Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener will open the 49th London Film Festival on October 19, it was announced today.

The festival will welcome back Meirelles whose City Of God (Cidade De Deus) played in the 2002 line-up.

The closing film, on Nov 3, will be George Clooney's second feature as director, Good Night. And, Good Luck.

Sandra Hebron, artistic director of the festival said in a statement, "We're delighted to be able to open and close the festival with these strong, distinctive films, which celebrate film making which is both assured and imaginative."

The Constant Gardener, which will premiere in competition in Venice (alongside Good Night. And, Good Luck), is a thriller based on John Le Carre's novel and stars a largely British cast led by Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weitz, Bill Nighy and Pete Postlethwaite. It launches in North America, through Focus Features, on Aug 31 and is released in the UK through UIP on Nov 11.

Good Night. And, Good Luck sees Clooney's return behind the camera following 2002's Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. Starring Clooney, David Strathairn, Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Daniels and Patricia Clarkson it tells the story of broadcast journalist Edward R Murrow's (Strathairn) fight against Senator Joseph McCarthy. The film launches for Columbus Day Weekend (Oct 7) in New York and Los Angeles with Warner Independent Pictures. Redbus Film Distribution will release in the UK on a date yet to be set.

The complete schedule for the festival, once again primarily sponsored by The Times, will be announced in September.