BFI London Film Festival announce Opening Night gala

Industry News  |  17 July 2019

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival announces this year’s Opening Night gala will be Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’.

Image credit: BFI, Dev Patel as David Copperfield, distributed by Lionsgate, (2019)

BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express announced this week that this year’s Opening Night gala will be the European Premiere of ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’, directed by the multi-award-winning writer, filmmaker and broadcaster Armando Iannucci, and starring BAFTA Award winner Dev Patel as David Copperfield.

The film will receive its European Premiere on Wednesday 2nd October at Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square. The fresh take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, boasts a stellar British cast, led by Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie; many of whom are expected on the red carpet in Leicester Square.

An avid Dickens fan, Armando Iannucci (the award-winning writer/director of The Thick of It, In the Loop, Veep and The Death of Stalin) adapts here, alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, employing his comedic mastery and vivid characterisations to bring to life one of Dickens’ most cherished characters in ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’.

“It’s a huge thrill and honour to be asked to open the BFI London Film Festival. ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ is a film about compassion, humour, generosity and friendship, and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it.”

Armando Iannucci, director, producer and co-writer,

Shot on location in the UK, the film is produced by Kevin Loader and Iannucci, and also stars Aneurin Barnard, Daisy May Cooper, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong, Anthony Welsh and Rosalind Eleazar. Suzie Harman and Robert Worley serve as Costume Designers, Cristina Casali as Production Designer, Christopher Willis as Composer and Karen Hartley-Thomas as Hair and Make-up Designer.

“Scotland’s Armando Iannucci is one of the most prodigiously talented and original filmmakers hailing from the UK. The Personal History of David Copperfield shows his trademark wit and a joyous sense of style – it’s a delight from start to finish, with Dev Patel and costars delivering performances of megawatt charm and comic flair. I’m so excited to be opening the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with this film which is not only wildly entertaining but also a timely celebration of the power of generosity and compassion.”

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 2nd OctoberS, unday 13th October 2019. The full Festival programme will be announced on Thursday 29 August 2019.

‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ will be released by Lionsgate UK and is a FilmNation Entertainment and Film4 Production. FilmNation are handling international sales and co-repping the US sale with UTA.

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