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London Film Festival highlights

The 49th Festival programme(which runs October 19 to November 3) includes over 180 feature films screened in 13 venues across London. This two week cultural celebration of cinema showcases groundbreaking new feature films from countries ranging from West Africa to Argentina, Sweden to South Korea, alongside documentaries, restored classics, shorts, animation and artists' film and video work.

Opening the Festival on Wednesday 19 October, is the UK premiere of Fernando Meirelles' highly acclaimed The Constant Gardener, starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. On Thursday 3 November, George Clooney's award winning Good Night, and Good Luck., starring David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr and Patricia Clarkson will close the curtains on the UK's leading international film festival.

Promising to appeal to a wide variety of cinemagoers, this year's line up includes 33 European and 120 UK premieres. Films premiering at the Festival include the latest work from Takeshi Kitano (Takeshis'), the Dardenne Brothers (L'Enfant), Gabriele Salvatores (Quo Vadis Baby), Steven Soderbergh (Bubble), Michael Winterbottom (A Cock And Bull Story), Philippe Garrel (Regular Lovers), Cameron Crowe (Elizabethtown), Steve Buscemi (Lonesome Jim), Atom Egoyan (Where The Truth Lies), Per Fly (Manslaughter), Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair), Rituparno Ghosh (Antarmaha), Nicolas Winding Refn (I'm The Angel Of Death) and Danis Tanovic (Hell). Audiences can also feast on new work from consistently inventive and provocative directors Michael Haneke (Hidden), Lars von Trier (Manderlay), Park Chan-Wook (Sympathy For Lady Vengeance) and The Brothers Quay (The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes).

Alongside these are a selection of hard hitting films from emerging talents Fatih Akin (Crossing The Bridge), Karin Albou (Little Jerusalem), Josh Appignanesi (Song Of Songs), Kutlug Ataman (2 Girls), Lucille Chaufour (Violent Days), Gidi Dar (Ushpizin), Shin Jane (Shin Sung-Il Is Lost), Sergio Machado (Lower City), Ali Mosaffa (Portrait Of A Lady Far Away), Cristi Puiu (The Death Of Mister Lazarescu).

A deliciously rich selection of films for music fans, include James Mangold's stunning Johnny Cash biopic, Walk The Line and Ramesh Sippy's 1975 Indian box office smash hit Sholay. A more personal view of the music world is presented in gripping documentaries, such as New York Doll and Derailroaded which chart the lives of some the rock's tragic heroes. The splendidly restored prints of Pedro Sienna's silent film El Husar De La Muerte and Raymond Longford's The Sentimental Bloke will both be accompanied with live music performances.

Commenting on this year's line up, Festival Artistic Director, Sandra Hebron, said: "We are delighted with the quality and strength of this year's selection, which showcases the most original and inspiring films of the year."


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