The director said we chose fun films to open and close the London Film Festival

The director of the London Film Festival said she chose to open and end with “hilarious cinematic moments” that will leave audiences feeling “uplifted” in the face of recent disruptive world events.

The 66th Film Festival, run by the British Film Institute (BFI), takes place in London from 5 to 16 October and expands to cultural venues in 10 other cities across the UK, including Manchester, Sheffield, Cardiff and Belfast.

This year, the LFF will open with Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical starring Dame Emma Thompson and close with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery starring James Bond actor Daniel Craig.


Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix/PA)

Festival director Tricia Tuttle told PA news agency: “What they have in common is that they’re both very cinematic and that’s been really great this year, having celebratory opening and closing moments.

“Matilda is really important for us. It’s a great British story, but it’s also a really fun story about the underdogs being back and it’s also a great female-centered story that feels very special. .

“Most importantly for us, we haven’t really opened or closed the festival in over a decade with a family film. We screen family films at the festival but it’s great to be able to say in a very bold and high-class way that the festival is for everyone.

“We’re going to end the festival with Knives Out, that’s great, it’s a real crowd pleaser, it’s going to be a really fun way to end the festival.”

Tuttle said that this year’s filmmakers “didn’t make a lot of light stories.”


Tricia Tuttle says not many ‘light-hearted’ movies made this year (Ian West/PA)

She told PA: “There are some incredible films in the whole show that are darker, more complex in subject matter and story, and take you to much darker places… they are reacting to the world we live in, it’s a pretty troubling place, and you see it in the cinema this year.

“We don’t want to deny that it’s out there, we’re really excited about the work they’ve done. But we also love the idea of ​​debuting in an equally stellar filmmaking like Glass Onion, but it’s going to be very uplifting. “

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Hotly anticipated releases during this year’s 12-day festival will include the world premiere of Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio film starring Ewan McGregor, along with a show European premiere of Sir Sam Mendes’ Empire Of Light starring Olivia Colman, Michael Ward and Colin Firth.

White Noise starring Adam Driver will have a UK premiere, as will Florence Pugh’s The Wonder, while Luca Guadagnino’s Bones And All starring Timothee Chalamet and Sir Mark Rylance will also premiered at the film festival.

Causeway starring Jennifer Lawrence is also in the lineup alongside Living, starring Bill Nighy and Allelujah, the film that marks Dame Judi Dench’s latest offering.


Harry Styles and Emma Corrin star in My Policeman (Amazon Prime Video/PA)

My Policeman, which stars pop superstars Harry Styles and Emma Corrin of The Crown, is also featured in the festival show alongside She Said, starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan, who play the characters. Investigative journalist exposed and exposed Harvey Weinstein.

Speaking of She Said, Tuttle told PA: “It took five years for that to make it to the screen, Me Too existed before Weinstein’s story broke, but obviously that brought a lot of energy. for that movement.

“I think one of the exciting things for us to see, having had that story in place during the 2017 Film Festival, is to see how much stronger and richer the work of female directors will be.

“It’s not because that talent doesn’t exist, it’s a huge issue in terms of funding and women are being supported more than they were five years ago. I don’t think and I really hope that we don’t put that genie back in the box.

“The secret is out, women make films as well as men, so we’ll keep watching.”


Carey Mulligan Will Star in She Said (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Tuttle added that “delivering the work of female filmmakers” is part of the festival’s DNA, and that they regularly check the balance between men and women.

The festival will also host the premiere of three new TV series, including Hugo Blick’s British drama Western, starring Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer; comedy series Mammals starring James Corden, Sally Hawkins and written by award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth; and Damian Lewis in A Spy Among Friends.

This year, the LFF has also expanded its program of free events, including a “real appetite” due to the cost of living crisis.

Tuttle told PA: “We really know that people get upset, so we’ve kept our prices the same and we’ve got a lot of £5 tickets for 16-25 year olds, but Free programs are also an important part of that offer.

“What we can hope for and we would imagine is that even if you just want to get one ticket to the festival, you can still have a very rich London Film Festival experience, watching screenings of short films It’s free and attending some of our screen chats online will also be free for the duration of the festival. “


Jennifer Lawrence was one of the talkers at this year’s LFF (Ian West/PA)

Hollywood actors including Lawrence and Nighy were among the big names to speak at this year’s festival.

Tuttle added that she’s “excited” for the role-playing show’s return at this year’s festival – three years after it started.

“I think it’s a glimpse of how all the art forms are converging. The way we talk about cinema, digital and visual arts in the future could be very different, and I think LFF Expanded is a glimpse into that future,” she said.

LFF’s extensive program includes projects from VR headsets to stories that viewers interact with using iPads as well as demonstrations using augmented reality.

Tuttle says she ultimately wants the festival to help revive an industry that has suffered from “knock knocking over the past few years” in the wake of the global pandemic.

She told PA: “The exhibition industry during the pandemic is really affected economically, a lot of independent cinemas are struggling, they are still struggling but you can see it. audience returns.

“I would just love it if the festival helped rekindle that excitement with the audience and we remember that it’s great to have so many options at home but seeing something collectively in the cinema is also really fun. a particularly incredible experience.”

On Monday, it was announced Tuttle would step down as BFI festival director after 10 years at the organization, keeping her post until early 2023 while the institute recruits a replacement.

Before assuming the role of festival director, she served as deputy festival organizer from 2013 to 2017. The director said we chose fun films to open and close the London Film Festival

Fry Electronics Team

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