A brand new cinema by the Thames, A-list film stars and literally hundreds of films will be flying in to the capital for the 60th London Film Festival next month.

The British Film Institute (BFI) today announced its programme for the 12-day showcase from October 5 to 16 at venues around the capital – predominantly in the West End but also including the Ritzy in Brixton and Curzon Chelsea – featuring 245 feature-length and 144 short films.

Proving it is one of the biggest events in the worldwide film calendar, it boasts 18 world premieres and 39 European premieres.

To mark its diamond anniversary a temporary state-of-the-art 780-seat Embankment Gardens Cinema will be built in Victoria Embankment Gardens, hosting gala screenings.

Streatham filmmaker Amma Asante gets the honour of opening the festival with the European premiere of her feature A United Kingdom, which stars David Oyelowo as the heir to the throne of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) who controversially falls in love with white English office worker Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike) in 1947.

After success with last year’s JG Ballard adaptation High Rise, Ben Wheatley closes this year’s London Film Festival with his sharp-witted high-octane Free Fire, which stars Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer.

Speaking at the festival’s programme launch at Odeon Leicester Square, Wheatley said: “This will be the third time a film of mine has been shown at the London Film Festival.

“I usually just keep my head down and do my stuff and go away. Ignorantly, I never really see the breadth of it.

“I’m honoured to have the movie that is closing it. Now I am terrified, looking at all these movies that are fantastic. Before I wasn’t pressured, now I am very scared. It is a great honour.”

Wheatley made Free Fire back-to-back with High Rise so is in the unusual situation of appearing at the festival two years in a row.

He said: “The experience of High Rise here last year was incredible, particularly because I have still got tinnitus from all the screaming for Tom Hiddleston on the red carpet.”

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The red carpets will be well worn by the footsteps of the stars this year, with luminaries including David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Cillian Murphy, Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Lupita Nyong’o, Damien Chazelle, Oliver Stone, Gemma Arterton and Joely Richardson already confirmed to attend.

An awards ceremony on October 15 will recognise the winner of the Official Competition, comprising 12 features, as well as the Sutherland Award for the best directorial debut, the Grierson Award for the best documentary and the short film award.

Goldsmiths Uni graduate and 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen will receive the prestigious BFI Fellowship at the ceremony.

Nearly 150 short films will be show at the festival, including a London Calling strand which celebrates filmmakers from the capital, while a series of talks and performances from the likes of Werner Herzog, Paul Verhoeven, DJ Yoda and Charlie Brooker.

BFI members’ priority booking opens 10am on September 8 and public booking opens 10am on September 15. Go to bfi.org.uk/lff

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