The 54th BFI London Film Festival, presented in partnership with American Express, will open on Oct 13 with the European premiere of Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go.

The film’s three stars – Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield – are expeted to attend LFF’s opening night.

The film is based on the acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, adapted by Alex Garland. The story follows three friends who are torn apart in the years following their childhood at an English boarding school with a dark secret.

Fox will release the film in the UK on Jan 14, 2011.

Sandra Hebron, LFF artistic director, said: “’It is a great pleasure to be able to open the festival with a film as accomplished and imaginative as Never Let Me Go. It combines impeccable film making, outstanding performances and a deeply moving story, and I couldn’t wish for a stronger or more appropriate opening night.”

Producer Andrew Macdonald of DNA Films comments: “We’re delighted that Never Let Me Go has been selected to open this year’s festival. It has been a privilege to be involved with bringing Kazuo Ishiguro’s remarkable novel to the screen, and to work with such an exceptional British cast. We look forward to unveiling the film in London.”

Romanek added: “I think I can speak for the entire cast and crew when I say that we are deeply honored and excited to have been selected to open this year’s festival. For me personally, it seems the perfect way to celebrate the conclusion of an incredible filmmaking experience in the UK.”

Producers are Fox Searchlight, DNA Films and Film 4. Macdonald produced with Allon Reich. Executive producers are Alex Garland, Kazuo Ishiguro and Tessa Ross.

The full programme for LFF (Oct 13-28) will be announced on Sept 8.