- Words Miriam Balanescu
New titles and screen talks have just been dropped for the London Film Festival’s 65th edition.
Following the unveiling of the BFI London Film Festival’s full programme earlier this September, the festival in the big smoke has added additional titles and screen talks to its scintillating line-up, with one very special feature revealed.
George Clooney’s much-anticipated The Tender Bar has been added to the programme, also starring Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan and Lily Rabe. The film will premiere at the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre, with Clooney himself expected to be in the audience.
Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash from Indonesian director Edwin will also be screened.
On top of these extra titles, the LFF has started the process of revealing its esteemed screen talks. Directors Jane Campion (whose Benedict Cumberbatch-starring feature The Power of the Dog is on the line-up), Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Asghar Farhadi, along with Succession-screenwriter Jesse Armstrong and Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie are set to participate.
For the in-person return of LFF – which is celebrating its 65th anniversary – 159 feature films handpicked from global filmmakers will be screened across London cinemas and on BFI Player. The festival opens on 6 October to premiere Jeymes Samuel’s The Harder They Fall (starring Idris Elba) and closes with Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth.
This year is a triumph for increased diversity, with 39% female or non-binary directors and 40% ethnically diverse directors programmed. LFF Expanded, a bonus programme of immersive art, has also made a comeback. LFF For Free also aims to broaden the accessibility of the programme.
Ben Roberts, CEO of the BFI, has commented: “I am very excited to be welcoming audiences back to the BFI London Film Festival –for everyone, everywhere across the UK, in cinemas and online on BFI Player. Our amazing festival team have put together a daring, vital and conversation-starting edition. I’m in awe of all of the filmmakers across the world who have found the ways and means – practical, creative, emotional – to get their stories told in such challenging and turbulent times and I want audiences to immerse themselves in the sweet glow of the cinema screen and celebrate their very existence. More than ever, we are indebted to our loyal supporters, including our principal partner of 12 years American Express. Heartfelt thanks to them and to the many other sponsors, funders, partners and National Lottery players who do so much to enable both the Festival and our work throughout the year.”
Tricia Tuttle, director of the BFI London Film Festival, has said: “In early 2020, we set out how we would build on the vibrant established film programme at LFF to expand the Festival: with programming to include Series and XR, new free and UK-wide screenings and events, and by developing the industry programme to showcase new British talent to international industry guests. While we had to adapt those ambitions for the pandemic, we are back in full force this year and you’ll really see that vision played out in the model for the Festival this year.
“After this last 18 months so many of us are eager for opportunities to connect around shared cultural events, and we’re looking forward to bringing people together over the 12 days of the LFF to view this truly exceptional programme of film, series and immersive art we’re announcing today. These are works which have moved us, provoked us, made us think and feel, and made us look at the world a little differently this year. There is absolutely something for everyone here and we can’t wait for people to join us for BFI London Film Festival – whether in London, around the UK or at home”.
A colossal new Gala venue will screen Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta, Eva Husson’s Mothering Sunday, Pablo Larraín’s Kristen-Stewart-as-Princess-Diana drama Spencer, the return of Joanna Hogg’s cult classic The Souvenir Part II, Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho and many more.
LFF will take place from 6-17 October. Tickets are now on sale and the full festival programme can be viewed on the LFF website.