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BFI London Film Festival 2023: What to know about event as opening film is announced

Emerald Fennell's new film Saltburn will open the festival

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been created using starburst filter) Janelle Monae attends the
Janelle Monae at the Closing Night Gala of the 2022 edition of the BFI London Film Festival, which returns in October (Getty Images for BFI)

The BFI London Film Festival is set to return in October, and the first details have been revealed about the event including which film will be opening the prestigious event.

Much like Cannes, Venice and Sundance, the BFI London Film Festival is where the public and critics can see some of the biggest films of the forthcoming movie calendar for the very first time, the 2022 edition saw films like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Mathilda the Musical, and Banshees of Inisherin be screened.

The 2023 edition of the festival will likely be another event not to miss for any cinephile, and here is everything that you need to know about the event.

When is the BFI London Film Festival?

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 12:  EIFF Director Kristy Matheson attends the
The 2023 BFI London Film Festival will mark Kristy Matheson first as festival director (Getty Images)

Now in its 67th year, the BFI London Film Festival will return from Wednesday, 4 October to Sunday, 15 October for a total of 12 days.

Read more: The highest grossing films directed by women

Screenings will be held predominantly in the capital with gala screenings taking place in the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, as well as the BFI Imax, and West End venues like Curzon Mayfair and Vue West End.

But the event will also be going across the UK with screenings taking place in Nottingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Sheffield, Newcastle and Bristol.

What film will open the BFI London Film Festival 2023?

Emerald Fennell, winner of the award for best original screenplay for
Emerald Fennell's new movie will be the opening night film of the BFI London Film Festival (AP Photo)

The BFI announced on Monday, 7 August that the film festival will open with Emerald Fennell's new film Saltburn, which was directed, produced and written by the Academy Award winner.

It stars Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver, Archie Madekwe and Carey Mulligan, and tells a story of privilege and desire centred on student Oliver Quick (Keoghan).

Oliver is struggling to find his place at Oxford University and is one day invited to the sprawling familial home of Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), the titular Saltburn, for a summer he'll never forget.

Saltburn will open the 2023 edition of the BFI London Film Festival (Prime Video)
Saltburn stars stars Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, and Richard E. Grant (Prime Video)

The BFI's new festival director Kristy Matheson said of the film in a statement: “As soon as the credits rolled on Saltburn it was clear we’d met our opening night film.

"Academy Award winner Emerald Fennell returns with an expertly crafted and exhilarating thrill ride of a film that showcases an enormous depth of UK talents in front of and behind the camera.

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"With its exceptional performances, delicious plot twists and a soundtrack of early 21st century pop bangers, this hugely ambitious film immediately stole our hearts and we can’t wait to share it with audiences in London and across the UK this October."

Saltburn will be released in cinemas by Amazon Studios and MGM on 24 November after its screening at the BFI London Film Festival.

When will the full line-up be revealed for the BFI London Film Festival?

Saltburn is directed by Emerald Fennell (Prime Video)
Saltburn is directed by Emerald Fennell (Prime Video)

For those interested in what else will be screened at the event, the BFI will announce the full line-up for the film festival at its press launch on Thursday, 31 August.

It is expected that the BFI will announce its closing night film as well as a number of its gala screenings to the public before then, though.

The BFI London Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, 4 October to Sunday 15 October.

Watch: The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery cast hit the red carpet at the BFI London Film Festival