Headline Galas at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival


From CAROL to HIGH-RISE, we take a look at seven of the most anticipated headline galas at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival

This year’s 59th BFI London Film Festival certainly looks the business. Alongside the European premiere of SUFFRAGETTE and the closing premiere STEVE JOBS directed by the fabulous Danny Boyle, a number of films will also make their headline galas at the iconic film festival. We take a look at seven of the most anticipated films below…

American Express Gala – CAROL

Hot on the heels of its entry at the Cannes Film Festival, Todd Haynes’ CAROL will take centre stage at the American Express Gala on Wednesday 14 October 2015. Based on the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, this romantic 1950s drama tells the story of a young woman working as a clerk in a department store who meets and falls in love with an alluring woman trapped in a loveless convenient marriage. The film stars Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who won the Best Actress Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for her role in the film.

Accenture Gala – TRUMBO

Jay Roach’s TRUMBO makes its European premiere at the Accenture Gala on Thursday 08 October 2015. Bryan Cranston stars as Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted after refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947, in one of his best roles to date. Add Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Elle Fanning, Louis C.K. and John Goodman to the cast list and you’re onto a winner.

Virgin Atlantic Gala – BLACK MASS

Scott Cooper’s highly-anticipated chilling crime drama BLACK MASS headlines at the Virgin Atlantic Gala on Sunday 11 October 2015. Set in 1970s South Boston, BLACK MASS tells the story of one of the most feared crime lords and dangerous gangsters in U.S. history. The film stars three-time Oscar nominee Johnny Depp as notorious Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who collaborates with FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) to eliminate their common enemy: the Italian mob. Benedict Cumberbatch also stars as Whitey’s brother, powerful State Senator Billy Bulger and Rory Cochrane as Stephen Flemmi, Whitey’s partner in crime.

The May Fair Hotel Gala – BROOKLYN

Stirring drama BROOKLYN makes its European Premiere at the May Fair Hotel Gala on Monday 12 October 2015. Based on Colm Tóibin’s best-selling novel and adapted for screen by Nick Hornby, BROOKLYN tells the story of Eilis, a young woman who moves from a small-town in Ireland to new promise of Brooklyn, America. The film stars Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Atonement), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Anna Karenina) and Emory Cohen (The Place Beyond The Pines), alongside Oscar® winner Jim Broadbent and Oscar® nominee Julie Walters.

The Centrepiece Gala – THE LADY IN THE VAN

Nicholas Hytner’s THE LADY IN THE VAN makes its European Premiere at the Centrepiece Gala (supported by the Mayor of London) on Tuesday 13 October 2015. Adapted from Alan Bennett’s play, THE LADY IN THE VAN tells the true story of a man (Alex Jennings) who forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman (Maggie Smith) living in her battered car that is parked in his driveway. The film stars Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Frances De La Tour and Roger Allam. Funny, poignant and life-affirming, this unique story is expected by one of the highlights of the festival.

The Festival Gala – HIGH-RISE

Ben Wheatley’s HIGH-RISE headlines the Festival Gala on Friday 09 October 2015. Based on JG Ballard’s classic novel, HIGH-RISE tells the story of Dr. Robert Laing, a young doctor who takes ownership of a luxurious apartment in a high-rise development. Cut off the rest of the society, a dangerous social situation develops between the residents as the high-rise eventually fragments into violent tribes. The film stars the dashing Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Laing alongside Jeremy Irons as Anthony Royal, Sienna Miller as Charlotte Melville, Luke Evans as Richard Wilder and Elisabeth Moss as Helen Wilder.

The Archive Gala – SHOOTING STARS

Finally, making its World Premiere at the Archive Gala is the BFI National Archive restoration of SHOOTING STARS on Friday 16 October 2015. Directed by A.V. Bramble and Anthony Asquith, this 1928 classic sees the husband and wife acting team of Mae Feather and Julian Gordon torn apart when he discovers she is having an affair. Mae hatches a plot to kill her husband by putting a real bullet in the prop gun which will be fired at him during the making of their new film, ‘Prairie Love’.

The 59th BFI London Film Festival will run from Wednesday 7 to Sunday 18 October 2015.