[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
London festival 'lacks resources'
Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland
Whitaker plays dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland
The 50th London Film Festival has been launched with a plea from its artistic director for more public funding.

"London needs more resources," Sandra Hebron told the BBC. "We lag behind other festivals of similar size and stature," she continued.

This year's event coincides with the inaugural Rome Film Festival, which Ms Hebron claimed has "three times" the resources of its British counterpart.

London, she said, "operates on a very modest budget" compared to its rivals.

"We've done a lot of consultation this year and there is a recognition that it has a huge amount of potential, but that more could be done.

London has a huge amount of potential but more could be done
Sandra Hebron, LFF artistic director
"We're achieving a great deal, but there is no room to be complacent."

As previously announced, this year's festival opens on 18 October with a film version of Giles Foden's novel, The Last King of Scotland.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald, it tells of a young Scottish doctor (played by James McAvoy from Channel 4 drama Shameless) who becomes personal physician to Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, played by Forest Whitaker.

Producer Andrea Calderwood said she was "delighted" it had been chosen to open the prestigious event.

"It's the perfect launch for the film in the UK and Europe," she said.

Like The Constant Gardener, last year's opening night film, The Last King of Scotland was shot on location in Africa.

Rave reviews

Comprising 181 features and 131 shorts, the 2006 programme includes public talks from Hollywood star Dustin Hoffman and film director Tim Burton.

Gala screenings include Breaking and Entering starring Jude Law and a 3-D version of Burton's animated feature, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat
Borat sees Sacha Baron Cohen reprise his popular TV character
Also in the line-up is Borat, a vehicle for Ali G star Sacha Baron Cohen's Kazakh broadcaster character, and For Your Consideration, a new comedy from the Spinal Tap team featuring Ricky Gervais in a supporting role.

The programme includes several titles seen at this year's Cannes and Venice Film Festivals, among them Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation, Truman Capote biopic Infamous and Bobby, actor Emilio Estevez's movie about the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy.

The festival ends on 2 November with Babel, a drama starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett that attracted rave reviews at Cannes.

Speaking to the BBC News website, Ms Hebron drew particular attention to the British films in the programme, which include the latest offerings from Notting Hill director Roger Michell and Nottingham-based filmmaker Shane Meadows.

"It's a pleasure to say we have such a strong British line-up in this of all years," she said.

Second Capote film makes its bow
31 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Kidman to open Rome Film Festival
25 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Idi Amin film for London Festival
10 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Multi-lingual film defies stereotypes
23 May 06 |  Entertainment
Kazakhs shut Ali G star's website
14 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Gervais poised for Hollywood role
24 Aug 05 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific