The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express is thrilled to announce that this year’s Opening Night gala will be The Personal History of David Copperfield, directed by the multi-award-winning writer, filmmaker and broadcaster Armando Iannucci and starring BAFTA Award winner Dev Patel as David Copperfield. The film will receive its European Premiere on Wednesday 2nd October at Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square. This fresh take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, boasts a stellar British cast, led by Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie; many of whom are expected on the red carpet in Leicester Square.
The Personal History of David Copperfield will be released by Lionsgate UK and is a FilmNation Entertain-ment and Film4 Production. FilmNation are handling international sales and co-repping the US sale with UTA.
An avid Dickens fan, Armando Iannucci (the award-winning writer/director of The Thick of It, In the Loop, Veep and The Death of Stalin) adapts here, alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, employing his comedic mastery and vivid characterizations to bring to life one of Dickens’ most cherished characters in The Personal History of David Copperfield. From birth to infancy, from adolescence to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England. As David sets out to be a writer, in his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, the story of his life is the most seductive tale of all.
Armando Iannucci, director, producer and co-writer, commented “It’s a huge thrill and honour to be asked to open the fantastic BFI London Film Festival. ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ is a film about compassion, humour, generosity and friendship, and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it.”
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said “Scotland’s Armando Iannucci is one of the most prodigiously talented and original filmmakers hailing from the UK. The Personal History of David Copperfield shows his trademark wit and a joyous sense of style - it’s a delight from start to finish, with Dev Patel and co-stars delivering performances of megawatt charm and comic flair. I’m so excited to be opening the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with this film which is not only wildly entertaining but also a timely celebration of the power of generosity and compassion.”
Shot on location in the UK, the film is produced by Kevin Loader and Armando Iannucci and stars Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Aneurin Barnard, Daisy May Cooper, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Welsh and Rosalind Eleazar. Suzie Harman and Robert Worley serve as Costume Designers, Cristina Casali as Production Designer, Christopher Willis as Composer and Karen Hartley-Thomas as Hair and Make-up Designer.
The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 3rd October-Sunday 13th October 2019. The full Festival programme will be announced on Thursday 29 August 2019.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the BFI
The BFI is the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. It is a cultural charity that:
• Curates and presents the greatest international public programme of World Cinema for audiences; in cinemas, at festivals and online
• Cares for the BFI National Archive – the most significant film and television archive in the world
• Actively seeks out and supports the next generation of filmmakers
• Works with Government and Industry to make the UK the most creatively exciting and prosperous place to make film internationally
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.
The BFI London Film Festival
BFI London Film Festival is Britain's leading film event and one of the world's best film festivals. It introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience and attracts significant international film industry participation. LFF is a compelling combination of diverse films, red carpet glamour, friendly audiences and vibrant exchange. LFF provides an essential profiling opportunity for films seeking global success; promotes the careers of British and international filmmakers through its industry and awards programmes and positions London as the world’s leading creative city.
Tricia Tuttle Biography
Tricia Tuttle’s appointment as Director of BFI Festivals follows her role as Artistic Director of the 62nd Edition of the BFI London Film Festival and five successful years as Deputy Head of Festivals at BFI, including BFI Flare and BFI London Film Festival. Moving from North Carolina in 1997 to complete a joint MA at BFI and Birkbeck, University of London in Film and TV Studies, Tricia’s passion for film has seen her work as a programmer, lecturer, writer and journalist. Her career has spanned a five year tenure at BAFTA, starting in 2008 and with her appointment as Film Programme Manager in 2011. Tuttle has been instrumental in evolving BFI Festivals, continuing to expand audience reach year on year and introducing impactful initiatives such as BFI Flare’s FiveFilms4Freedom, in partnership with the British Council. In March 2019, she was recognized in Variety’s annual International Women’s Impact Report as a woman making an impact in showbiz around the globe.
About Amex Experiences
American Express connects Cardmembers to the kinds of rewarding experiences and opportunities that matter to them and their businesses. Through Amex Experiences, Cardmembers have access to presale tickets, as well as the best seats and exclusive offers at some of the UK’s most sought-after entertainment events via partnerships with a range of entertainment institutions, including AEG, Live Nation, Somerset House, The British Film Institute and the National Theatre. Amex Experiences is just one example of the powerful backing that American Express provides its customers.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress
About The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Personal History of David Copperfield is an adaptation of the Dickens classic directed by award winning filmmaker Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin). Dev Patel (Lion, Slumdog Millionaire) will play the title character of David Copperfield, alongside Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Daisy May Cooper (This Country), Morfydd Clark (The Falling), Benedict Wong (Avengers: Infinity War), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Anthony Welsh (Fleabag) and Rosalind Eleazar (Howards End).
Kevin Loader (The Death of Stalin) and Iannucci are producing the feature, which was developed with FilmNation Entertainment. It was written by Iannucci (Emmy Award winning creator of Veep) and fellow Academy Award nominee Simon Blackwell (In The Loop) based on Charles Dickens’ novel. The Film will be released in cinemas by Lionsgate UK and was developed by FilmNation Entertainment who co-financed the film with Film4.
The Personal History of David Copperfield reunites many of Armando Iannucci’s long-term collaborators including cast members Hugh Laurie (Veep), Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It, In The Loop) and Paul Whitehouse (The Death of Stalin) and crew members who collaborated on The Death of Stalin and previous productions including casting director Sarah Crowe, production designer Cristina Casali, costume designer Suzie Harman, cinematographer Zac Nicholson and composer Chris Willis.
The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a global content leader whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, video games, esports and other new entertainment technologies. Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a nearly 17,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global sales and distribution infrastructure. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.
FilmNation’s talent for seeking out and elevating creative content across a wide range of genres is at the center of its success as the company just passed its 10 year mark. The independent studio boasts more than 45 Academy Award nominations for its sales and production titles. The studio’s current and upcoming production slate includes: Sebastian Lelio’s GLORIA BELL starring Julianne Moore, which opened to one of the year’s highest per screen averages, Dominic Cooke’s spy thriller IRONBARK starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Armando Iannucci’s THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD starring Dev Patel, and Sean Durkin’s THE NEST starring Jude Law, to name a few. FilmNation’s first television production I Know This Much Is True is now in production with HBO, and several other series are in development including House of the Spirits at Hulu. The company recently announced the launch of its UK-based television production company with Nordic Entertainment Group.
Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division, which develops and co-finances films and has an established track record for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking. Film4 has developed and/or co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years - Academy Award-winners such as Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Shane Meadows’ This is England and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Forthcoming releases include Chris Morris’s The Day Shall Come, Michael Winterbottom’s Greed, Sarah Gavron’s Rocks, Coky Giedroyc’s adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s How To Build a Girl and Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, which is the eighth Film4 production in ten years to be selected either as Opening or Closing Night Gala of the BFI London Film Festival.
For further information please visit www.film4productions.com .