LONDON — The 56th BFI London Film Festival will see 14 world premieres, 15 international preems and 34 European preems in a line-up of 225 fiction and documentary features, it was announced at a launch event at London’s Odeon Leicester Square on Wednesday.
The BFI’s head of exhibition and new fest director Clare Stewart also announced the details of several new directions for the event.
The first significant change is the introduction of competitive sections to the fest’s awards, which will be given more prominence in the fest’s campaign and program. The three sections are Official Competition, First Feature Competition and Documentary Competition. Twelve titles have been selected for each section. A separate award honoring British newcomer will also be presented to an emerging producer, director, writer or actor, with the recipient also receiving a £5,000 ($7,950) bursary from Swarovski. The lineups for each competition section are below.
The event is also expanding its footprint with four new venues taking part and several others taking on a fuller program than previous years to increase the opportunities for audiences to see films. Thirteen venues will take part. For the first time the fest will also screen the opening night gala European preem of Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” and the American Express Gala world preem of Rolling Stones documentary “Crossfire Hurricane” simultaneously to cinemas across Blighty. The Rolling Stones are expected to attend the London preem.
Other sponsored galas include: Dustin Hoffman’s “Quartet,” Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” Paul Andrew Williams’ “Song for Marion,” Roger Michell’s “Hyde Park on Hudson,” Wayne Blair’s “The Sapphires” and Ben Lewin’s “The Sessions.”
In a change of structure to the fest’s program films will be presented in nine themed strands: Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic and Family each with its own gala screening. Galas include Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner “Amour” in the Love strand; Sophie Fiennes’ documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Idealogy” in Debate; Mira Nair’s Venice Film Fest opener “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” in Dare; Ben Wheatley’s dark comedy “Sightseers” in Laugh; Bollywood action epic “Chakravyuh” in Thrill; “A Liar’s Autobiography” in Cult, which is an animated chronicle of Graham Chapman’s life; Cannes screenplay winner “Beyond the Hills” in Journey; and “Ernest and Celestine” in family, one of seven animated features taking part in the fest, including opener “Frankenweenie.”
Screen Talks will feature Gallic thesp Marion Cotillard, author Salman Rushdie (“Midnight’s Children”) and documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”), while master classes will be given by music supervisor Ian Neil (“Spike Island,” which screens in the Sonic strand) and production designers David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds Wasco (“Seven Psychopaths”). The fest will also host a free “The Art of Frankenweenie” exhibition.
The full line-up followed recent announcements that the fest would open with “Frankenweenie” and close with Mike Newell’s “Great Expectations,” both European preems.
The fest will run from Oct. 10-21.
“After Lucia” Dir. Michel Franco (U.K. preem)
“End of Watch” Dir. David Ayer (U.K. preem)
“Everyday” Dir. Michael Winterbottom (European preem)
“Fill the Void” Dir. Rama Burshtein (U.K. preem)
“Ginger and Rosa” Dir. Sally Potter (European preem)
“In the House” Dir. Francois Ozon (U.K. preem)
“It Was the Son” Dir. Daniele Cipri (U.K. preem)
“Lore” Dir. Cate Shortland (U.K. preem)
“Midnight’s Children” Dir. Deepa Mehta (European preem)
“No” Dir. Pablo Larrain (U.K. preem)
“Rust & Bone” Dir. Jacques Audiard (U.K. preem)
“Seven Psychopaths” Dir. Martin McDonagh (European preem)
First Feature Competition:
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dir. Benh Zeitlin (U.K. preem)
“Clip” Dir. Maja Milos (U.K. preem)
“The Comedian” Dir. Tom Shkolnik (U.K. preem)
“Eat Sleep Die” Dir. Gabriela Pichler (U.K. preem)
“My Brother the Devil” Dir. Sally El Hosaini (U.K. preem)
“Neighbouring Sounds” Dir: Kleber Mendonca Filho (U.K. preem)
“The Samurai That Night” Dir. Masaaki Akahori (European preem)
“Shell” Dir. Scott Graham (U.K. preem)
“Ship of Theseus” Dir. Anand Gandhi (European preem)
“Sleeper’s Wake” Dir. Barry Berk (European preem)
“Tomorrow” Dir. Andrey Gryazev (U.K. preem)
“Wadjda” Dir. Haifaa Al Mansour (U.K. preem)
“Beware of Mr. Baker” Dir. Jay Bulger (European preem)
“Canned Dreams” Dir. Katja Gauriloff (U.K. preem)
“The Central Park Five” Dirs. Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns (U.K. preem)
“The Ethnographer” Dir. Ulises Rosell (U.K. preem)
“For No Good Reason” Dir. Charlie Paul (world preem)
“Free Angela & All Political Prisoners” Dir. Shola Lynch (European preem)
“Les Invisibles” Dir. Sebastien Lifshitz (world Preem)
“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” Dir. Alex Gibney (European preem)
“The Summit” Dir. Nick Ryan (world preem)
“Turned Towards the Sun” Dir. Greg Olliver (world preem)
“Village at the End of the World” Dir. Sarah Gavron (world preem)
“West of Memphis” Dir. Amy Berg (European preem)
Rowan Athale – writer-director “Wasteland”
Sally El Hosaini – writer-director “My Brother the Devil”
Fady Elsayed – actor “My Brother the Devil”
Scott Graham – writer-director “Shell”
Eloise Laurence – actor “Broken”
Rufus Norris – writer-director “Broken”
Chloe Pirrie – actor “Shell”
Tom Shkolnik – writer-director “The Comedian”