The programme for the 57th BFI London Festival launched today with exciting news of the films screening this year and those that are running in competition. With a number of films featuring which are fresh from both the Toronto and Venice festivals, having already wowed audiences and gained glowing reviews. This years event is already looking like it's going to be a great feast of viewing splendor.
Having created the title sequence for one of those films 'Half of a Yellow Sun', we are delighted to see Biyi Bandele's new film screen back here in London as part of the BFI's Strands and Pathways 'Dare' category. And my dear friend Stephen Frears' film 'Philomena' starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan screen as part of the Sponsored Galas. The festival programme is again organised into focused categories that are formed around the themes of Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic and Family. An approach designed to help festival goers to find the films they want to see and also expose to new audiences.
The festival will screen a whopping total of 234 features, combined of both fiction and documentary films. Which include 22 World Premiere's, 16 International Premiere's and 29 European premiere's. London's film festival has never had it so good... with Director Paul Greengrass' new film 'Captain Phillips' starring Tom Hanks opening the festival, and who commented at the official launch saying "The British film industry has never been better, with the best filmmaking talent in the world now regularly coming to London to make movies".
He's right too... now is a great time for movie making, not just for the British film industry, but filmmakers all around the world. And the timing for the BFI's annual event couldn't be any better.
Venues across the capital, from the West End Cinemas to the central London venues, including the Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Leicester Square; which recently we attended for the World Premiere of Morgan Spurlock's One Direction film 'This Is Us', Curzon Mayfair, Ciné Lumière and this years new addition the Cineworld Haymarket, will be screening all of the films during the 12 day event. And we can't wait for it to get going.
In addition to all the film screenings. Special Events, Screen Talks and Master Classes will take place during the festival. With attendances to Gala Screenings by key talent such as: Paul Greengrass, Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Barry Ackroyd, John Lee Hancock, Emma Thompson, Alison Owen, Stephen Frears, Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Steve McQueen, Chiwetol Ejiofor, Alfonso Cuaron, David Heyman, Sandra Bullock, Joel & Ethan Coen, Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, Ralph Fiennes, Abdellatif Kechiche, Lea Seydoux, Adele Excharchopoulos, Alain Guiraudie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alexander Payne, Lukas Moodysson.
The final show will be the European Premiere of Disney's Saving Mr. Banks, which will close the festival continuing the initiative from last year with the Closing Night Red Carpet event and screening being screened simultaneously to cinemas across the UK.
Hope you can all make it, and we look forward very much to seeing you there.
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