Films created in collaboration with BBC, those supported by BFI, and works by NFTS graduates in London will compose the lineup for the fourth edition of London Director Awards 2024. The event is scheduled to take place at Close Up Cinema London on February 16.

The festival will showcase eight films, and among the strong contenders for the Grand Prix is “This is Gay” directed by the British filmmaker Kirk Flash. Described as a part mockumentary, part sketch show, “This Is Gay” attempts to answer crucial questions about the term ‘gays’. The official BBC description states, “Your guide, a figure simply known as ‘Host,’ takes you on a strange adventure with many stop-offs along the way, including Renaissance Italy, modern-day London, a charming Welsh parish, and a fridge.”

This edition received a record-breaking number of submissions – 3,188 projects from 102 countries around the world vying for a spot in the festival’s official selection. Making it to the official selection is the BFI-supported horror film, “The Leerie,” directed by Joseph Daly. Set in 1899, the film tells the story of a Scottish lamplighter facing redundancy haunted by nightmarish visions of an electric future. “The Leerie” has been featured in renowned festivals such as London Short Film Festival, Flatpack Festival, and Norwich Film Festival.

On Friday, starting from 6PM at Close Up Cinema London, additional screenings include the film, “Jellyfish and Lobster” directed by Yasmin Afifi. Yasmin’s work has been featured in festivals worldwide, including BAFTA/BIFA qualifying ones. In this movie, when two old and terminally ill patients discover a magical pool that restores them to their younger selves beneath the water, they are forced to reconcile with the inescapable truth of their mortality or drown in the illusion of their past

London Director Awards proudly presents its jury, composed of winners from previous editions. Steven Mihaljevich, director of “The Xrossing” (2020), which premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival, will join the panel. Completing the trio are two producers and directors from South Africa, Tom and James Collins, former winners of the Best Short Film award at London Director Awards. Their life story is fascinating, and they have been making films together since 2012, approaching their work with a blend of creative and analytical perspectives. In 2021, they wrote and directed a French 3-part miniseries titled
“Vaillante,” produced for UNICEF with the aim of driving behavioral change around child marriage practices.

The festival’s program promises to be truly diverse at the Close Up Cinema London on February 16.