Regus London Film Festival 2002 - opening and closing movies

Story by Jack Foley

STEPHEN Frears' highly-anticipated urban thriller, Dirty Pretty Things (pictured), has been named as the opening film of the Regus London Film Festival 2002 on November 6.

The film, which will be receiving its UK premiere at the festival, stars Audrey Tautou and Chiwetel Ejiofor and tells the story of two illegal immigrants who struggle to stay alive following a gruesome discovery that exposes them to London's underworld.

Frears directs from an original screenplay by Steven Knight, while Tracey Seaward and Robert Jones produce. If advance word is anything to go by, the film could be one of the big British hits of the year, with Aint It Cool News already describing it as 'an engrossing film that gets better as it unfolds'.

The festival will then close, on November 21, with the UK premiere of The Heart of Me, directed by Thaddeus O'Sullivan. The film is set in 1930s London and stars Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Williams as two sisters who fall in love with the same man, Paul Bettany, resulting in lifelong repercussions.

Based on a novel by Rosamond Lehmann (The Echoing Grove), The Heart of Me is written by Lucinda Coxon and produced by Martin Pope.

The London Film Festival is Europe's leading, non-competitive film festival, now in its 46th year as the Regus London Film Festival. It takes place between November 6 and 21, offering film fans a fortnight comprised of 179 feature films and 122 shorts from over 40 countries.

The RLFF allows the general public to see an unrivalled selection of previews of major new releases and a vast array of films from a worldwide spectrum of film-making. As a result, the festival attracts a broad audience of international film celebrities, film and television industry leaders, over 600 international press delegates and 600 industry delegates.

Included as part of the schedule of activities are the prestigious opening and closing night galas, industry and public forae, education events, lectures and Guardian interviews.

The RLFF continues to enjoy a high profile in central London, based at the Odeon West End and the National Film Theatre on the South Bank. Other venues include the ICA, Brixton Ritzy, Cine Lumiere and Tricycle.

From November 22 - December 8, the festival will tour around the UK, to Nottingham, Bradford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and Canterbury.

Indielondon will bring you more details of the event as we hear of them.

RELATED LINKS: Click here for the official Regus London Film Festival 2002 website...