This year’s London Film Festival line-up for October 14-29 will be announced today by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron. Among the total of 191 features and 113 shorts screening are the Opening Night film, Wes Anderson’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX presented by the director and cast members including Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Helen McCrory. There also will be the UK premiere of John Lasseter’s TOY STORY 2 in Disney Digital 3D. And George Clooney will also be in attendance to support his role in THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS. New films representing the next wave of American independent filmmaking includes Sophie Barthes’ COLD SOULS, Andrew Bujalski’s BEESWAX, Sam Fleischner and Ben Chace‘s WAH DO DEM, Nicholas Jasenovec’s PAPER HEART, and Suzi Yoonessi’s DEAR LEMON LIMA.
World premieres include Sam Taylor-Wood’s Closing Night Gala NOWHERE BOY, and the Festival’s first ever Archive Gala, the BFI’s new restoration of Anthony Asquith’s UNDERGROUND, with live music accompaniment by the Prima Vista Social Club led by Neil Brand.
The Festival will also host 23 European premieres, including Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s MICMACS, Scott Hicks’ THE BOYS ARE BACK and Robert Connolly’s BALIBO, as well as Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni’s THE WELL and Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson’s MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN. The 4 international premieres that will be featured are “45365” from Bill and Turner Ross, Celine Danhier’s BLANK CITY, Mike Judge’s EXTRACT, and Rumle Hammerich’s HEADHUNTER.
Directors travelling to London to introduce their latest work will include Michael Haneke (Cannes Palme d’Or winner, THE WHITE RIBBON), Atom Egoyan (CHLOE), Steven Soderbergh (THE INFORMANT!), Lone Scherfig (AN EDUCATION), Ang Lee (TAKING WOODSTOCK), Jane Campion (BRIGHT STAR), Gaspar Noé (ENTER THE VOID), Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS), Grant Heslov (THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS), and Jason Reitman (UP IN THE AIR).
In addition, the Festival will welcome back previous alumni such as John Hillcoat (THE ROAD), Joe Swanberg (ALEXANDER THE LAST) and Harmony Korine (TRASH HUMPERS), whilst also screening films from Manoel de Oliveira (ECCENTRICITIES OF A BLONDE-HAIRED GIRL), Jim Jarmusch (THE LIMITS OF CONTROL), Claire Denis (WHITE MATERIAL), Ho-Yuhang (AT THE END OF DAYBREAK), Todd Solondz (LIFE DURING WARTIME), and Joel and Ethan Coen (A SERIOUS MAN).
The program introduces the work of debut directors including Tom Ford (A SINGLE MAN), Jordan Scott (CRACKS) and Warwick Thornton (SAMSON & DELILAH). Amongst the many British directors making their feature film debuts at the Festival are Paul King (BUNNY AND THE BULL), Malcolm Venville (44 INCH CHEST), David Morrissey (DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME), Tom Harper (THE SCOUTING BOOK FOR BOYS), Lindy Heymann (KICKS) and J Blakeson (THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED).
British films are screening from directors such as Stephen Poliakoff (GLORIOUS 39), Julien Temple (OIL CITY CONFIDENTIAL), Penny Woolcock (1 DAY), Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas (AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY), Jez Lewis (SHED YOUR TEARS AND WALK AWAY) and Chris Atkins (STARSUCKERS), several of which are world premieres.
Selections from new French cinema are Jacques Audiard’s A PROPHET, André Téchiné’s THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, Jacques Rivette’s AROUND A SMALL MOUNTAIN, Catherine Corsini’s LEAVING and Patrice Chéreau’s PERSECUTION. This year’s French Gala is Mia Hansen-Løve’s FATHER OF MY CHILDREN. And as part of the pecial Events program, the Festival will present two masterclasses with Audiard and Téchiné, in partnership with Unifrance.
Contemporary European cinema in the Cinema Europa strand includes 40 films, such as Jesper Ganslandt’s THE APE from Sweden, Yorgos Lanthimos’ DOGTOOTH from Greece and two Austrian-French-German co-productions: LOURDES by Jessica Hausner and WOMEN WITHOUT MEN by Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat. Additionally, the French-Romanian co-production TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE, directed by Hanno Höfer, Cristian Mungiu, Constantin Popescu and Ioana Uricaru and Marco Bellocchio’s VINCERE, will be one of 8 films screening in the Festival from Italy. Marking its 10th year in association with Film Italia, the Festival will also host MAESTRI & MULTIPLEXES: ITALIAN CINEMA NOW, a panel discussion about the issues facing contemporary Italian films and filmmakers.
Festival audiences also will have a choice of films from 46 countries around the globe. Territories represented include Africa (Souleymane Cissé’s TELL ME WHO YOU ARE), East Asia (Bong Joon-Ho’s MOTHER), South Asia (Shyam Benegal’s THE STOLEN WELL) and the Middle East (Samuel Maoz’s LEBANON and Haim Tabakman’s EYES WIDE OPEN).
Frederick Wiseman’s LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET is one of 26 documentary features at the Festival which will compete for the annual Grierson Award for best feature-length documentary. Michel Gondry’s THE THORN IN THE HEART, Ondi Timoner’s WE LIVE IN PUBLIC and Connie Field’s HAVE YOU HEARD FROM JOHANNESBURG: THE BOTTOM LINE also screen, in addition to music documentaries from Tom DiCillo (WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS) and Damani Baker and Alex Vlack (STILL BILL).
The Festival’s cutting edge Experimenta strand will feature the series of seven films by American avant-garde artist and theoretician Hollis Frampton known as HAPAX LEGOMENA presented in its entirety on new preservation prints. Additionally, Johan Grimonprez’s hybrid DOUBLE TAKE will screen, as well as the latest instalment of the FILM IST series, A GIRL AND A GUN, by Gustav Deutsch.