Film festival pledges treat for fans

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The Independent Culture

The Hollywood stars Dustin Hoffman and Robin Wright Penn will join a line-up that includes Anthony Minghella, Peter O'Toole and Hanif Kureishi at the 50th anniversary of the London Film Festival.

The two-week film extravaganza, starting on 18 October, will screen 181 feature films from nearly 50 countries and 131 short films as well as special events.

Sandra Hebron, the festival's artistic director, said: "We know your expectations will be very high. I'm sure we're not going to disappoint you."

The festival opens with The Last King of Scotland, an adaptation from the Giles Foden book, directed by Kevin Macdonald, the Oscar-winning documentary maker of Touching the Void and One Day in September. It stars Forest Whitaker - who will also appear at a festival interview discussing his career - and James McAvoy, star of TV's Shameless.

British film-lovers will get their first chance to see films including Minghella's new London-based drama, Breaking and Entering, starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche.