London Film Fest: Colombian Survival Thriller 'Monos' Wins Top Prize

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Monos'

Netflix's Senegalese drama 'Atlantics' from Mati Diop won the debut feature competition.

The BFI London Film Festival on Saturday unveiled its award winners for 2019.

Alejandro Landes' Monos took home best film honors. The survival thriller about child soldiers, which premiered at Sundance, was acquired by Neon for the U.S. and was recently named Colombia's submission for consideration in the international feature film Oscar competition. 

"Monos is a stunning cinematic achievement; marrying dynamic visuals, faultless performances and groundbreaking storytelling. It’s a masterpiece!" said Wash Westmoreland, head of the main jury, which also awarded special mentions to Alma Har'el's Honey Boy and Saint Maud from Rose Glass. 

Mati Diop's Atlantics, which became the first film from a black female director to play in Cannes' official competition earlier this year, won London's first feature competition. The drama, a genre-shifting portrait of a girl's awakening in Dakar, has been picked up by Netflix and was submitted by Senegal for Oscar consideration.

"Atlantics is a film that intrigued us by its original and refreshing use of genre elements in a story that also has a strong political impact," said first feature competition president Jessica Hausner. The first feature jury also gave a special commendation to Bora Kim's House of Hummingbird.

Elsewhere, White Riot, Rubika Shah's profile of the punky reggae protest movement Rock Against Racism, won the best documentary prize, while Fault Line (Gosal) from Soheil Amirsharifi won in the short film category. 

The London Film Festival closes Sunday with the European premiere of Martin Scorsese's Netflix gangster epic The Irishman.