The 52nd London Film Festival annouces program
The programme for The Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival, announced today by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, includes a record number of world and international premieres with a total of 189 features and 108 shorts screening alongside a stellar line-up of special events and expected guests.
Opening Night film, Ron Howard’s FROST/NIXON, is one of the Festival’s 15 world premieres and the Closing Night Gala is the European premiere of Danny Boyle’s SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. An outstanding selection of new British films will world premiere at the Festival, including Nick Moran’s TELSTAR, Eran Creevy’s SHIFTY, and Gerald McMorrow’s FRANKLYN in addition to Shashank Ghosh’s QUICK GUN MURUGAN from India and Samir Habchi’s BEIRUT OPEN CITY from Lebanon. The 12 international premieres at the Festival include
SUGAR from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Ketan Mehta’s COLOURS OF PASSION and Nanette Burstein’s AMERICAN TEEN. Festival audiences will also have the chance to attend the first public screening of Marc Forster’s QUANTUM OF SOLACE, immediately following the film’s world premiere on 29 October.
Also hosting 20 European and 119 UK premieres, the Festival showcases new work from established and emerging filmmakers alongside feature film debuts by newly discovered directing talents. The programme includes the latest work from Laurent Cantet (Cannes Palme d’Or winner, THE CLASS), Oliver Stone (W.), Steven Soderbergh (CHE PART 1 & PART 2), Raymond Depardon (MODERN LIFE), Jonathan Demme (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED), Stephan Elliott (EASY VIRTUE), Agnes Varda (THE BEACHES OF AGNES), Shyam Benegal (WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR), Rian Johnson (THE BROTHERS BLOOM), Gabor Csupo (THE SECRET OF MOONACRE), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (THREE MONKEYS); Fernando Eimbcke (LAKE TAHOE), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (THE SILENCE OF LORNA), Woody Allen (VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA) and Terence Davies (OF TIME AND THE CITY). In addition to welcoming back previous Festival alumni – such as Kelly Reichardt (WENDY AND LUCY), Pablo Trapero (LION’S DEN) and Bouli Lanners (ELDORADO) – the programme introduces the work of debut directors including Lance Hammer (BALLAST), Juraj Lehotský (BLIND LOVES), Enrique Rivero (PARQUE VIA) and Ursula Meier (HOME).
Contributing to an especially strong line-up of British films are the latest features from distinguished UK directors including Michael Winterbottom (GENOVA) and Richard Eyre (THE OTHER MAN), in addition to new work from Justin Kerrigan (I KNOW YOU KNOW) and Pat Holden (AWAYDAYS). British directors making their feature film debuts at the Festival also include Steve McQueen (HUNGER) and Sallie Aprahamian (BROKEN LINES), whilst a special panel event, BRITISH FILM BOOM, will celebrate and examine the new generation of British film talent.
Amongst those films representing new French cinema are Arnaud Desplechin’s A CHRISTMAS TALE, Christophe Honoré’s LA BELLE PERSONNE and Philippe Grandrieux’s A LAKE. Contemporary European cinema is celebrated in the Cinema Europa strand which includes 29 films, such as Ole Christian Madsen’s FLAME & CITRON from Denmark, Hungary-Germany co-production DELTA, UPRISE by Sandro Aguilar from Portugal, and INVOLUNTARY by Ruben Östlund from Sweden. In addition, the Film on the Square strand includes Uli Edel’s THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX from Germany and Antonello Grimaldi’s QUIET CHAOS from Italy.
The best of world cinema will transport Festival audiences around the globe with films from 43 countries including Iceland, Kazakhstan, Chile and Liberia. Mexico’s Rodrigo Plá directs THE DESERT WITHIN and Kim Jee-Woon’s THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD hails from South Korea, whilst Francis X. Pasion’s JAY and Annemarie Jacir’s SALT OF THIS SEA represent new filmmaking from the Philippines and Palestine respectively. A diverse slate of new films from the US includes Gina Prince-Bythewood’s THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES and Peter Sollett’s NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST, which screen alongside a strong selection of films representing a new wave of American independent filmmaking, such as Antonio Campos’ AFTERSCHOOL and Courtney Hunt’s FROZEN RIVER. Highlighting this trend is a special panel event entitled INDIEWOOD IS DEAD … LONG LIVE THE NEW, TRUE INDIES which will discuss the future of the US Indie scene.
Documentary Gala, Alex Gibney’s GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON, is one of 19 documentary features at the Festival which will compete for the annual Grierson Award for best feature-length documentary. Ari Folman’s animated documentary WALTZ WITH BASHIR and James Toback’s TYSON also screen, in addition to CITIZEN HAVEL by Pavel Koutecký and Miroslav Janek from the Czech Republic and Sacha Gervasi’s ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL. With a total of nine short film programmes and six experimental shorts programmes, audiences enjoy a wealth of choice ranging from recent work by the capital’s most exciting new filmmakers in the LONDON CALLING selection, to SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN – an a