Emerald Fennell’s ‘Saltburn,’ Starring Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi, to Open BFI London Film Festival

“Saltburn,” Emerald Fennell’s hotly anticipated sophomore feature after the Oscar and BAFTA-winning “Promising Young Woman,” will open the 67th BFI London Film Festival.

The film is produced by Fennell and Margot Robbie, whose “Barbie” has grossed more than $1 billion, as well as Josey McNamara (“Promising Young Woman,” “Barbie”).

“Saltburn” reunites Fennell with her “Promising Young Woman” star Carey Mulligan and the cast also includes Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver and Archie Madekwe.

Set in the mid-2000s and shot across the U.K., the film, written by Fennell, follows student Oliver Quick (Keoghan) who is struggling to find his place at Oxford University and finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton (Elordi), who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for an unforgettable summer.

The film will have its international premiere on Oct. 4 at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London. There will also be simultaneous preview screenings of the film at multiple cinemas across the U.K.  It is expected to have its world premiere at a fall festival in North America.

Amazon Studios and MGM will release the MRC and LuckyChap Entertainment-produced film in cinemas on Nov. 24.

Fennell said: “I’m honored that our film is able to open this year’s BFI London Film Festival. It is a festival that inspired me so much growing up, one that I followed excitedly from my bedroom on the other side of London. It feels extra-special that ‘Saltburn,’ this very British tale of excess, is able to make its international debut at the wonderful BFI.”

The 67th edition of the festival is Kristy Matheson’s first in her role as BFI festivals director.

Matheson said: “As soon as the credits rolled on ‘Saltburn’ it was clear we’d met our opening night film. Academy Award winner Emerald Fennell returns with an expertly crafted and exhilarating thrill ride of a film that showcases an enormous depth of U.K. talents in front of and behind the camera. With its exceptional performances, delicious plot twists and a soundtrack of early 21st century pop bangers; this hugely ambitious film immediately stole our hearts and we can’t wait to share it with audiences in London and across the U.K. this October.” 

The BFI London Film Festival, sponsored by American Express, runs Oct. 4-15. The Royal Festival Hall returns as a venue for galas. BFI Southbank will house the competition program, series, screen talks and LFF for Free events. Other London venues include BFI Imax, Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf, Outernet, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Prince Charles Cinema and Vue West End.

Festival venues across the U.K. include Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, Chapter in Cardiff, Glasgow Film Theatre, HOME in Manchester, MAC in Birmingham, Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast, Showroom Cinema in Sheffield, Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle and Watershed in Bristol.

Press and industry screenings take place at Picturehouse Central and Odeon Luxe Leicester Square.

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