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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 18:15 UK
Leeds International Film Festival
George Clooney and Ewan McGregor
George Clooney and Ewan McGregor in The Men Who Stare At Goats

The 23rd Leeds International Film Festival promises to be bigger and better than last year, now running over 19 days.

There's a host of new venues and films to delight all types of audience.

Launching the Film Festival is one of the predicted hits of the Autumn, The Men Who Stare At Goats.

The film is a satirical comedy about modern warfare based on the acclaimed book by British journalist Jon Ronson.

The film follows a war reporter (Ewan McGregor) who meets an 'ex-jedi' special forces agent (George Clooney), part of a secret, psychic military unit set up by a Vietnam Veteran (Jeff Bridges).

Opening the Film Festival Official Selection is Cannes favourite Bright Star, directed by Jane Campion, which charts the romance between English poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, a passionate relationship that ended tragically with the poet's early death in 1821.

This year, the Leeds International Film Festival team is calling all film fanatics who would like a chance to make their own mini-films and be part of the biggest film event in the North.

Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw
Bright Star - the story of doomed lovers Fanny Brawne & John Keats

Volunteers are needed for producing videos for the Film Festival's You Tube Channel, assistance at venues, and helping with guests. In return for being part of the team, benefits will include invites to Galas and free tickets for screenings.

The line-up of host venues for the Film Festival has also been rejigged with a number of new venues and some old returning favourites.

Returning favourites include the Hyde Park Picture House where the Film Festival began in 1987; Vue Cinemas at the Light , The Carriageworks and Leeds Town Hall which will host many of the biggest screenings including the Opening Gala.

New venues for 2009 include: the Howard Assembly Rooms, a former cinema restored to it's original Victorian splendour; and Nation Of Shopkeepers, a 600-capacity bar and music venue, and now the official Film Festival hub throughout November, hosting events and related music nights.

As part of this year's festival, input from over 1000 Leeds film fans was consulted to see how the event could deliver an even greater experience. One of the results of the feedback was the extension of the Film Festival to allow more of the outstanding films from around the world to be presented over the Festival period.

To apply to become a volunteer call 0113 247 8398 for a Volunteer application pack or email the Film Festival office.

The 23rd Leeds International Film Festival will run from Wednesday 4 November to Sunday 22 November 2009.


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