Robert Altman's Gosford Park will world premiere as opening night film at November's London Film Festival, while Iain Softley's K-PAX will close proceedings as an international premiere.

Marking something of a coup for the festival, Gosford Park is the biggest budget film supported by Governement-backed UK support body the Film Council. The body is also parent of the festival.

The 1930s murder mystery, to be released in the UK by Entertainment Film Distributors next year, stars Maggie Smith, Alan Bates, Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Charles Dance, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Jeremy Northam, Clive Owen, James Wilby, Richard E Grant, Eileen Atkins, Kelly Macdonald, Ryan Phillippe and Stephen Fry. With a screenplay by James Fellowes, it is inspired by both Jean Renoir's The Rules Of The Game and Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians.

The equally high profile K-PAX stars Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Alfre Woodard, Mary McCormack and Aaron Paul. Scripted by Charles Leavitt from the novel by Gene Brewer, it follows a mysterious hospital patient who claims to be from another planet. The film will be released in the United Kingdom by FilmFour Distributors / Pathe Film Distribution.

"I am delighted to be able to confirm these two special gala premieres," said Adrian Wootton, festival director. "Considering the increasingly competitive nature of the international film festival environment, securing major films such as these is a tribute to the growing stature of the Regus London Film Festival."

Wootton will announce the balance of the programme next Wednesday.