Stephen Frears’ Philomena starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan is set for a high-profile Gala slot October 16 at the BFI London Film Festival, which runs from October 9-20. The relationship drama about a mother’s search for her long-lost child was the subject of one of the biggest bidding battles of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Harvey Weinstein eventually won out on the pic, based on the 2009 novel The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith. The BFI date will mark the UK premiere, with the pic opening in the territory November 1. It currently has a competition slot at Venice before heading to Toronto.