The BFI London Film Festival is one of the most prestigious festivals of the United Kingdom which runs its 63th edition from 2 till 13 October 2019. Each year some directors are invited to be present at the screening of their film and introduce it to the general public as well as professionals. This time six Catalan films have been included in the program, three of which boast a female director.
In the section ‘Travel’ the public can watch La hija de un ladrón (A Thief’s Daughter) by Belén Funes described as ‘an emotionally powerful drama from debut filmmaker Belén Funes, [that] charts the trials and tribulations of a single mother with a singular sense of purpose.’ The mother is interpreted by Greta Fernàndez (who won the award of best actress at the San Sebastian Film Festival) and her volatile father by her real life father Eduard Fernàndez.
El viatge de la Marta (Staff Only), the second film made by Neus Ballús is shown in the ‘Debate’ section. The Imdb plot summary says: ‘A 17-year-old girl spends the Christmas holidays in Senegal with her brother and father. Tired of planned trips and the ceremonious actions of the hotel employees, as well as her father’s behavior, she opens the door to the staff area and discovers a world that, although previously undiscovered, allows her to develop close and complex relationships.’ Ballús’ debut film La plaga was widely acclaimed and won more than 20 awards in international film festivals.
The short film Suc de síndria (Watermelon Juice), directed by Irene Moray, who will be at the festival, is screened in the section ‘Love’. It explores the current topic of intimacy and consensual physicality, ‘holding up a magnifying glass to every intimate moment from a misplaced hand to the power dynamics of a sexual situation to the re-contextualisation of a past narrative.’ Irene’s interrogation of this theme has had a lot of repercussion on various festivals and competitions.
So if you might be around during the festival, go and see these films by all means. If not, try and watch them at another moment and another place.