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Searchlight Pictures ‘Empire of Light’ Sets BFI London Film Festival Gala Screening

Searchlight Pictures’ “Empire of Light” will have its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. The film will screen on Oct. 12, with San Mendes, Pippa Harris and key cast expected to attend.

Written and directed by Sam Mendes, the drama movie is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema in the 1980s and is about human connection and the magic of cinema.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be included in this year’s BFI London Film Festival as the AMEX Gala screening. Empire of Light is a very personal movie for me, and I can’t wait to show it in my hometown,” Mendes said in a statement.

The film stars Tom Brooke (The Crown, The Bodyguard), Hannah Onslow (Ridley Road, Call The Midwife, Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Crystal Clarke and Tanya Moodie.

“Empire Of Light” is being overseen by Searchlight Pictures’ Head of Film Production and Development, Katie Goodson-Thomas; Director of Development and Production, Pete Spencer; and Creative Executive, Cornelia Burleigh.   Pippa Harris and Mendes will produce it under their Neal Street Productions banner.  Also joining the project is production designer Mark Tildesley (No Time To Die), costume designer Alexandra Byrne (Dr Strange, Guardians Of The Galaxy), and co-producer Celia Duval (Belfast).

In a statement, Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, added: “When I read that Sam Mendes’ next project was centred around a cinema, I was so excited about the possibility of being able to present it in the BFI London Film Festival. Mendes is a masterful storyteller and here vividly captures a sense of the South coast of England, in the 1980s. Empire of Light explores the importance of community, the power of storytelling and of the movies, specifically the thrill of watching a film in a dark cinema, and the tactile pleasures of celluloid. And these are themes so close to our hearts at the BFI.”

The 66th BFI London Film Festival runs in partnership with American Express and takes place October 5-15, 2022.

“Empire of Light” will release in theaters on Friday, December 9, 2022.

Source: Variety

Michelle Beck
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