Winterbottom pic to preem at London Film

Filmmakers from 48 countries represented

LONDON — Michael Winterbottom’s latest movie, the newly retitled “M11578112” (aka “The Silk Road”), will get its world premiere at the 46th London Film Festival, which will run Nov. 6-21.

Pic, which follows two Afghan refugees on an illegal journey from their homeland to London, was a late addition to the fest lineup and does not yet have a screening date. Title refers to the number given to a refugee after arrival in Britain.

British movies open and close the fest. Stephen Frears’ “Dirty Pretty Things” kicks off the event, while Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s “The Heart of Me” brings down the curtain.

Artistic director Sandra Hebron, in her first year in charge after five as deputy director, has made no radical changes to the structure of the event, which is designed as a “festival of festivals” rather than a platform for world premieres.

Winner’s circle

The Gala section includes Roman Polanski’s Palme d’Or winner “The Pianist,” Peter Mullan’s Golden Lion honoree “The Magdalene Sisters,” Metin Huseyin’s “Anita and Me,” Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen’s “The Kid Stays in the Picture” and Eminem starrer “8 Mile.”

The controversial “Magdalene Sisters,” a fact-based look at the harsh treatment of girls in Irish Catholic convents, is sure to cause a stir after its stormy reception in Venice.

The Film on the Square section will include Michael Moore’s doc “Bowling for Columbine”; Paul Schrader’s “Auto Focus”; Lukas Moodys-son’s “Lilya 4-Ever”; Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love”; and Patricia Cardoso’s debut, “Real Women Have Curves.”

In the New British Cinema section, Hebron is drawing special attention to the world premiere of John Dower’s doc “Live Forever,” charting the explosion of Brit art and pop in the ’90s and the phenomenon of Cool Britannia.

Speaking up

While there is a strong British presence at the fest, 60% of the content is non-English language. French Revolutions section is headed by Marseil-laise Robert Guediguian’s “Marie-Jo and Her Two Lovers.”

The World Cinema strand will include strong showings from the Ar-gentinean new wave, alongside a wide selection from the Middle East.

Cinema Europa section boasts 31 recent standouts from across Euro-pean film. In all, 48 countries will be represented at the fest.

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