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Sunday 23 October 2016

Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Helen Mirren to attend BFI London Film Festival

Published 01/09/2015 | 11:44

Benedict Cumberbatch will attend a screening of Black Mass
Benedict Cumberbatch will attend a screening of Black Mass

Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith are among the big British stars leading the 2015 BFI London Film Festival (LFF).

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The trio are expected to attend the screenings in the capital of their new films, Black Mass, Trumbo and The Lady In The Van respectively, during the 12-day festival, which runs from October 7 to October 18.

Cumberbatch, who plays William "Billy" Bulger in the biopic about Boston mobster Whitey Bulger - played by Johnny Depp - will join director Scott Cooper, while Dame Helen will attend the premiere of Trumbo alongside co-star Bryan Cranston and filmmaker Jay Roach.

Dame Maggie stars as an elderly woman who lived in a battered car on the driveway of the writer Alan Bennett for 15 years in The Lady In The Van, directed by Nicholas Hytner and adapted from Bennett's play.

This year's star-studded list of attendees also include Meryl Streep, Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett, who will be receiving the BFI Fellowship award.

The film line-up is biopics heavy, as Sarah Gavron's drama Suffragette, starring Streep, Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, opens the festival, while Danny Boyle's biopic about late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, starring Fassbender and Winslet, will close the event.

Stephen Frears' film about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, featuring Ben Foster, The Program, Yorgos Lanthimos' sci-fi romantic thriller The Lobster starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, and Ben Wheatley's drama High-Rise with Tom Hiddleston will also be shown as part of the gala screenings at the festival.

Davis Guggenheim's documentary He Named Me Malala and James Vanderbilt's Truth, starring Blanchett, are amongst the special presentations, with Rob Letterman's big-screen adaptation of RL Stine's children's books Goosebumps, starring Jack Black, part of the family gala.

Christopher Nolan, the filmmaker behind Interstellar, Inception and The Dark Knight, will give a talk as part of LFF Connects.

Festival director Clare Stewart said this is "the year of the strong woman", adding that Suffagette is "universal in its themes and London-specific in its story".

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