The Times BFI London FilmFestival will open its 50th edition on Oct 18 with the Europeanpremiere of Kevin Macdonald's The LastKing Of Scotland.

Based onthe award-winning novel by Giles Foden adapted byPeter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, the film stars Forest Whitaker as UgandanPresident Idi Amin and JamesMcAvoy as a Scottish doctor who encounters thedictator.

FilmFour and DNA financed the film, which is produced by Cowboy Films and Slate Films with German co-producer Tatfilm.

The cast also features GillianAnderson, Kerry Washington and Simon McBurney.

The project is the firstfiction feature from Macdonald, who previously directed One Day In September and Touching The Void. It is executiveproduced by Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and TessaRoss; produced by Andrea Calderwood, Charles Steeland Lisa Bryer; and co-produced by Christine Ruppert. Fox Searchlight plans a UK theatrical release in January 2007.

"The Last King Of Scotland is a perfectopening night film for us: a compellingly original British feature from animaginative and talented young director," said LFF artistic director SandraHebron. "Kevin Macdonald and his cast and crew must be congratulated forbalancing historical fact with psychological insight in such a lively,accessible and thought provoking way."

The London Film Festival willunveil its full line-up on Sept 14.