The Times BFI London FilmFestival (LFF) has announced the 181 features and 131 shorts programmed for its50th-anniversary event. As previously announced, the festival willopen Oct 18 with Kevin Macdonald's TheLast King Of Scotland. It will close Nov 2 with Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's Babel starring Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt and Gael GarciaBernal.

Among the festival'sexpected 400 guests are Richard Linklater, Tim Burton, Dustin Hoffman, PaulVerhoeven, Christine Vachon, Lukas Moodysson, Anthony Minghella, Kenneth Anger,Peter O'Toole, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Todd Field.

LFF will present four worldpremieres, 32 European premieres and 123 UK premieres.

"Because we're not acompetitive festival, we can just invite what we think are the best filmswithout worrying so much about world premieres," LFF artistic director Sandra Hebron told

Hebron said the addition of the inaugural Rome FilmFestival hasn't strongly impacted LFF's programming partly because of her longrelationship and open communication with the Rome event's organisers. "We've been very cooperative,"she says. "We're not telling each other full programmes but we are generouswith information."

For its 50thyear, the festival will host a free outdoor digital film and music programme curatedby Mike Figgis in Trafalgar Square and will show its annual surprise filmsimultaneously at 50 venues across London.

This year's Galapresentations are Emilio Estevez's Bobby,Roger Michell's Venus, Todd Field's Little Children, John Cameron Mitchell'sShortbus, Abderrahmane Sissako's Bamako, Anthony Minghella's Breaking And Entering, Toa Fraser's No. 2, Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation, Marc Forster's Stranger Then Fiction, Nuri BilgeCeylan's Climates, and Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D.

The Film On The Squareprogramme includes films such as Corneliu Porumboiu's 12:08 East Of Bucharest, Larry Charles' Borat, Paul Verhoeven's BlackBook, Claude Chabrol's The Comedy OfPower, Barbara Albert's Falling, BarbaraKopple & Cecilia Peck's Dixie Chicks:Shut Up And Sing, Mira Nair's TheNamesake, Jia Zhang-ke's Still Life,Shane Meadows' This Is England andAndrea Arnold's Red Road.

The New British Cinemastrand includes the festival's four world premieres: Yousef Ali Khan's AlmostAdult, Mike Kerry & Chris Hall's LoveStory, Stephen Kijak's ScottWalker: 30 Century Man, and Penny Woolcock's Mischief Night. Other UK picks include Ben Hopkins' 37 Uses For A Dead Sheep, Lucy Walker's Blindsight, Shane Meadows' ThisIs England and Nick Broomfield's Ghosts.

"Some years it's difficultmaking this British selection," Hebron says. "But I'm impressed with the quality andquantity this year. We've got films from known directors like AnthonyMinghella, Roger Michell and Shane Meadows, yet I think their films this yearare some of the most energetic of their careers. And we're also trying toshowcase new British talent."

TV5 sponsors the New FrenchRevolutions section, including works Bruno Dumont's Flanders, Stephane Brize's Not Here To Be Loved and Nils Tavernier's Aurore.

The Cinema Europa sectionwill include Susanne Bier's After TheWedding, Agnes Kocsis' Fresh Air, Jan Svankmajer's Lunacy, Joachim Trier's Reprise and Florian Henckel vonDonnersmarck's The Lives Of Others.World Cinema selections include Pablo Trapero's Born And Bred, Mahamat Saleh Haroun's Dry Season, Alexis Dos Santos' Glue,Tsai Ming-Liang's I Don't Want To SleepAlone and Marawan Hamed's The Yacoubian Building.

Experimenta offeringsinclude Pedro Costa's Colossal Youth,James Benning's One Way Boogie Woogie /27 Years Later and Cam Archer's WildTigers I Have Known.

LFF's recently restoredclassics will include William Wyler's The Big Country, Terence Davies' Distant Voices, Still Lives, DavidLean's Oliver Twist and a collectionof shorts by Vittorio De Seta.

Live action, animated andfamily shorts will also be presented in several themed programmes. The festivalalso features live events and talks, masterclasses and educational events.

The festival will once againhave an industry office and industry screenings, with the delegates lounge tobe housed in the newly refurbished National Film Theatre on the South Bank.Private club The Hospital will host the Digital Development Week, funded bySkillset and Film London, as well as the Director's Guild seminar. Hebron noted that growing the industry presence at thefestival was an ongoing push. "We just try to improve that a little more eachyear," she says.