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The annual BFI London Film Festival kicked off in true style on 10 October and is so far proving to be just as diverse, multicultural and multilingual as ever. Since 1956, the BFI festival has showcased the best films and directors from all over the world and this year is no exception. With a special focus on Italian film, the festival has introduced more categories to help you choose from over 200 feature films on offer throughout the 12 days.
Instead of the much broader categories from previous years, the festival's organisers have split the films into more narrowly defined groups - love, debate, dare, laugh, thrill, cult, journeys, sonic and family - to help attendees pick out exactly what they want to see. As well as the new categories, the highly anticipated 'Treasures' section will also return to screen the latest from the world of archive restorations.
Showing at a wide range of London cinemas, from the iconic Leicester Square, to Hackney and Kensington, this festival is a must for those keen to check out the new films on the block. For the real film fanatics, there are also Q&A sessions after some of the screenings, giving fans the chance to grill the directors, actors and producers on anything they like.
The festival is renowned for its dedication to international film selection and this year sees new European, African, American and Asian names take their places among the ranks of seasoned directors and producers. Big hits are predicted to be Michael Haneke's Amour, set in the French capital, which tells the tale of a couple struggling to readjust after one of them suffers a stroke. Alternatively, from across the pond comes Beasts of the Southern Wild by director Benh Zeitlin, which follows the lives of a young girl and her drunken father in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. From even further afield, directors Hong Sangsoo and Jeremy Teicher present their releases from South Korea and rural Senegal, to give the festival a truly authentic international presence.
For the closing premiere, the festival has secured Mike Newell's brand new adaptation of Great Expectations, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine. Tickets are available from the BFI website with a ram packed schedule from here until the grand finale on 21 October.
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