The Falling

The Falling

The BFI London Film Festival kicks off this week and will bring together an array of film, actors, and directors that we can celebrate during the twelve-day festival.

However, if it is the female filmmakers that we are interested in, and there are a whole host of them to watch out for at the festival this year.

We take a look at some of the female directors that we are looking forward to the most and have films that you cannot miss.

- Carol Morley - The Falling

The London Film Festival marks the return of Carol Morley to the director’s chair, as her new film The Falling is set to be part of the Official Competition part of the festival.

Morley made her live action debut with Edge back in 2010 before following that up with fascinating documentary Dreams of a Life; she returns to live action with this brand new drama.

The Falling looks set to explore some bigger themes that her previous film, and I am excited to see just what she has to offer this time around.

Morley has brought together a terrific cast, as Greta Scacchi, Maisie Williams and Maxine Peake are all on board, for a film that explores human connection and coming of age.

Set in 1969, the movie focuses on the character of Lydia, a troubled teen who is at the centre of a mysterious fainting epidemic at her school. Williams is best known for her role in Game of Thrones, and I can’t wait to see her breakout with this very different role.

As for Morley, she has already grabbed everyone’s attention with the likes of Dreams of a Life and Edge, and she looks set to cement herself as a really exciting directing talent with The Falling.

- Ester Martin Bergsmark - Something Must Break

As well as celebrating established directing talent, The London Film Festival also puts emerging filmmakers in the spotlight, and Ester Martin Bergsmark is one of those directors to watch out for.

She is making her debut with Something Must Break, which will screen as part of the First Feature Competition at the festival. As well as being in the director’s chair, Bergsmark has also teamed up with Eli Leven to pen the screenplay.

Bergsmark explores themes of gender and sexuality with Something Must Break, as the film follows Sebastian - a transgender teen whose world is turned upside down by new arrival Andreas. But as Sebastian becomes determined to become ‘Ellie’ his relationship with Andreas is threatened.

Bergsmark is no stranger to the director’s chair with documentary She Male Snails already under her belt. However, Something Must Break sees her make the leap into live action and she promises to be an interesting new filmmaking voice.

Something Must Break is one o the Swedish movies on the programme, and looks set to be one of the most interesting movies about relationships and identity.

- Debra Granik - Stray Dog

The Documentary section of the London Film Festival is always one of the most exciting, and Stray Dog is one of the movies to watch out for.

Debra Granik already has Down to the Bone and the fantastic Winter’s Bone - the film that put Jennifer Lawrence on the map - under her belt, but Stay Dog sees her tackle the documentary genre for the first time.

With Stray Dog, Granik acts as an unbiased conduit to share the story of Ronnie ‘Stray Dog’ Hall, an American biker who defies traditional preconceptions about what he should be and how he should live; a unique documentary depicting a small demographic of American life.

Stray Dog is set to be a fascinating character piece, which takes audiences into the world and life of this fascinating man, as Granik paints a tender portrait of a man who lives completely outside of the American mainstream.

Stray Dog is one of those movies that really gets under the skin of the subject matter and Granik has shown that documentary come just as naturally to her as live action. Looking forward to seeing her explore this genre more as a filmmaker.

- Susanne Bier - Serena

Susanne Bier is a female director who has two films screening at the festival this year, as Serena and A Second Chance are both not to be missed.

However, it is Serena that we are most interested in, as this is a film that sees Bier reunite Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper for their third film together: they have already worked on Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.

I was a huge fan of Bier’s Love Is All You Need, but Serena is something completely different for the filmmaker, as she bring the Ron Rash novel of the same name to the big screen.

North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s - George and Serena Pemberton, love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire.

However, once Serena discovers George's hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pemberton's passionate marriage begins to unravel leading toward a dramatic reckoning.

Serena is a movie that looked, for a while, that it would never reach the big screen, but this period story of love, ambition, and jealousy is like nothing else that you will see in the Love section of festival this year.

- Sophie Barthes - Madame Bovary

Sophie Barthes made her feature film directorial debut back in 2009 with Cold Souls, but now she is back with her latest film Madame Bovary.

Madame Bovary is another of the high profile films that will play in the Love section of the London Film Festival, as Barthes has brought together a terrific cast for the film.

Mia Wasikoswka - who has already had a great year with Tracks, Only Lovers Left Alive, and Maps to the Stars - will take on the lead role of Emma Bovary, and is joined on the cast list by Ezra Miller, Paul Giamatti, Rhys Ifans, and Logan Marshall-Green.

Madame Bovary follows the beautiful wife of a small-town doctor engages in extra marital affairs in an attempt to advance her social status.

Madame Bovary promises to be another rich period piece and I am excited to see what Barthes delivers with her new film. I have been a fan of Wasikowska for some time, and she really has given some great big screen performances in recent years… it looks like this is going to be another for the young actress.

- Rebecca Johnson - Honeytrap

Honeytrap is a movie that will mark the feature film directorial debut for Rebecca Johnson, and is one of the British films to watch out for at the festival.

Honeytrap is based on a true story, but Johnson has created a film that goes beyond the headlines and created and complex and layered movie, with a fascinating character at its core.

Set in Brixton and inspired by true events, Honeytrap is an urban drama told from a girl's point of view.

Yearning for love and status, fifteen-year-old Layla is swept into a whirlwind romance with self-styled gang leader/rapper Troy - and then spat out the other side. Desperate to win him back, she offers to set up the boy who's in love with her to be killed…

Jessica Sula will take on the central role of Layla, in what is the first big screen outing for the actress. She is known for her TV roles in Love & Marriage and Skins, but Honeytrap looks set to be the project that puts her on the map and introduces her to a wider audience.

Other female filmmakers to watch out for include Corinna McFarlane (Silent Storm), Naomi Kawase (Still The Water), Margaret Brown (The Great Invisible), and Martha Stephens (Land Ho!)

The BFI London Film Festival runs from 8th - 19th October.

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