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Johnny Depp's Black Mass and Bryan Cranston's Trumbo among London Film Festival line-up 2015

Black Mass

Story by Jack Foley

JOHNNY Depp’s crime drama Black Mass and Bryan Cranston’s political offering Trumbo are among the high profile films that will receive premieres during the 2015 London Film Festival.

The former sees Depp playing infamous gangster Whitey Bulger alongside a cast that includes Britain’s Benedict Cumberbatch, while the latter tells the story of Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted after refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947. It co-stars Dame Helen Mirren.

Other high profile titles include Dame Maggie Smith vehicle The Lady In The Van, which finds the Downton Abbey luminary playing an elderly woman who lives on writer Alan Bennett’s driveway. It will have its European premiere.

Ben Wheatley’s keenly anticipated High-Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston, will also have a gala screening, as will The Program, Stephen Frears’ film about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, featuring Ben Foster.

Sci-fi romantic thriller The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, will also screen as will Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba as an African warlord, which is among the films in official competition.

Unveiling the full line-up earlier this week, festival director Clare Stewart declared it “the year of the strong woman”.

She was backed by The BFI’s chief executive, Amanda Nevill, who added that this year’s event would have a strong focus on films made by and starring a range of women in the hope that it could be “a real moment to kickstart change”.

She believes there is still a gender imbalance within the industry, describing the continued lack of women in the creative industries as alarming.

As previously announced, the festival will open with Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, while other notable female-led titles further include an adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan, and the UK premiere of Cannes hit Carol, with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the lead roles.

It will close with Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic, starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet.

The London film festival runs from October 7 to 18, 2015.

The Festival will screen a total of 238 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 40 European Premieres and 11 Archive films including 5 Restoration World Premieres.

There will also be screenings of 182 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, ScreenTalks, Q&As and a new programme of Industry Talks: LFF Connects.

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