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Surprise! The BFI London Film Festival will reveal its best film at a public screening

Phil de Semlyen

The BFI London Film Festival wants YOU! For the first time, the city’s biggest film shindig is opening the doors of its awards ceremony to Londoners. The Best Film Award will be dished out to its worthy recipient in front of a public audience on Saturday October 20. And yes, you can be there to join the jamboree.

The line-up for this year’s competition is a cracker, too. There are new films from Ben Wheatley (‘Happy New Year, Colin Burstead’), ‘In Fabric’ (pictured) from Peter Strickland (‘Duke of Burgundy’), Alice Rohrwacher’s ‘Happy as Lazzaro’, ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ pair Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (‘Birds of Passage’), and one from ‘A Ghost Story’ man David Lowery (Robert Redford’s final film, ‘The Old Man & the Gun’). How do you pick between that little lot? Happily, that’s not our job – Lenny Abrahamson, director of ‘Room’, will be chairing the jury and presumably handing out cigars in the deliberation room.

Here’s the competition line-up in full:

‘Happy New Year, Colin Burstead’ – Ben Wheatley
‘In Fabric’ – Peter Strickland
‘Birds of Passage’ – Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra
‘Happy as Lazzaro’ – Alice Rohrwacher
‘The Old Man & the Gun’ – David Lowery
‘Shadow’ – Zhang Yimou
‘Joy’ – Sudabeh Mortezai
‘Destroyer’ – Karyn Kusama
‘Sunset’ – László Nemes
‘Too Late To Die Young’ – Dominga Sotomayor

Best Film winners in recent years are an illustrious bunch: Andrey Zvyagintsev, Kelly Reichardt, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Pawel Pawlikowski and Jacques Audiard, among them. Who will join that roster? Find out on October 20 at Vue Leicester Square, where the winning film will be unveiled and screened to a lucky audience.

The 62nd BFI London Film Festival runs from Oct 10-21. Tickets go on sale to the public on Sep 13.

This year’s BFI London Film Festival opener is criminally good. Find out more here.


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