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BFI London Film Festival Unveils Lineup for 59th Edition

LONDON — Netflix’s “Beasts of No Nation” is set to continue its festivals run with a slot in the official competition section of the BFI London Film Festival, which runs Oct. 7-18.

The full program for the 59th edition of the LFF was revealed Tuesday by festival director Clare Stewart, and will include the European premieres of Jay Roach’s “Trumbo,” John Crowley’s “Brooklyn” and Nicholas Hytner’s “The Lady in the Van” as sponsor gala screenings. Ben Wheatley’s “High-Rise” and Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” were also announced to receive sponsor galas, while the festival will see special presentations of Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson’s “The Forbidden Room” and the European premiere of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary “He Named Me Malala.”

As previously announced, the festival will open and close with the European premieres of Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette” and Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs,” respectively. Anthony Asquith’s 1928 silent film “Shooting Stars” is the Archive Gala. Other galas previously announced include U.K. premieres of two Cate Blanchett titles, Todd Haynes’ “Carol” and James Vanderbilt’s “Truth.” Blanchett is to receive the BFI Fellowship during the festival’s awards ceremony on Oct. 17.

Haynes will also participate in a Screen Talk at the LFF as will his “Carol” casting director Laura Rosenthal. A third event will feature filmmakers Jia Zhangke and Walter Salles discussing Salles’ documentary “Jia Zhangke: A Guy From Fenyang.”

The festival will screen 238 features, including 16 world premieres, eight international premieres, 40 European premieres and 11 archive films. Forty of the features are British films.

The event will once again be split into nine program strands, titled Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic and Family, each with their own gala. These are Luca Guadadnino’s “A Bigger Splash,” Stephen Frears’ Lance Armstrong biopic “The Program,” Yorgos Lathimos’ “The Lobster,” the European premiere of Ondi Timoner’s documentary “Brand: A Second Coming,” the international premiere of Deepa Mehta’s “Beeba Boys,” the international premiere of S. Craig Zahler’s “Bone Tomahawk,” Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s “The Assassin,” the European premiere of Hany Abu-Assad’s “The Idol” and the European premiere of Rob Letterman’s “Goosebumps.”

A number of festival circuit award winners will also see their UK debuts, including Jafar Panahi’s Berlin Golden Bear winner “Taxi Tehran,” Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan,” and Hong Sang-soo’s “Right Now, Wrong Then,” which won the Golden Leopard in Locarno.

Sure to draw controversy will be John Dower’s “My Scientology Movie,” which features the acclaimed, and fearless British filmmaker and broadcaster Louis Theroux.

Following bows in Venice and Toronto “Beasts of No Nation,” from “True Detective” director Cary Fukunaga, will compete in the festival’s 12-film official competition section line-up, which come from a range of nationalities. The line-up, which recognises inspiring, incentive and distinctive filmmaking, features European premieres for Jonas Cuaron’s “Desierto,” Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya’s “Very Big Shot” and Johnnie To’s “Office.” Also in competition are Jerzy Skolimowski’s “11 Minutes,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Cemetery of Splendour,” Athina Rachel Tsangari’s “Chevalier,” Simon Stone’s “The Daughter,” Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s “Evolution,” Lenny Abrahamson’s “Room,” Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” Terence Davies’ “Sunset Song” and Sean Baker’s “Tangerine.”

Titles up for consideration for the Sutherland Award, the festival’s first feature competition, which recognizes an original and imaginative directorial debut, are: Mai Masri’s “3000 Nights,” Eva Husson’s “Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story),” Magnus von Horn’s “The Here After,” Trey Edward Shults’ “Krisha,” Yared Zeleke’s “Lamb,” Esther May Campbell’s “Light Years,” Ariel Kleiman’s “Partisan,” Eugenio Canevari’s “Paula,” Bentley Dean and Martin Butler’s “Tanna,” Piero Messina’s “The Wait,” Nitzan Gilady’s “Wedding Doll” and Robert Eggers “The Witch.” “3000 Nights,” “The Wait” and “Wedding Doll” will all see their European premieres at the LFF.

LFF regular Frederick Wiseman will see his latest documentary “In Jackson Heights” compete against Walter Salles’ “Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang” for the Grierson Award in the festival’s documentary competition. The line-up also sees world premieres for David Sington’s “The Fear of 13” and Sarah Turner’s “Public House.” Other titles up for consideration are Joao Pedro Placido’s “(Be)Longing,” Mor Loushy’s “Censored Voices,” Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli’s “Frame By Frame,” Alexander Sokurov’s “Francofonia,” Tomer Heymann’s “Mr Gaga,” Patricio Guzman’s “The Pearl Button,” Jennifer Peedom’s “Sherpa” and Hanna Polak’s “Something Better to Come.”

This year also sees the introduction of a Short Film Award, which like the other competition categories will see 12 films in consideration.

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