The Imitation Game
The festival will kick-off with the European premiere of Benedict Cumberbatch starrer The Imitation Game. Morten Tyldum's film, which premiered at Telluride, recounting the story of maths genius Alan Turing and his work on cracking the Enigma Code, is one of several in this year's programme that are set against the backdrop of the First or Second World Wars.
Intimate emotions on a epic scale in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Winter Sleep.
Other films concerning the wars are spread through the programme, including the world premiere of James Kent's Testament Of Youth - which recounts the true story of life in the war for British feminist Vera Brittain - and post-war documentary German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, which has recently been restored by the Imperial War Museum. Stepping back into the First World War, are films including Walter Summers' silent film The Battles Of Coronel And Falkland Islands - about key moments in the conflict - and Belgian classic Damn The War! (Maudite Soit La Guerre), which tells the tale of friends who find themselves on opposing sides of the fight.
As always, there's a chance to see some of the films that have been causing a stir elsewhere on the festival circuit. Among them are the Palme d'Or winning Winter Sleep, from Bilge Ceylan, Sundance audience and jury favourite Whiplash, directed by Damien Chazelle and starring young US name-to-watch Miles Teller, and Berlin Golden Bear winner Black Coal, Thin Ice, directed by Diao Yinan.
Star quality also abounds, from Timothy Spall's award-winning turn as artist Joseph in Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner to Steve Carell's compelling performance in Foxcatcher, which explores ideas of money and power through a true story in the world of wrestling.
New Directors/New Films opening selection A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night "speaks volumes politically about Iran and other things"
The main competition section, while only offering one world premiere - Carol Morley's follow up to Dreams Of A Life, the Sixties-set The Falling - looks to be a strong field. Among the contenders are the latest films from Berberian Sound Studio's Peter Strickland (The Duke Of Burgundy), Celine Sciamma's latest search for female identity Girlhood and François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend. Also lining up are Christian Petzold's latest film Phoenix - which sees him reteam with Nina Hoss (Barbara, Yella), Iranian-set vampire tale A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, directed by Ana Lily Amirpour and Timbuktu, the latest from Bamako director Abderrahmane Sissako.
We'll be bringing you coverage throughout the festival and you can read early reviews here.