Entertainment & Arts

Cumberbatch and Mirren set for London Film Festival

Dame Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Maggie Smith Image copyright PA
Image caption Left-right: Dame Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Maggie Smith

Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith will be among the British stars on the red carpet at this year's London Film Festival.

The October event will include the UK premiere of crime drama Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp and Cumberbatch.

The Lady in the Van, starring Dame Maggie as an elderly woman who lives on writer Alan Bennett's driveway, will have its European premiere in London.

Bryan Cranston and Dame Helen Mirren's film Trumbo will have a gala screening.

Trumbo, which also stars Diane Lane, Elle Fanning and John Goodman, tells the story of Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted after refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947.

Ben Wheatley's High-Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston, will also have a gala screening.

Image copyright Netflix
Image caption Beasts of No Nation is about child soldiers, told from the perspective of one young boy

Unveiling the full line-up on Tuesday, festival director Clare Stewart declared it "the year of the strong woman".

As previously announced, the festival will open with Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep. It will close with Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic, starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet.

Also on the bill is The Program, Stephen Frears' film about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, featuring Ben Foster, and sci-fi romantic thriller The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.

Netflix's Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba as an African warlord, is among the films in official competition.

The film has already made headlines by becoming the first Netflix production to compete at this week's Venice Film Festival.

It will be available to stream on the video-on-demand service in October on the same day is released in cinemas.

The full official London Film Festival competition line-up is:

  • 11 Minutes, directed by Jerzy Skolimowski
  • Beasts of No Nation, Cary Fukunaga
  • Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Chevalier, Athina Rachel Tsangari
  • The Daughter, Simon Stone
  • Desierto, Jonas Cuaron
  • Evolution, Lucile Hadzihalilovic
  • Office, Johnnie To
  • Room, Lenny Abrahamson
  • Son of Saul, Laszlo Nemes
  • Sunset Song, Terence Davies
  • Tangerine, Sean Baker
  • Very Big Shot, Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya

The festival runs from 7 to 18 October.

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