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The Irishman to close 63rd BFI London Film Festival (2019)

The Irishman

Story by Jack Foley

MARTIN Scorsese’s crime epic The Irishman is to close the 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express.

The film will receive its International Premiere on Sunday, October 13 in London, with Scorsese and cast expected to attend. The Irishman is a grand scale epic examining the influence of organised crime in post-war America, as told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th Century.

Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary Union President Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.

The film reunites Scorsese with his Gangs of New York screenwriter Steve Zaillian, who adapts from Charles Brandt’s novel, I Heard You Paint Houses.

In addition to closing the festival, The BFI is also pleased to announce that there will be simultaneous preview screenings of the film taking place at cinemas across the UK, ahead of its premiere on Netflix.

Scorsese commented: “I’m extremely honoured to be having the International Premiere of The Irishman at the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival. This picture was many years in the making.

“It’s a project that Robert De Niro and I started talking about a long time ago, and we wanted to make it the way it needed to be made. It’s also a picture that all of us could only have made at this point in our lives. We’re all very excited to be bringing The Irishman to London.”

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, said: “What an immense cinephile thrill it is to close the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with the International Premiere of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. British Film Institute Fellow Scorsese is one of the true greats of cinema – as both a creator and a tireless champion of preservation and film history – and here he and his creative team have delivered an epic of breathtakingly audacious scale and complexity, exploring relationships of trust and betrayal, regret and remorselessness, which dominated a period of American history. This is a major occasion for film lovers and I cannot wait to share this film with UK audiences.”

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday, October 2 until Sunday, October 13, 2019. The full Festival programme will be announced on Thursday, August 29, 2019.