BFI London Film Festival programme unveiled

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BFI London Film Festival director Clare Stewart has unveiled the full programme for this year’s event, which runs from 10-21 October.

Already known was that the Festival would open with Tim Burton’s animated fantasy Frankenweenie and close with Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. But Stewart also gave details on Crossfire Hurricane, the first comprehensive film portrait of The Rolling Stones, from filmmaker Brett Morgen. Band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood are expected to attend the festival for a World Premiere which will also be beamed live via satellite to local cinemas around the UK and in some international territories.

Further screenings lined up for the LFF include Ben Affleck’s political thriller Argo, Roger Michell’s Hyde Park On Hudson, Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet, Wayne Blair’s musical comedy The Sapphires, Paul Andrew WilliamsSong For Marion and Ben Lewin’s drama The Sessions.

The awards section of the festival has been revised this year, with Stewart and the festival team introducing competitive sections to “give more prominence to the participating films in the festival programme.” The Best Film Award in partnership with LFF sponsor American Express will be presented to the winner from the Official Competition, “recognising inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking”. There is also a prize for the Best British Newcomer, in partnership with Swarovski, which will be presented to an emerging British writer, actor, producer or director.

Another significant change to the festival structure is the introduction of thematic strands/pathways designed to help festival-goers navigate their way through the 200-feature strong programme. Films are clustered around the themes of Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic and Family, with each strand featuring its own gala screening. Titles involved include Michael Haneke’s Amour, Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills and A Liar's Autobiography, “an animated fantasia telling the story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman”.

Stewart ended her presentation of the line-up with some stats. All told, the LFF features 225 fiction and documentary features and 111 live action and animated shorts, with films from 68 different countries, including 14 world premieres, 15 international premieres, and 34 European premieres.

Full information on the films mentioned above can be found on Production Intelligence, the online database of advance productions from The Knowledge:

Production Intelligence