×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lenny Abrahamson to Head London Film Festival Jury

World Premiere of Ben Wheatley's "Happy New Year, Colin Burstead" Among Ten Films Announced for Official Competition Section

Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson will chair the jury of this year’s 62nd BFI London Film Festival, it was announced Wednesday. Abrahamson and his panel will oversee an official competition section of 10 titles – half of them directed or co-directed by women – including the world premiere of British filmmaker Ben Wheatley’s “Happy New Year, Colin Burstead” and the latest films from Karyn Kusama, Peter Strickland, Alice Rohrwacher and Zhang Yimou.

“I am delighted to continue my relationship with the BFI London Film Festival,” said Abrahamson, who received an Oscar nomination for best director for his 2015 film “Room.” “It’s an honor to be this year’s jury chair and I very much look forward to deliberating with my fellow jurors on what is sure to be some of the most exciting, thought-provoking and original work in this year’s selection of films.”

The winner will receive the festival’s Bronze Star of London, which will be presented in front of a public audience for the first time. Members of the public will be able to buy tickets to the award presentation, followed by a screening of the winning film.

Wheatley’s “Happy New Year, Colin Burstead” is receiving its world premiere at the London Film Festival. The director is a regular at the festival. His last film, “Free Fire,” closed the 60th edition two years ago. Tricia Tuttle, the festival’s artistic director, said “Happy New Year, Colin Burstead” represented a “different style” for Wheatley.

The films in competition by female directors are Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer,” starring Nicole Kidman; Alice Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Lazarro,” which world premiered in Cannes; Sudabeh Mortezai’s “Joy”; Dominga Sotomayor’s “Too Late to Die Young”; and “Birds of Passage,” co-directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra.

Rounding out the competition lineup are Strickland’s “In Fabric”; David Lowery’s “The Old Man and the Gun,” starring Robert Redford in his final role; Zhang’s “Shadow”; and Laszlo Nemes’ “Sunset.” The last two will world premiere in Venice next week.

The 10 competing films represent the U.S., U.K., China, Italy, Hungary, Chile and Colombia.

Tuttle said the titles selected represented “a tantalizing range of styles” telling “stories from around the globe.” “These works are by turns, socially and politically urgent, muscularly thrilling, evocatively personal, spectacular, kinky and wildly inventive,” said Tuttle. “It’s also a real pleasure to see that half of these films come from female directors.”

The festival’s full program will be unveiled Thursday.

All 10 official competition titles will screen at the Vue Leicester Square. The 62nd BFI London Film Festival runs Oct. 10-21.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Charlie-Chaplin-and-Horse-Roy-Export-Co

    Carmen Chaplin to Direct ‘Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Director-producer-actress Carmen Chaplin is set to direct “Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World,” a theatrical documentary feature which will add a hardly-explored new facet to the creator of the Tramp, one of the most iconic cinema characters in popular consciousness, plumbing Chaplin’s Romani roots and heritage. Marking the first time that [...]

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

  • LargoAI

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

  • MARIANA-RONDÓN-MARITÉ-UGÁS

    FiGa Snags 'Contactado,' By The Team Behind San Sebastian Winner 'Pelo Malo' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to “Contactado,” the upcoming feature by Sudaca Films’ Marité Ugás and Mariana Rondón, the duo behind San Sebastian 2013 Golden Shell winner, “Pelo Malo.” The Sudaca partners are attending San Sebastian to pitch Rondón-helmed project “Zafari” at the 8th Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum. Directed by [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' Lifts Above Competition at International Box Office With $26 Million

    Though “Ad Astra” was overthrown by the Crawley family at the domestic box office, Brad Pitt’s astronaut drama reigned supreme at the international box office. Directed by James Gray, “Ad Astra” launched overseas with $26 million from 44 foreign markets. The $80 million sci-fi epic debuted in North America with $19.2 million, bringing global box [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    Toronto's Biggest Deal Goes to HBO: A Sign of the Future? (Column)

    When it comes to how we’ll be watching movies — or, at least, watching serious dramas for adults — in the future, here are two stark and timely contradictory facts: 1. Last week, as the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, a deal that had been in the rumor stage for a while [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content