Wash Westmoreland, Jessica Hausner Among London Film Festival Jury Heads

Wash Westmoreland, director of Keira Knightley starrer “Colette,” and Jessica Hausner, helmer of Cannes pic “Little Joe,” are among the jury heads at this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

Westmoreland’s latest movie, “Earthquake Bird,” is part of the festival lineup; “Colette” screened at the fest last year. He will head the official competition jury. “In a world of endless reboots and franchises, the BFI London Film Festival is more important than ever, screening original, uncompromising movies that showcase brilliant new voices in filmmaking,” he said.

Rounding out the main competition jury are film journalist Jane Crowther; “I, Daniel Blake” actress Hayley Squires; director Sudabeh Mortezai, who helmed last year’s wining movie, “Joy”; “Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey; and Mohamed Hefzy, producer and director of the Cairo Film Festival.

Austrian director Hausner will oversee the First Feature competition, also known as the Sutherland Award. Her genre-bending movie “Little Joe,” which premiered at Cannes and won Emily Beecham the best-actress award, will play at LFF. “I am very much hoping to discover original filmmaking and daring viewpoints among the films that are competing for the Sutherland Award – and I am sure to find them,” Hausner said.

Yance Ford, the Oscar-nominated director of “Strong Island,” will lead the panel choosing the winner of the Grierson Award for Best Documentary. British producer Jacqui Davies will preside over the Short Film Competition jury.

Festival director Tricia Tuttle and the jury presidents will present the awards before a public audience at special screenings of each film at the at Vue movie theater in London’s Leicester Square.

“We’re really grateful to our jurors – all hugely successful in their own right – for giving their time,” Tuttle said. “While I expect them to delight in the quality of filmmaking, I do not envy them having to pick a winner from these selections.”

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