Timothee Chalamet, Keira Knightley and Robert De Niro among stars of LFF

Timothee Chalamet, Robert De Niro and Keira Knightley are among the stars who will premiere their new movies in the capital as the BFI London Film Festival gets under way.

The 12-day celebration of cinema will open on Wednesday with the gala premiere of The Personal History of David Copperfield, directed by The Thick Of It and Veep creator Armando Iannucci, and starring Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel.

It will conclude with the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s highly-anticipated new gangster film The Irishman, starring De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

Knightley will walk the red carpet for the premiere of her new film Official Secrets, in which she plays whistleblower Katharine Gun, while Chalamet will be promoting The King, in which he plays young Henry V.

Bill Nighy and Annette Bening are both expected at the UK premiere of Hope Gap, while Michael B Jordan and Jamie Foxx will attend the European debut of Just Mercy.

Star Wars actor Adam Driver will unveil two films at the festival – The Report, about the investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists, and Marriage Story, about a couple going through a divorce.

Another film attracting buzz ahead of its festival premiere is Jojo Rabbit, the new film from Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, a satire about a young German boy whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler.

The film won the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is regarded as an early predictor of awards contenders. Last year it was won by Green Book, which went on to win best picture at the Oscars.

Other eagerly awaited films premiering at the festival include The Two Popes, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, murder mystery Knives Out starring Daniel Craig and Jamie Lee Curtis, and Greed, starring Steve Coogan as an immoral billionaire businessman.

Some 78 countries are represented across more than 200 short films and features on the line-up, with 40% of all films directed or co-directed by women.

The BFI London Film Festival runs from October 2 to 13.