With a little more than a week to go before Deadline’s inaugural The Contenders London event on Friday, October 6, we’re proud to announce the initial lineup of names expected to take the stage in-person to discuss their films this year. With awards season an increasingly international affair, and London home not just to many BAFTA voters, but also plenty of AMPAS and guild members, The Contenders London presents a unique opportunity to meet the best and brightest talent opening new movies this season.
British star Claire Foy will kick off the all-day event at BAFTA’s 195 Piccadilly headquarters. She’ll discuss her role in Breathe from Bleecker Street/Participant Media. For Amazon, Bryan Cranston and Richard Linklater will introduce Last Flag Flying, and the Wonderstruck team of Todd Haynes, Christine Vachon, Oakes Fegley and Jaden Michael will appear. Next up will be Netflix’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) with Dustin Hoffman and Adam Sandler attending alongside writer/director Noah Baumbach.
The event will continue with Lois Smith discussing her Sundance hit Marjorie Prime, released through FilmRise/Bulldog Films. Then it’s the turn of Walt Disney Studios’ Beauty and the Beast, with a panel featuring costume designer Jacqueline Durran, production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer, all repping the talented below-the-line crew the UK film industry is known for. Rounding out the morning, Will Poulter will be on hand to go in-depth on Annapurna’s Detroit, from director Kathryn Bigelow.
After a catered luncheon, invited guests will hear from Darkest Hour writer/producer Anthony McCarten and the author of the book that inspired Victoria & Abdul, Shrabani Basu, both Focus titles.
20th Century Fox will be next up, and director of photography Michael Seresin will be on hand to discuss his work on War for the Planet of the Apes. Fox Searchlight will follow, with Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, Simon Beaufoy and Andrea Riseborough talking Battle of the Sexes. Producer Damian Jones will join Domhnall Gleeson to talk Goodbye Christopher Robin. And, fresh from being feted with the audience award at the Toronto Film Festival, Martin McDonagh and producer Graham Broadbent will present Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The Shape of Water will also be represented.
Finally, Netflix will return to the stage with writer/director Dee Rees and cast Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund and Jason Clarke discussing Mudbound, before the streaming giant sponsors a cocktail reception to round out the day.
Panels, which will feature clips and onstage discussions with talent, will be hosted by Deadline’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Mike Fleming Jr., Awardsline Editor Joe Utichi, International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and Diana Lodderhose. Further panelists, including some very special surprise guests, are expected to attend.
Affiliated guild or academy voters can RSVP for Deadline’s The Contenders London through this link.