Two British films will book-end the forthcoming edition of the Regus London Film Festival (RLFF) (Nov 6-21). Stephen Frears' provocative Dirty Pretty Things, which appeared in competition at Venice, is set as the festival's opening night film, while Thaddeus O'Sullivan's Helena Bonham-Carter starring The Heart Of Me will get its European premiere on the closing night.
"We're thrilled to be opening and closing the festival with films which offer two radically different visions of London life, yet also deal with universal themes," said RLFF artistic director Sandra Hebron.
Dirty Pretty Things is tale of moonlighting and illegal organ transplants set among the city's invisible underclass of immigrant service workers, while The Heart Of Me - which screened at Toronto - is a story of sisters, one of which has an affair with the other's husband.
In between, the non-competitive festival will present a selection from 48 countries spread across sections including New British Cinema, French Revolutions, Cinema Europa, World Cinema, Experimenta, Treasures From The Archive as well as gala presentations and the Orange Films On The Square sidebar.
This section, presenting "an inspired mix of original and impressive film-making," includes both Denzel Washington's directorial debut Antwone Fisher and John Malkovich's first feature The Dancer Upstairs. It will also include Sundance Audience-Award winner Real Women Have Curves by Patricia Cardoso, Cannes sensations Peter Sollet's Raising Victor Vargas (aka Long Way Home), Fernando Meirelles' City Of God, Elia Suleiman's Divine Intervention, Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine. From Venice and Toronto it has Larry Clark and Ed Lachman's Ken Park in a late night screening slot, Lucas Moodysson's feature Lilja 4-Ever. Phillip Noyce's adaptation of Graham Greene's acclaimed novel The Quiet American also appears in the section.
Highlights from among the Gala presentations are Venice winner Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters, Cannes winner Roman Polanski's The Pianist and Cannes runner-up Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without A Past (Mies Vailla Menneisyytta). Other galas include Metiin Huseyin's Anita & Me, Shekar Kapur's The Four Feathers, Nickelodeon animation The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Robert Guediguian's Marie-Jo And Her Two Loves (Marie-Jo Et Ses Deux Amours), Curtis Hanson's Eminem-starring 8 Mile, Brett Morgan and Nanette Burstein The Kid Stays In The Picture.
One of the festival's most popular events - its Guardian Interviews section - will feature talks with Curtis Hanson, Robert Evans, Michael Moore, Lukas Moodysson and Bertrand Tavernier.