, dir-scr. Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross)
I AM SIRAT (India, dir. A collaboration between Deepa Mehta and Sirat Taneja)
THE ROYAL HOTEL (Australia, dir-scr. Kitty Green)
SELF PORTRAIT: 47 KM 2020 (China, dir. Zhang Mengqi)
STARVE ACRE (UK, dir-scr. Daniel Kokotajlo)
TOGETHER 99 (Sweden-Denmark, dir-scr. Lukas Moodysson)
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION
The films nominated for the Sutherland Award for the most original and imaginative directorial debut at this year’s festival include 11 exciting new voices, including 5 British filmmakers. From an unexpected road trip across the UK and a fearlessly strange and intense psychological drama to a spirited tale of siblings enjoying the pleasures and pitfalls of life ‘home alone’ and a realist drama with a playful suggestion of otherworldly science-fiction, these first-time feature filmmakers are ones to watch.
The 11 films screening in the First Feature Competition are:
BLACK DOG (UK, dir-scr. George Jaques)
EARTH MAMA (USA, dir-scr. Savanah Leaf)
HOARD (UK, dir-scr. Luna Carmoon)
IN CAMERA (UK, dir-scr. Naqqash Khalid)
MAMBAR PIERRETTE (Belgium-Cameroon, dir-scr. Rosine Mbakam)
PARADISE IS BURNING (Sweden-Italy-Denmark-Finland, dir-scr. Mika Gustafson)
PENAL CORDILLERA (Chile-Brazil, dir–scr. Felipe Carmona)
THE QUEEN OF MY DREAMS (Canada, dir-scr. Fawzia Mirza)
SKY PEALS (UK, dir-scr. Moin Hussain)
TIGER STRIPES (Malaysia-Taiwan-Singapore-FranceGermany-Netherlands-Indonesia-Qatar, dir-scr. Amanda Nell Eu)
TUESDAY (UK-USA, dir–scr. Daina O. Pusić)
The Grierson Award recognises feature-length documentaries with integrity, originality and social or cultural significance. Mirroring the Sutherland Award’s recognition of first-time filmmakers, the Grierson Award champions first and second time features. Subjects of this year’s nominated films range from the life of a radical queer performance artist and the profound beauty of klezmer music to the legacy of one of Kevin Smith’s indie hits and an insight into the lives of those who fight to keep film culture alive in the face of oppression.
The 8 films screening in the Documentary Competition this year are:
BYE BYE TIBERIAS (France-Palestine-Belgium-Qatar, dir-scr. Lina Soualem)
CELLULOID UNDERGROUND (UK-Iran, dir. Ehsan Khoshbakht)
CHASING CHASING AMY (USA, dir. Sav Rodgers)
A COMMON SEQUENCE (USA-Mexico, dir. Mary Helena Clark, Mike Gibisser)
DANCING ON THE EDGE OF A VOLCANO (Germany-Lebanon, dir-scr. Cyril Aris)
THE KLEZMER PROJECT (Austria-Argentina, dir-scr. Leandro Koch, Paloma Schachmann)
QUEENDOM (France-USA, dir. Agniia Galdanova)
THE TASTE OF MANGO (UK-USA, dir. Chloe Abrahams)
SHORT FILM COMPETITION
The Short Film Award recognises short-form works that speak with a unique cinematic voice, demonstrating a confident handling of theme and content.
The 10 films screening in the Short Film Competition are:
THE ARCHIVE: QUEER NIGERIANS (UK, dir. Simisolaoluwa Akande)
AREA BOY (UK, dir. Iggy London)
BOAT PEOPLE (Canada, dir. Thao Lam, Kjell Boersma)
ESSEX GIRLS (UK, dir. Yero Timi-Biu)
THE GOOSE’S EXCUSE (Egypt-UK, dir. Mahdy Abo Bahat, Abdo Zin Eldin)
KHABUR (Germany-Iran, dir. Nafis Fathollahzadeh)
ONSET (UK-Poland, dir. Anna Engelhardt, Mark Cinkevich)
THE SINGER (UK, dir. Cora Bissett)
THE WALK (UK, dir. Michael Jobling)
WELLS OF DESPAIR (Netherlands, dir. sata taas)
Tickets go on sale 12 September. BFI Members book early on 6 September and American Express® Cardmembers can access presale from 8 September.