There's just over a week to go until the BFI London Film Festival gets underway and there are a whole host of wonderful filmmakers on the programme.



Some of the directors are big Hollywood names, while others are making a name for themselves with their directorial debut - it is this eclectic mix that makes the London Film Festival so special.

There are also plenty of female filmmakers to watch out for this year and we take a look at some of the director and movies that you cannot afford to miss this October.

- Sarah Gavron - Suffragette

The 2015 BFI London Film Festival will open with a female directed film, as Sarah Gavron makes a highly-anticipated return to the director's chair with Suffragette.

Suffragette is already one of the most talked about movies of the autumn and is surrounded in Oscar whispers - this is just the kind of film that the Academy loves to award. The movie is released 12th October in the UK and just days before, it will open this prestigious festival.

Suffragette is just the second live action feature for Gavron and comes six years after she make her debut with an adaptation of Monica Ali's novel Brick Lane. Since Brick Lane, she did turn her attention to the documentary genre with the fantastic Village at the End of the World.

While Gavron is a great documentary filmmaker, I am glad that she has turned her attention back towards live action/drama and Suffragette looks set to be the movie that really sends her star rocketing.

Gavron has assembled a terrific cast as Carey Mulligan, Helen Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, and Anne-Marie Duff, while Abi Morgan has penned the screenplay.

Suffragette is set to kick the festival off with a bang I cannot wait to see how much support the film gets during the awards season.


- Lucile Hadzihalilovic - Evolution

Lucile Hadzihalilovic made her feature film directorial debut back in 2004 with her film Innocence and now she is back with her latest feature Evolution.

Evolution is set to play in the Official Competition section of the festival and Hadzihalilovic is one of only two female filmmakers who will feature in this section this year; the other is Athina Rachel Tsangari with Chevalier.

Lucile Hadzihalilovic was the first woman to win the Stockholm International Film Festival annual Bronze Horse for Innocence and it is great to see her back - I really cannot wait to see what she delivers with this new film.

The French drama is set on a remote island that is inhabited only by women and young boys. While out exploring one day, ten year old Nicolas makes a discovery that no one else will believe. This coming of age story will see him confront his destiny, who he is, and where he has come from.

Critics are already calling Evolution an 'intense' and 'atmospheric' watch and it looks set to be a film that wins over critics and audiences at the festival.


- Mai Masri - 3000 Nights

As well as established filmmakers, the BFI London Film Festival shines a light on those that are making their debuts with the First Feature Competition... that is where were are going to meet Mai Masri.

3000 Nights is a movie that has already screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and will see Masri on writing duties as well as being in the director's chair.

Masri is no stranger to the director's chair, with a string of documentaries such as 33 Days, Beirut Diaries: Truth, Lies and Videos, and Children of Shatila already under her belt. However, 3000 Nights will see her leap into drama for the very first time.

It is always exciting when you see a director transition from one genre to another and I cannot wait to see her make this leap with 3000 Nights.

The movie follows Layal, a young Palestinian schoolteacher gives birth to her son in an Israeli prison where she fights to protect him, survive and maintain hope. Maisa Abd Elhadi takes on the central role of Layal, in what looks set to be a compelling performance as the movie explores the idea of freedom under occupation.

3000 Nights

- Cristina Comencini - Latin Lover

Cristina Comencini is a well-established filmmaker and she is set to return with her new film Latin Love. Comencini has been behind films such as Black and White and Don't Tell, but this is her first movie since When the Night, back in 2011.

Latin Lover is set to play as part of the Laugh section of the festival and features the last cinema appearance of Virna Lisi, the Italian actress who passed away in 2014.

Comencini has brought together a great cast as Toni Bertorelli, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Angela Finocchiaro, and Claudio Gloe are all set to star.

The five daughters of a famous actor, all from different mothers and different nationalities, get together on the 10th anniversary of his death for a celebration of his career. The comedy/drama looks set to explore fractured families and family feuds but is a movie that is tinged with sadness after the passing of Lisi.

Latin Lover

- Karyn Kusama - The Invitation

The Invitation is one of the movies on the programme that I am looking forward to the most as this tense thriller has already been winning over the critics.

The Invitation sees Karyn Kusama back in the director's chair for her fourth feature, which comes after Girlfight, Aeon Flux, and Jennifer's Body. The movie will screen as part of the Cult section at the London Film Festival.

The Invitation premiered at SXSW earlier this year and I can't wait to see if the movie has me on the edge of my seat like I expect it to.

Logan Marshall-Green is set to take on the central role of Will and is joined on the cast list by Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, and Karl Yune.

Marshall-Green plays Will, a haunted man who attends a dinner party at the house he once called home. But he becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are harbouring an insidious agenda.

The Invitation

- Meghna Gulzar - Guilty

Guilty is based on the controversial 'Noida Double Murder Case' that stunned India back in 2008 and sees Meghna Gulzar back in the director's chair.

Guilty is set to be the third feature film for Gulzar and comes after Filhaal... and Just Married: Marriage Was Only the Beginning! and is set to play in the Thrill section of the festival.

The film follows the mysterious murder of a fourteen year old girl and the domestic help... the prime suspects in the case were the girl's parents.

Guilty is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is set to open old wounds for a country that was stunned by the case seven years ago.

Irrfan Khan will take on the role of investigating office Ashwin Kumar and is joined on the cast list by Ayesha Parveen, Neeraj Kabi, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Gajraj Rao.


The BFI London Film Festival runs from 7th - 18th October.

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