The London Film Festival wrapped a particularly stacked run yesterday with a final batch of screenings of some of the most exciting films of 2023. Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy & The Heron enjoyed it’s premiere at Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall, as well as screenings for Luna Carmoon’s surprise hit Hoard, Daniel Kaluuya and Kibwe Tavares’ directorial debut The Kitchen (starring Top Boy‘s Kane Robinson AKA Kano) and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, a film that looks poised to dominate conversation over the next few months in the lead up to awards season.

The Kitchen (dir. Daniel Kaluuya and Kibwe Tavares)

With this year’s lineup being an explosive collection of both movie masters and exciting newcomers, the competition was anyone’s game. But the top winner, it has been announced, is Ryusuke Hamaguchi, for his latest feature Evil Does Not Exist. The Japanese director, who only recently won an Academy Award for his three and a half hour Murukami adaptation Drive My Car, takes a different direction with Evil Does Not Exist, though his stark observations of human nature remain here in full force. The film follows a lakeside community’s resistance to a corporate “Glamping” development that is threatening to disrupt the carefully maintained eco-system of their small village.

Ryusuke hamaguchi
Evil Does Not Exist (dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

Other winners this year include Mika Gustafson’s Paradise Is Burning, which claimed the Sutherland Trophy for best first feature, Lina Salem’s Bye Bye Tiberias, a timely celebration and preservation of the cultural history of Palestinian woman, which won the Grierson Award for best Documentary, and The Archive: Queer Nigerians by Simisolaoluwa Akande , which took home the award for best Short film.

Queer Nigerians
The Archive: Queer Nigerians (dir. Simisolaoluwa Akande)

Stay tuned to A Rabbit’s Foot for more interviews, features and festival coverage. Check out more of our London Film Festival coverage here!