The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival’s full programme, announced today by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, includes a mind-boggling 184 features and 133 shorts as well as a host of screen talks, masterclasses and live events.
A whole host of big names will be making the trip to Blighty to discuss their work and careers in special screen talks and masterclasses. These include Wes Anderson, Laura Linney, Steve Buscemi, Harmony Korine, Robert Rodriguez and Paul Greengrass.
Other expected guests include - deep breath - David Cronenberg, Naomi Watts, Cristian Mungiu, Sienna Miller, Andrew Dominik, Tang Wei, Ang Lee, Jason Schwartzman, Julian Schnabel, Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Jan Svĕrák, Michael Moore, Asif Kapadia, Halle Berry, Susanne Bier, Sean Penn, Michael Pitt, Todd Haynes, Casey Affleck, Tamara Jenkins, Carlos Reygadas, Esther Robinson, Amy Adams, James Marsden, Jason Reitman and Kevin Lima.
And, in one of the coolest - and weirdest - events, David Lynch and Donovan will be taking the stage together to discuss meditation and, hopefully, sing.
Hosting 7 World, 29 European and 128 UK premieres, the Festival welcomes both familiar faces and newcomers, showcasing established and emerging talent throughout the 16 day cinematic celebration.
The programme includes the latest work from Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion winner Ang Lee (LUST, CAUTION), Alexander Sokurov (ALEXANDRA), Abdellatif Kechiche (THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN), Jan Svĕrák (EMPTIES), François Ozon (ANGEL), Sean Penn (INTO THE WILD), Ermanno Olmi (ONE HUNDRED NAILS), Michael Haneke (FUNNY GAMES), Adoor Gopalakrishnan (FOUR WOMEN), Takeshi Kitano (GLORY TO THE FILMMAKER!), Andrew Dominik (THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD), Todd Haynes (I’M NOT THERE) and Nobuhiro Yamashita (THE MATSUGANE POTSHOT AFFAIR). Audiences will also discover debut feature directors including: Céline Sciamma (WATER LILIES), Rodrigo Plá (LA ZONA), Shivajee Chandrabhushan (FROZEN) and Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud (PERSEPOLIS).
British talent is strongly represented by Penny Woolcock (EXODUS), Garth Jennings (SON OF RAMBOW: A HOME MOVIE), Nick Broomfield (BATTLE FOR HADITHA), Asif Kapadia (FAR NORTH), Richard Attenborough (CLOSING THE RING) as well as by newcomers Simon Welsford (JETSAM) and Joanna Hogg (UNRELATED), and a selection of documentaries and shorts.
Celebrating restorations from archives around the world, Treasures from the Archives showcases features and shorts including: ENAMORADA, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and extraordinary, neglected classic KILLER OF SHEEP. The big screen will also come to Trafalgar Square for two nights, ablaze with archive films that celebrate London as one of the world’s great cinematic cities, including Alfred Hitchcock’s BLACKMAIL.
Commenting on the Festival line-up, Sandra Hebron said: “In a very strong year for world cinema, we are delighted to be able to present such a wide ranging and high quality programme of films and special events, in which work by internationally renowned directors sits comfortably alongside that from many exciting new talents. We look forward to welcoming filmmakers, audiences and press and industry delegates alike to our two week celebration of the best, most creative and original films of the year.”
Robert Thomson, Editor, The Times, added: "The list of works gathered for The Times BFI London Film Festival is a tribute to the organisers and an indication that the country's lovers of film will be very busy in late October and early November. There will be the famous and the infamous, the stars and the hangers-on, but there will also be many a film whose intrinsic worth will broaden the mind and bring a smile to the face."
We're not sure whether we're famous or infamous, but either way, Total Film will see you there.