59th BFI London Film Festival Announces Full 2015 Programme




The programme for the 59th BFI London Film Festival has officially been unveiled.  The Festival will screen a total of 238 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 40 European Premieres and 11 Archive films including 5 Restoration World Premieres.  There will also be screenings of 182 live action and animated shorts.  A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, ScreenTalks, Q&As and a new programme of Industry Talks: LFF Connects. The 59th BFI London Film Festival will runs 12 days from Wednesday October 7th until Sunday October 18th, at various venues across the capital.




The Festival opens with the European Premiere of Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw and Meryl Streep.  Audiences around the UK will have the chance to enjoy a live cinecast from the Opening Night red carpet via satellite to cinemas across the UK, followed by an exclusive preview screening of the film.

The European Premiere of Steve Jobs will close the Festival, directed by Danny Boyle whose films Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and 127 Hours (2010) previously closed the Festival. The film stars Michael Fassbender in the title role, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg and Katherine Waterston.


Among the other Galas are the American Express Gala of Todd Haynes’ Carol, the Accenture Gala is the European premiere of Trumbo, the Virgin Atlantic Gala is Black Mass, the May Fair Hotel Gala is the European Premiere of Brooklyn, the Centrepiece Gala supported by the Mayor of London is the European Premiere of director Nicholas Hytner’s The Lady in the Van, the Festival Gala is Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, and the Archive Gala is the World Premiere of the BFI National Archive restoration of Shooting Stars, directed by A.V. Bramble and Anthony Asquith (1928).


This year, the Festival introduces three Special Presentations, they are: the Experimenta Special Presentation of The Forbidden Room, the Documentary Special Presentation of He Named Me Malala, and the Fellowship Special Presentation of James Vanderbilt’s Truth starring Cate Blanchett in honour of the actress receiving the BFI Fellowship at this year’s LFF Awards Ceremony.


The Festival programme is organised into categories clustered around the themes of Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic, Family and Experimenta – an approach designed to help Festival-goers find the films that appeal the most to them and to open up the Festival for new audiences.  The nine programme strands are each headlined with a gala, they are: the Love Gala, Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash; the Debate Gala, Stephen Frears’ The Program; the Dare Gala, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster; the Laugh Gala, Ondi Timoner’s Brand: A Second Coming (European Premiere); the Thrill Gala, Deepa Mehta’s Beeba Boys (International Premiere); the Cult Gala, S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk (International Premiere); the Journey Gala, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin; the Sonic Gala, Hany Abu-Assad’s The Idol (European Premiere) and the Family Gala is Rob Letterman’s Goosebumps (European Premiere).



The Best Film Award will again be handed out in Official Competition; the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition and the Grierson Award in Documentary Competition. This year there is also the newly introduced Short Film Award, presented to one of a shortlist of 12 films selected from across the programme. Each section is open to international and British films.



Key filmmaking talent due to attend the Festival’s gala and special presentation screenings include: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, Meryl Streep, Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Danny Boyle, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Todd Haynes, Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Jay Roach, Benedict Cumberbatch, Saoirse Ronan, Nick Hornby, Maggie Smith, Tom Hiddleston, Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Yorgos Lanthimos, Ben Foster, Stephen Frears and Deepa Mehta.  The Festival will announce its complete guest line-up in early October.


Screen Talks

This year’s programme of events will include Screen Talks with filmmaker Todd Haynes, actor Saoirse Ronan, casting director Laura Rosenthal and filmmakers Jia Zhangke and Walter Salles.


LFF Connects

LFF Connects is a brand new series of thought-provoking high-impact talks intended to stimulate new collaborations and ideas by exploring both the future of film itself and how film engages with other creative industries including television, music, art, games and creative technology.

LFF Connects: Film – Friday October 9th

The inaugural LFF Connects will feature British filmmaker Christopher Nolan, internationally acclaimed for some of the most original, compelling and successful films in contemporary cinema (Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight, Memento), and Tacita Dean, lauded for her art work in film (and whose grand-scale Tate Modern exhibition FILM transfixed audiences).

More LFF Connects events will be announced in the lead-up to the Festival.


For further information, please visit www.bfi.org.uk/lff.

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