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FESTIVALS UK

Promises, Darjeeling to bookend London Film Festival

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David Cronenberg’s London-set thriller Eastern Promises has been selected as the Opening Night Gala of the Times BFI 51st London Film Festival. The film is the first Cronenberg has shot entirely away from his native Canada.

Set in the world of London’s infamous Russian mafia, the film is centred on a midwife (Naomi Watts) who accidentally stumbles upon a heinous crime and comes up against ruthless mobster Viggo Mortensen.

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Festival Artistic Director Sandra Hebron said, “It's hugely exciting that a director who has consistently thrilled and challenged us throughout his career has made a film in our city. This gripping, powerfully directed and acted story of lives colliding in contemporary London is the perfect opener for our festival.”

Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited was announced as the Closing Gala. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman star as three dysfunctional brothers who go on a train voyage across India in order to bond. However, their spiritual journey soon goes awry as they encounter the country's myriad realities. Anderson will also give a career interview as part of the festival’s TCM Screen Talks series.

Commenting on the selection, Hebron said, “Wes Anderson and his knockout cast are at their sparkling best in The Darjeeling Limited, and we're very excited to be closing our Festival with this original and hugely enjoyable film from one of our favourite auteurs.”

The festival runs from October 16-November 1. The full programme will be announced September 13.

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