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London Film Festival programme announced

Great Expectations starring Helena Bonham Carter will close the film festival. Picture: Johan Persson Great Expectations starring Helena Bonham Carter will close the film festival. Picture: Johan Persson

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
5:05 PM

Dustin Hoffman, Winona Rider, Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter and Chris O’Dowd are among the stars expected to attend this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

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Frankenweenie by Tim Burton will open the London Film Festival. Picture: DisneyFrankenweenie by Tim Burton will open the London Film Festival. Picture: Disney

The festival programme was officially announced today, and features premieres, screenings, Screen Talks and masterclasses.

The festival will screen a total of 225 fiction and documentary features, including 14 world premieres, 15 international premieres and 34 European premieres. There will also be screenings of 111 live action and animated shorts.

This year sees a number of changes to previous events. The festival takes place over 12 days, and will include news venues such as the Hackney Picturehouse and Rich Mix, as well as the traditional Leicester Square cinemas and the BFI Southbank.

The festival opens with the European premiere of Tim Burton’s 3D animation Frankenweenie, and Mike Newell’s visually stunning adaptation of Great Expectations, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, will close the festival.

Among the galas is the world premiere of Crossfire Hurricane, a documentary celebrating 50 years of rock legends The Rolling Stones, who are also expected to attend the festival.

Other films showing include Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet, featuring a cast including Dame Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon; and Ben Affleck directs and stars in political thriller Argo which he also produced with George Clooney.

Vanessa Redgrave, Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton and Christopher Ecclestone star in Song for Marion, and Hyde Park on Hudson stars Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams.

The Sapphires is an inspirational Australian musical comedy set in the ‘60s starring Chris O’Dowd, who appears alongside Australian Idol star Jessica Mauboy, and The Sessions is a moving drama, based on a true story with performances from John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy.

The Art of Frankenweenie Exhibition, supported by American Express, is taking place at the Festival Village, Southbank Centre, and the festival is also working alongside the V&A museum’s Hollywood Costume exhibition with two events celebrating the role of costume on film and featuring the exhibition’s senior curator, the Academy Award- nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis.

Changes have been made to the the BFI London Film Festival Awards. The Best Film Award in partnership with American Express; the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature and the Grierson Award for Best Documentary will now be presented to the winning films from three programme sections: Official Competition, First Feature Competition and Documentary Competition.

This year’s family gala is Ernest and Celestine, an animated story of the friendship between a bear and a mouse.

Other highlights include the Treasures section, which brings recently restored cinematic treasures from archives around the world to the festival, including David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and Sie Laurence Olivier’s Richard III.

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