BFI London Film Festival to close with Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire
by Naman Ramachandran
- Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe to be a headline gala at the festival
Ben Wheatley’s action thriller Free Fire [+see also:
film profile] will be the Closing Night gala at the 60th British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival (5-16 October). In Massachusetts in the late 1970s Justine (Brie Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley) and a gang led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer) who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired in the handover, a game of survival ensues. Wheatley said, “I’m very proud to be showing Free Fire at the BFI London Film Festival. To be the closing film is a great honour. LFF have been fantastic in supporting the films I've made (me and an army of 100s) and I can’t wait to show Free Fire to the Festival audience!” This is Wheatley’s third film to be shown at the Festival, following High-Rise [+see also:
film profile] (2015), which screened as a Festival Gala and Sightseers [+see also:
interview: Ben Wheatley
film profile] (2012) that screened as a Laugh Gala.
Free Fire is a Film4 and BFI presentation of a Rook Films production. Executive producers are Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Reno Antoniades, David Kosse and Sam Lavender, Ben Roberts and Lizzie Francke, Danny Perkins and Dan MacRae. Andrew Starke produced the film. Studiocanal will release the film in UK and Ireland in 2017.
Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe will screen in the festival’s Headline Gala section. Stars include Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar winner nominee Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga. The film is the true story of a young girl, Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess by Robert Katende (Oyelowo) a soccer player turned missionary. As a result of the support she receives from her mother Harriet (Nyong’o), family and community, Phiona is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
The festival’s opening night film is the previously announced A United Kingdom [+see also:
film profile] by Amma Asante (read the news). The full programme will be announced on 1 September.