One of the most talked-about films of the year, MONOS directed by Alejandro Landes won the Best Film Award at BFI London Film Festival 2019. The film is described as a hallucinogenic, intoxicating thriller about child soldiers that has inspired feverish buzz and earned comparisons to Apocalypse Now and Lord of the Flies.
The Official Competition jury also gave Special Commendations to HONEY BOY (Alma Har’el) and SAINT MAUD (Rose Glass).
Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS continues its winning streak receiving the First Feature Competition (Sutherland Award). A hypnotic, genre-shifting portrait of a girl’s awakening, ATLANTICS tells the story of Ada, who faces impending marriage to another man when her lover Souleiman grows tired of labouring without pay on the gleaming towers of Dakar, and sets out across the sea with friends. As the women gather in the bar where the men used to drink, it seems that something else more mysterious has returned to them.
The First Feature Competition jury also gave a Special Commendation to HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD (Bora Kim).
A documentary blending fresh interviews with archive footage, WHITE RIOT which profiles punky reggae protest movement Rock Against Racism won the Rubika Shah, Documentary Competition (Grierson Award). Chronicling the movement’s grassroots beginnings in 1976 through to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in East London’s Victoria Park, the film features interviews and previously unseen footage of X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and The Clash, whose rockstar charisma and gale-force conviction took Rock Against Racism’s message to the masses.
Soheil Amirsharifi’s FAULT LINE (GOSAL) won the Short Film Competition (Short Film Award). In Amirsharifi’s film, Nahal is an Iranian schoolgirl who must create a new version of the truth in a strict environment, despite there being unintended consequences to her self-preservation.
The Short Film Competition jury also gave a Special Commendation to IF YOU KNEW (Stroma Cairns).