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57th BFI London Film Festival programme revealed

London Film Festival

Story by Jack Foley

THE cream of British talent as well as several awards season contenders form part of the line-up for this year’s 57th BFI London Film Festival.

Leading British artists will take centre-stage at the event, which takes place for a week and a half between October 9-20, 2013.

Among the highlights are Paul Greengrass’s opening film Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, as well as Ralph Fiennes second directorial feature The Invisible Woman.

Kate Winslet’s latest, Labor Day, is also included among the gala screenings, as is Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan collaboration Philomena and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt.

British actress Carey Mulligan is featured in the Coen Brothers’ critically-acclaimed Inside Llewyn Davis Daniel Radcliffe is featured in Kill Your Darlings and Sexy Beast director Jonathan Glazer’s latest, Under The Skin – starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien – is also among the line-up.

International star power is provided by the aforementioned Hanks, who will open the festival with Captain Phillips and close it with Disney drama Saving Mr Banks (co-starring British stalwart Emma Thompson and featuring the story of how Mary Poppins came to the big screen).

While Sandra Bullock will be in town to support her latest release, the Oscar-tipped space epic Gravity, in which she co-stars alongside George Clooney.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon is also included among the highlights, as is Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, Abdellatif Kechiche’s explicit but critically-acclaimed lesbian drama Blue Is the Warmest Colour and keenly-anticipated Alex Gibney documentary The Armstrong Lie (about the cyclist Lance Armstrong).

In total, the Festival will screen 234 fiction and documentary features, including 22 World Premieres, 16 International Premieres, 29 European Premieres and 20 Archive films.

There will also be screenings of 134 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes and other special events.

Screenings will also take place at venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Leicester Square and a new addition this year the Cineworld Haymarket; central London venues – BFI Southbank; the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – Ritzy Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse, Renoir, Everyman Screen on the Green and Rich Mix. Additional screenings and events will take place at the Curzon Chelsea, BFI London IMAX and Village Underground.

Following last year’s successful implementation of new competitive sections, The Best Film Award will again be handed out in Official Competition; the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition and the Grierson Award in Documentary Competition.

And the Festival programme is again organised into focused categories that are clustered around the themes of Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic and Family – an approach designed to help Festival goers find the films that mean the most to them and to open up entry points for new audiences.