This year's BFI London Film Festival will be a celebration of 'strong women' according to the festival director.
Carey Mulligan, Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet will all be in attendance over the 12-day festival. The opening night gala, the European premiere of Suffragette, starring Mulligan and Streep (as well as Helena Costume Drama Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff) and directed by Sarah Gavron, tells the story of of the ordinary British women who risked everything in their fight for the vote.
More strong women will be on display in Carol, a romantic drama starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara; The Lady in the Van, adapted from Alan Bennett’s play and starring Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Frances De La Tour and Roger Allam; and He Named Me Malala, a documentary following teenager Malala Yousafzai who spoke out against the Taliban with severe consequences.
Closing the festival will be the European premiere of Danny Boyle's biopic Steve Jobs. It's based on the best-selling biography by Walter Isaacson and stars Michael Fassbender as Jobs alongside Kate Winslet again, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels.
Other highly anticipated galas include crime drama Black Mass with Benedict Cumberbatch; and High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston as Dr Robert Laing, a man who has just taken ownership of a luxurious apartment, based on JG Ballard’s classic satire. Both leading men will be in attendance.
We also rather like the sound of Let's Dance: Bowie Down Under, a documentary exploring the forgotten Australian background behind the singer's 80s album.
The sprawling 12-day London film festival, its 59th iteration, features some impressive numbers: 238 fiction and documentary features, including 16 world premieres, 8 international premieres, and 40 European premieres. There will also be screenings of 182 live action and animated shorts. In addition to the films, there are interviews, talks, Q&As and a new programme of Industry Talks under the title LFF Connects. Also new for 2015 is the Short Film Award, taking the number of awards presented over the festival to four.
The BFI London Film Festival runs from 7 to 18 October at various venues across the city. Visit bfi.org.uk/lff to find out more.