BFI Film Festival 2019 selection

The BFI London Film Festival is the UK’s premiere platform for welcoming international artists and storytellers, among them some of the world’s greatest names in cinema, alongside those at the very beginning of their careers.

With some truly standout films coming in 2019, see our pick of 5 films to look out for at the festival and beyond…


(Official Competition Best Film nominee)

In the remote mountains of South America, a group of child soldiers watch over a hostage and wait for instruction.
They pass time with training exercises, games and tribal rituals.
But after events drive the group into the jungle, both their task and the bonds between them begin to fall apart.

With a visceral score by Mica Levi (Under The Skin, Jackie), and having gained comparisons to Apocalypse Now and Lord of the Flies for its surreal environment and unforgiving wilderness, MONOS is a vivid, breathtaking film from director Alejandro Landes, delivering one of the most talked about films of the year.


The Lighthouse

From Robert Eggers, the filmmaker behind the standout modern horror The Witch, comes this hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious island in the 1890s.

As he arrives to work under lighthouse keeper Tom Wake (Willem Dafoe), Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) quickly finds his time ahead will be tending to the more demeaning and punishing tasks of the building.
As the dynamic between the two becomes increasingly tense, Ephraim learns of the mysterious events which lead to him taking the place of Tom’s former assistant, as paranoia begins to creep in.

With extraordinary performances from Dafoe and Pattinson, The Lighthouse is a hypnotic and truly original piece of cinema.


First Love

From renowned Japanese director Takashi Miike (Blade of the Immortal, Yakuza Apocalypse, 13 Assassins), comes First Love – a story of a young boxer who falls in love with a woman caught in the crossfire between yakuza and triad gangs in a fight over stolen drugs.

Set over one night in Tokyo – we follow Leo, a young boxer down on his luck as he meets his ‘first love’ Monica, a young woman forced into prostitution.
However, when Leo learns that Monica has been unwittingly caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme, the two take off and are pursued through the night by a corrupt cop, a yakuza, his nemesis, and a female assassin sent by the Chinese triads.

All of their fates intertwine in a spectacular and anarchic style that could only be from director Takashi Miike.


(First Feature Competition)

When seriously ill teenager Milla falls head over heels in love with smalltime drug dealer Moses, it’s her protective parents’ worst nightmare.
Things get messy and morals go out the window, as the family and the lives of those around them become intertwined, Milla shows those in her orbit how to live like you have nothing to lose.

A warm-hearted and bittersweet comedy about life, loss and family, Babyteeth explores the glorious chaos of being alive.
Starring Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects, and the upcoming Little Women) Toby Wallace (Romper Stomper), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Animal Kingdom, The Place Beyond The Pines) and Essie Davis (Game of Thrones, The Babadook).


(Best Documentary nominee)

Each year, thousands of Filipino women train to become domestic workers abroad.

Through director Sung-A Yoon’s observational and empathetic gaze, this film reveals the personal stories, dreams and heartaches of a group of trainees at one of the many centres dedicated to domestic workers across the Philippines, while the role-playing training exercises prepare the women for the potentially tough times ahead.

Filmed in beautiful static shots, this gripping documentary exposes the economic pressures pushing Filipino women to accept jobs abroad, raising the question of servitude in the modern world, while emphasizing these women’s determination.



Taking place October 2nd – 13th 2019 at multiple venues in the capital, see details on all up-coming screenings at the BFI Film Festival and how to get ticketes on their website here:




Audiences around the UK can book for special preview screenings of Martin Scorsese’s latest feature – The Irishman.
Broadcast live to cinemas on Sunday October 13th, featuring red carpet footage and interviews from the BFI Film Festival Closing Night Gala.
Details here: