London Film Festival already in its second week has garnered praise for successfully managing to achieve gender parity. An astonishing 60% of its programmed feature films were made by or in conjunction with women, whilst across all categories 30% of films were made by women.
The new festival artistic director Tricia Tuttle and managing director Anne Marie Flynn told Variety that the move had not been intentional but that they both had simply recognised a hunger for new voices and original content within the industry and that the programme reflected what has become audiences’ apparent love for stories about different and diverse people.
Among the diverse voices making up the festival, London Film School is proud to be well represented with several alumni presenting short films to rave reviews with a few hotly tipped for an award.
Graduate Babak Jalali produced the Iranian feature TEHRAN: CITY OF LOVE a deadpan multiple storyline comedy that gives a whole new vision of Tehran and its citizens and is already being praised as a product of the golden age of Iranian cinema. It screens on Thursday, October 18th and 19th.
Koby Adom’s HAIRCUT
A film that has already done well on the festival circuit is WOMAN AT WAR. Co-produced by LFS graduate Birgitta Bjornsdottir it was part of the Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week, winning praise from Variety that described the film as “gloriously Icelandic.” WOMAN AT WAR tells a story of grassroots environmental resistance, a sort of Erin Brockovich of the Icelandic wilds fighting pylons. Screenings are October 19th and 21st.
Particularly noteworthy was how well represented LFS was in the shorts arena this year, particularly in the love and comedy streams of the festivals, with LFS graduate Theo Krekis’s MANGAS, a gentle technicolour tale of unachievable manhood as seen through the eyes of little boy, as well as Christopher Mannings’s story of forbidden love, ISHA.
An LFS graduate who continues to win accolades and praise is Koby Adom, whose latest short Haircut which was a London Calling Plus film this year. It captures a local barbershop as it’s held up at gunpoint by a local teenage drug dealer. Such has been its popularity that the screening has had to be moved to a larger venue. Koby Adom will also be representing LFS in the October 20th panel entitled Directing Your Career. Koby is a recent graduate from the MA Filmmaking programme and Screen Star of Tomorrow. Watch the HAIRCUT trailer here: https://vimeo.com/281079824
Other names attached to LFS at this year’s London Film Festival are Honorary Associate and Producer Elizabeth Karlsen, whose film COLETTE screened at the Headline Gala (October 11th-13th) as well as LFS patron Tilda Swinton who will be launching the hotly anticipated Luca Guadagnino remake of Dario Argento’s cult classic SUSPIRIA on October 16th, with screenings playing until October 19th.
The Festival Gala will screen WILD ROSE, starring Honorary Associate Sophie Okonedo (to be screened again October 20th) and THE WHITE CROW, Honorary Associate Ralph Fiennes’s latest directorial effort which follows the life of famous Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev and has been well received. Screenings are October 18th- 21st.
Lastly, LFS graduate and previous Chair, Mike Leigh OBE, will have a Special Presentation of his latest work, PETERLOO on October 17th and 19th. In a first for the BFI LFF, the festival will be presenting PETERLOO at home in Manchester for its UK premiere, beaming to cinemas across the UK, followed by a presentation in BFI Southbank.
If you are inspired by graduates, why not apply for our MA Degree in Filmmaking. Applications are open until 22 October for the January 2019 start. This two-year course starts in January 2019, May 2019 and September 2019.
Honorary Associate Elizabeth Karlsen will, with Baltasar Kormakur, visit the London Film School on 25 October 2018. For RSVPs: http://bit.ly/LFS_EKBK