lff programme 2

Source: A24 / SPIP/Film4 / Netflix / Amazon Studios

(Clockwise from top left): ‘The Lighthouse’, ‘Greed’, ‘The King’, ‘The Aeronauts’

Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, Michael Winterbottom’s Greed, Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts and David Michod’s The King will all be showcased as gala screenings at this year’s BFI London Film Festival (October 2-13).

The full programme has been announced today. Scroll down for the list.

Further galas include Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy And Punch, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Bacurau, and Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks as folksy US TV personality Fred Rogers.

Returning to LFF after the success of Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Heller’s film will screen as the Patron’s Gala.

Michael Winterbottom is also back at the LFF with his satirical comedy Greed, starring Steve Coogan, while Taika Waititi will be presenting black comedy JoJo Rabbit. James Mangold’s Le Mans 66 (aka Ford v Ferrari), starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, is another high-profile UK premiere.

Bruce Springsteen will be in London for the international premiere of his concert film, Western Stars, which he co-directed with Thom Zimny and which is the festival’s Create Gala.

As already announced, Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History Of David Copperfield opens the festival while Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is the American Express Gala.

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, backed by Netflix, will close the festival as an international premiere.

Including shorts, 40% of the films overall are directed or co-directed by women, a small increase on the 2018 figure. There are 229 features in the programme and 116 shorts.

World premieres

Among the world premieres playing at the festival are Wash Westmoreland’s Netflix-backed Earthquake Bird starring Alicia Vikander; Craig Roberts’ Eternal Beauty starring Sally Hawkins; Make Up, the debut feature of Screen Star of Tomorrow 2019 Claire Oakley; Gerard Johnson’s Muscle; and Michael Caton-Jones’ Our Ladies, an adaptation of Alan Warner’s coming-of-age novel The Sopranos.

Competition titles Rose Plays Julie, directed by Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, and Fanny Lye Deliver’d directed by Thomas Clay are also world premieres.


The festival is typically strong on documentary titles this year with 40 titles screening, including Cold Case Hammarskjold, Coup 53, Cunningham, The Kingmaker and I Am (Not) A Monster which all screen in the competition section.

Feras Fayyad’s The Cave is the documentary special presentation. Veteran UK documentary director Kim Longinotto is giving a Screen Talk on October 6. 

BFI London Film Festival 2019 lineup

Headline Galas

The Aeronauts 
Dir. Tom Harper

A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood 
Dir. Marielle Heller

Dir. Michael Winterbottom

Hope Gap 
Dir. William Nicholson

Jojo Rabbit 
Dir. Taika Waititi

The King 
Dir. David Michôd

Le Mans ’66
Dir. James Mangold

Marriage Story 
Dir. Noah Baumbach

Previously announced:

The Personal History Of David Copperfield (opening film)
Dir. Armando Iannucci 

The Irishman (closing film)
Dir: Martin Scorsese 

Knives Out (American Express gala)
Dir. Rian Johnson

Festival Gala, Strand Galas and Special Presentations

Festival Gala

Dir. Pablo Larraín

Strand Galas

Abominable (Family)
Dir. Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman

Bacurau (Thrill)
Dirs. Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles

The Dude In Me (Laugh)
Dirs. Hyo-jin Kang

Judy & Punch (Dare)
Dir. Mirrah Foulkes

The Lighthouse (Cult)
Dir. Robert Eggers

Official Secrets (Debate)
Dir. Gavin Hood

The Peanut Butter Falcon (Love)
Dirs. Michael Schwartz, Tyler Nilson

The Two Popes (Journey)
Dir. Fernando Meirelles

Western Stars (Create)
Dirs. Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen

Special Presentations

Bad Education 
Dir. Cory Finley

Dir. Roger Michell

Bombay Rose 
Dir. Gitanjali Rao

The Cave 
Dir. Feras Fayyad

First Love 
Dir. Takashi Miike

Gösta (Episodes 1,5, 6, and 8) TV series 
Dir. Lukas Moodysson

Krabi, 2562 
Dirs. Anocha Suwichakornpong, Ben Rivers

Love, Life And Laughter 
Dirs. George Pearson

Our Ladies 
Dir. Michael Caton-Jones

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire 
Dir. Céline Sciamma

Dir. Sarah Gavron

First feature competition

Dir. Mati Diop

Dir. Shannon Murphy

Calm With Horses 
Dir. Nick Rowland

House Of Hummingbird 
Dir. Bora Kim

Dir. Halina Reijn

The Last Black Man In San Francisco
Dir. Joe Talbot

Make Up 
Dir. Claire Oakley

Dir. Marikok Minoguchi

Dir. Shahad Ameen

Documentary competition

Cold Case Hammarkskjöld 
Dir. Mads Brügger

Coup 53 
Dir. Taghi Amirani

Dir. Alla Kovgan

I Am (Not) A Monster 
Dir. Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian

The Kingmaker 
Dir. Lauren Greenfield

Mystify: Michael Hutchence 
Dir. Richard Lowenstein

Dir. Sung-A Yoon

A Pleasure, Comrades! 
Dir. José Filipe Costa

White Riot 
Dir. Rubika Shah