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Photograph: John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI

Beyoncé made a surprise cameo at the London Film Festival – and no one noticed

Jay-Z and Beyoncé flew in to join Idris Elba at the opening gala

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen
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In an appearance so covert no one even noticed, Beyoncé attended the opening gala of the London Film Festival last night. Yes, Beyoncé was on the South Bank and no one noticed

The news was confirmed on the superstar singer-filmmaker’s own Instagram feed and tweeted by BFI top dog Ben Roberts, a revelation that will no doubt have red-carpet photographers grinding their teeth.

If you spotted her – perhaps necking a quick pre-screening pint under the arches or dolloping hot sauce onto some fish & chips in Applebee’s – we’d love to hear from you.

The festival’s opening film – Jeymes Samuel’s Black western The Harder They Fall – is produced by Mr Beyoncé Knowles, AKA Shawn Carter, AKA Jay-Z. He was there too, though in a more conspicuous way, walking the Royal Festival Hall red carpet – alongside Samuel and the film’s headliners, Idris Elba, Regina King and Jonathan Major

The movie, which re-centres the untold stories of real-life Black cowboys and lawman from the old west in a pistol-totting action spectacular, is west Londoner Samuel’s feature debut. ‘I love westerns,’ tells us, ‘but every time they show Black people, they give a reason for them being there. There were decades with people of colour who didn’t know subservience.’ 

Find out more when The Harder They Fall hits UK cinemas on October 22, ahead of its Netflix launch on November 3.

The BFI London Film Festival runs until Oct 17. Here are 12 unmissable movies to catch during the fest.

Jeymes Samuel on how to reinvent the western in 7 steps.

Where to next for cinema? Listen to BFI CEO Ben Roberts’s answer on Time Out’s Your City or Mine podcast.

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