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London Film Fest: Colombian Survival Thriller ‘Monos’ Wins Top Prize

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Announced Saturday, ahead of the festival’s closing ceremony on Sunday, Monos, Alejandro Landes’ Sundance bowing survival thriller about child soldiers, took home the top best film award. The film was acquired by Neon for the U.S., and was recently named Colombia’s Oscar entry in the international feature competition.

Monos is a stunning cinematic achievement; marrying dynamic visuals, faultless performances and groundbreaking storytelling. It’s a masterpiece!” said Wash Westmoreland, head of the main jury, which also awarded special mentions to Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy and Saint Maud from Rose Glass.

Mati Diop’s Atlantics, which became the first film from a black female director to play in Cannes’ official competition earlier this year, won London’s first feature competition. The drama, a genre-shifting portrait of a girl’s awakening in Dakar, has been picked up by Netflix, and was submitted by Senegal to the next Academy Awards.

Atlantics is a film that intrigued us by its original and refreshing use of genre elements in a story that also has a strong political impact,” said first feature competition president Jessica Hausner. The first feature jury also gave a special commendation to Bora Kim’s House of Hummingbird.

Elsewhere, White Riot, Rubika Shah’s profile of the punky reggae protest movement Rock Against Racism, won the documentary award.

The London Film Festival closes Sunday with the European premiere of Martin Scorsese’s Netflix gangster epic The Irishman.

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