Every female filmmaker at the 63rd BFI London Film Festival

Senior Programmer Kate Taylor introduces the list of women in the director’s chair at this year’s Festival.

Kate Taylor
Updated:

Judy & Punch (2019)

Judy & Punch (2019)

The programme has been announced, the statistics digested, and now the good stuff starts, the chance to see and discuss the films in the Festival. Forty percent of the films in the LFF may have female directors, but who are all these women and what have they made?

An exciting trend across the Festival is the high number of feature films from first- and second-time directors, which gives the whole programme an energy, even more so when considering the bold directions this filmmaking is taking. Exemplifying this crop, Mirrah Foulkes’ extraordinary debut Judy & Punch slides feminist separatist politics into a thrilling fairytale romp, Mati Diop’s hotly anticipated Atlantics pushes forward genre to electrifying effect, and Rose Glass’s Scarborough-set saviour-complex stunner Saint Maud is set to make your jaw drop.

These firestarters join established talents such as Haifaa Al-Mansour, Jessica Hausner, Marielle Heller, Agnieszka Holland, Kasi Lemmons, Anocha Suwichakornpong and Rebecca Zlotowski, who have each built a body of work that defies convention. And we are chuffed that visionaries Kim Longinotto and Céline Sciamma will be surveying their careers in dedicated Screen Talk events, while Nina Menkes, in town to present the restoration of underground classic Queen of Diamonds, will be giving a free performance of her barn-storming lecture ‘Sex & Power: The Visual Language of Oppression’.

In Vitro (2019)

In Vitro (2019)

Internationally, South Korea sees a particularly strong year for female-directed work, with four films in the Festival which consider the lives of girls and women in wildly divergent ways: House of Hummingbird, Heart, Maggie, and The House of Us. And looking beyond the auteurist fixation on directors, French cinematographers Hélène Louvart and Claire Mathon delight with two films apiece, while an especially exciting DoP talent to watch is Anna Valdez-Hanks who lenses both Hope Gap in bold inviting tones and Experimenta/Short Film Competition sci-fi In Vitro in stunning monochrome framing. While Rocks sees an abundance of female talent, including many heads of department, and an approach to collaborative screenwriting that puts the film’s charismatic Hackney schoolgirls at its core.

Rocks (2019)

Rocks (2019)

The Treasures section includes the restoration world premiere of Unheimlich II: Astarti, which is a monumental 2k restoration of Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki’s Super8 opus, and in a break with our own tradition of only screening new restorations, the Treasures strand is screening a new print of Wanda Tuchok’s Finishing School – because really, who could resist a pre-Code girls’ school romp with Ginger Rogers, condemned by the Legion of Decency?

And so below we present every film in the Festival with a female director. Many of these films have tickets still available, and there is a Discovery Pass for Female Filmmakers if you would like to try three films for £30. We hope you enjoy experiencing a multitude of perspectives over the 12 days of the Festival.

  1. #21xoxo / short / Sine Ozbilge and Imge Ozbilge
  2. 37 Seconds / feature / Hikari
  3. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood / feature / Marielle Heller
  4. A Family Affair / short / Florence Keith-Roach
  5. A Line Was Drawn / short / Mairead McClean
  6. A Love / short / Anne-Marie Copestake
  7. A Thief’s Daughter / feature / Belén Funes
  8. Abominable / feature / Jill Culton
  9. Again Once Again / feature / Romina Paula
  10. Algo-rhythm / short / Manu Luksch
  11. An Easy Girl / feature / Rebecca Zlotowski
  12. Antarctic Traces / short / Michaela Grill
  13. Apart / short / Diana / Van Nguyen
  14. Arab Blues / feature / Manele Labidi
  15. Atlantics / feature / Mati Diop
  16. Babyteeth / feature / Shannon Murphy
  17. Be Still My Beating Heart / short / Ruth Paxton
  18. Big Toast / short / Sacha Beeley
  19. Black Bus Stop / short / Claudrena N. Harold and Kevin Jerome Everson
  20. Bombay Rose / feature / Gitanjali Rao
  21. Breast Friends / short / Caitlin Young
  22. Child / short / Talia Zucker
  23. Chlorine / short / Melissa Anastasi
  24. Circus of Books / feature / Rachel Mason
  25. Clemency / feature / Chinonye Chukwu
  26. Cloudberries / short / Ruth Maclennan
  27. Cunningham / feature / Alla Kovgan
  28. Dawn in the Dark / short / Runyararo Mapfumo
  29. Dawn of a New Gay / short / Rosie Gaunt-Mathieson
  30. The Deathless Woman / feature / Roz Mortimer
  31. Desrances / feature / Apolline Traoré
  32. Duck Daze / short / Alison Piper
  33. Duerrenwaid 8 / short / Kirsten Ines Geißer and Carina Ines Geißer
  34. Eastern State / short / Talena Sanders
  35. End-O / short / Alice Seabright
  36. Entre / short / Ana Bárbara / Marinho Carolina Santos
  37. Exchange Student / short / Natalie Nourigat
  38. Eyes on the Road / short / Stefanie Kolk
  39. The Father / feature / Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov
  40. Fi Dem II / short / Zinzi Minott
  41. The Finishing School / feature / Wanda Tuchock and George Nichols Jr
  42. The Friend / feature / Gabriela Cowperthwaite
  43. Ghost Dance / short / Emilia Izquierdo
  44. Good Heart / short / Evgeniya Jirkova
  45. Grandad Was a Romantic / short / Maryam Mohajer
  46. Harriet / feature / Kasi Lemmons
  47. Heart / feature / Ga-young Jeong
  48. Home Sweet Home / short / Maria Robertson
  49. Honey Boy / feature / Alma Har’el
  50. Hope Frozen / feature / Pailin Wedel
  51. Hot and Tasty / short / Laura Hodkin
  52. House of Hummingbird / feature / Bora Kim
  53. The House of Us / feature / Ga-eun Yoon
  54. Humblebrag / short / Sinéad O’Shea
  55. I Am Mackenzie / short / Artemis Anastasiadou
  56. I Am (Not) a Monster / feature / Nelly Ben Hayoun
  57. I Die of Sadness Crying for You / feature / Nina Danino
  58. If You Knew / short / Stroma Cairns
  59. In Vitro / short / Larissa Sansour and Soren Lind
  60. Instinct / feature / Halina Reijn
  61. Instructions on How to Make a Film / short / Nazli Dincel
  62. Jericho / short / Sarah Andrews and Aaron Hopwood
  63. Judy & Punch / feature / Mirrah Foulkes
  64. The Juniper Tree / feature / Nietzchka Keene
  65. The Kingmaker / feature / Lauren Greenfield
  66. Kitchen Beets / short / Bea Haut
  67. Krabi, 2562 / feature / Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers
  68. The Lamb / short / Nina Violić
  69. Lingua Franca / feature / Isabel Sandoval
  70. Little Joe / feature / Jessica Hausner
  71. The Lodge / feature / Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala
  72. Losing Pace / short / Naomi Soneye-Thomas
  73. Lost Tune / short / Shahnaz Sattar
  74. Love Me Tender / feature / Klaudia Reynicke
  75. Love the Sinner / short / Jennifer Sheridan
  76. Lucky Grandma / feature / Sasie Sealy
  77. Made in Bangladesh / feature / Rubaiyat Hossain
  78. Maggie / feature / Yi Ok-seop
  79. Mahalia Melts in the Rain / short / Emilie Mannering and Carmine Pierre-Dufour
  80. Make Up / feature / Claire Oakley
  81. Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound / feature / Midge Costin
  82. Maternal / feature / Maura Delpero
  83. Mensch Maschine or Putting Parts Together / short / Adina Camhy
  84. Miller & Son / short / Asher Jelinsky
  85. Mother of Fire / short / Farah Al Qasimi
  86. Mr. Jones / feature / Agnieszka Holland
  87. Muybridge’s Disobedient Horses / short / Anna Vasof
  88. Nest / short / Sonja Rohleder
  89. Nocturnal / feature / Nathalie Biancheri
  90. Noura’s Dream / feature / Hinde Boujemaa
  91. Oh My Homeland / short / Stephanie Barber
  92. Olla / short / Ariane Labed
  93. Ordinary Love / feature / Lisa Barros and Glenn Leyburn
  94. The Orphanage / feature / Shahrbanoo Sadat
  95. The Other Lamb / feature / Malgorzata Szumowska
  96. Our Sister / short / Rosie Westhoff
  97. Overseas / feature / Sung-A Yoon
  98. Pattaki / short / Everlane Moraes
  99. Pelourinho: They Don’t Really Care about Us / short / Akosua Owusu
  100. The Perfect Candidate / feature / Haifaa Al-Mansour
  101. Perfect 10 / feature / Eva Riley
  102. Portrait of a Lady on Fire / feature / Celine Sciamma
  103. Queen of Diamonds / feature / Nina Menkes
  104. Rain, Rain, Run Away / short / Clémentine Carrié
  105. Rare Beasts / feature / Billie Piper
  106. Rehearsal / short / Courtney Thérond
  107. Relativity / feature / Mariko Minoguchi
  108. Rocks / feature / Sarah Gavron
  109. Roots / short / Hussina Raja
  110. Rose Plays Julie / feature / Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor
  111. Ruptures / feature / Brad Butler and Noor Afshan Mirza
  112. Saint Maud / feature / Rose Glass
  113. The Sasha / short / Maria Molina Peiró
  114. Scales / feature / Shahad Ameen
  115. The Sharks / feature / Lucía Garibaldi
  116. Shooting the Mafia / feature / Kim Longinotto
  117. Sister / feature / Svetla Tsotsorkova
  118. The Sky Is Pink / feature / Shonali Bose
  119. Sojourner / short / Cauleen Smith
  120. Something in the Closet / short / Nosa Eke
  121. Spring Fever / short / Anna Snowball
  122. Staff Only / feature / Neus Ballus
  123. Stand Still / short / Isabella Wing-Davey
  124. The Stroker / short / Pilvi Takala
  125. Suicide by Sunlight / short / Nikyatu Jusu
  126. System Crasher / feature / Nora Fingscheidt
  127. Tertiary Sound / short / Solomia Dzhurovska and Luca Struijk
  128. That Which Is to Come Is Just a Promise / short / Flatform
  129. They / short / Louisa Rechenbach
  130. Transnistra / feature / Anna Eborn
  131. The Trap / short / Lena Headey
  132. Trouble / feature / Mariah Garnett
  133. Under Covers / short / Michaela Olsen
  134. Unheimlich II: Astarti / feature / Katerina Maria and Klonaris Thomadaki
  135. Us Among the Stones / feature / Dictynna Hood
  136. Video Home System / short / Sharlene Bamboat
  137. Walking with Shadows / feature / Aoife O’Kelly
  138. Watermelon Juice / short / Irene Moray
  139. What Do You Know about the Water and the Moon / short / Jian Luo
  140. White Girl / short / Nadia Latif
  141. White Riot / feature / Rubika Shah

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