The Irishman heads to LFF

Festival to close with international premiere of Scorsese's latest

by Amber Wilkinson

The Irishman will close LFF
The Irishman will close LFF Photo: Netflix
Martin Scorsese's The Irishman has been announced as the closing gala of this year's London Film Festival.

The film, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, is an adaptation of Charles Brandt's novel I Heard You Paint Houses, charting the impact of organised crime on post-war America. De Niro stars as Second World War vet Frank Sheeran, a union official with mob ties. Tracking his life, the film chronicles the mystery surrounding the disappearance of union president Jimmy Hoffa and "offers a journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics", according to the festivla.

The International premiere of the film - which is opening New York Film Festival - will screen in the capital alongside simultaneous preview screenings at cinemas across the UK. It will be available for streaming on Netflix later in the year.

Scorsese, who is expected to attend the premiere, said: “I’m extremely honoured to be having the international premiere of The Irishman at the closing night of the BFI London Film Festival. This picture was many years in the making. It’s a project that Robert De Niro and I started talking about a long time ago, and we wanted to make it the way it needed to be made. It’s also a picture that all of us could only have made at this point in our lives. We’re all very excited to be bringing The Irishman to London.”

Festival director Tricia Tuttle added: “What an immense cinephile thrill it is to close the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with the International Premiere of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. British Film Institute Fellow Scorsese is one of the true greats of cinema – as both a creator and a tireless champion of preservation and film history – and here he and his creative team have delivered an epic of breathtakingly audacious scale and complexity, exploring relationships of trust and betrayal, regret and remorselessness, which dominated a period of American history. This is a major occasion for film lovers and I cannot wait to share this film with UK audiences.”

The Festival runs from October 2 to 13 and will open with The Personal History Of David Copperfield, as previously announced. The full programme will be revealed on August 29.

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