London Film Festival Adds 'Jojo Rabbit,' 'The King,' 'The Lighthouse'

Kimberley French
'Jojo Rabbit'

The U.K.'s top film event has unveiled its full program, with 40 percent of 229 features coming from female directors or co-directors.

Having already announced its curtain raiser in the form of The Personal History of David Copperfield and closing film in The Irishman, as well as unveiled the 10-strong selection of films in its official competition, the BFI London Film Festival on Thursday fleshed out the rest of the schedule for its 2019 edition. 

Jostling for position in the lineup are star-heavy features such as Taika Waititi's Hitler satire Jojo Rabbit, Netflix's The King and Robert Eggers' acclaimed Cannes-bowing The Lighthouse, plus other hotly anticipated titles, including The Aeronauts, Marriage Story and A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, many of which are getting their European premieres in London. 

Of the 229 feature films in London's entire festival selection, 40 percent have been directed or co-directed by women. 

"While there are many talking points emerging from this year’s program, a few really leap out: the strong instinct from filmmakers to explore urgent social and political issues through narrative and often through the use of genre; the striking emergence of a a new generation of filmmakers exploding onto the international stage with startlingly bold, original and ambitious debuts; the continuing and welcome trend of increased gender balance in directing talent behind short film, first and second features," said festival director Tricia Tuttle. "And while we’re so delighted to see work from 78 countries in the festival, we also love welcoming a particularly exceptional new wave of U.K.-based filmmakers with cracking first and second feature films in LFF."

The main lineup the 2019 London Film Festival, which runs Oct. 2-13, is as follows:

Headline Gala Screenings

Knives Out, Rian Johnson

The Aeronauts, Tom Harper

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, Marielle Heller

Greed, Michael Winterbottom

Hope Gap, William Nicholson

Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi

The King, David Michod

Le Mans '66, James Mangold

Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach


Festival and Strand Galas

Ema, Pablo Larrain

Abominable, Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman

Bacurau, Kleber Mendonça Filho 

The Dude in Me, Hyo-jin Kang

Judy & Punch, Mirrah Foulkes

The Lighthouse, Robert Eggers

Official Secrets, Gavin Hood

The Peanut Butter Falcon, Michael Schwartz, Tyler Nilson

The Two Popes, Fernando Meirelles

Western Stars, Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen


Special Presentations

Bad Education, Cory Finley

Blackbird, Roger Michell

Bombay Rose, Gitanjali Rao

The Cave, Feras Fayyad

First Love, Takashi Miike

Gosta, Lukas Moodysson 

Krabi, 2562, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Ben Rivers

Love, Life and Laughter

Our Ladies, Michael Caton-Jones

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma

Rocks, Sarah Gavron


First Feature Competition

Atlantics, Mati Diop

Babyteeth, Shannon Murphy

Calm with Horses, Nick Rowland

House of Hummingbird, Bora Kim

Instinct, Halina Reijn

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Joe Talbot

Make Up, Claire Oakley

Relativity, Mariko Minoguchi

Scales, Shahad Ameen


Documentary Competition

Cold Case Hammarskjold, Mads Brugger

Coup 53, Taghi Amirani

Cunningham, Alla Kovgan

I am (Not) a Monster, Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian

The Kingmaker, Lauren Greenfield

Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Richard Lowenstein

Overseas, Sung-A Yoon

A Pleasure, Comrades, José Filipe Costa

White Riot, Rubika Shah