Saoirse Ronan in Blitz
Blitz (Courtesy of Apple)

The World Premiere of Blitz, directed by Academy Award and BAFTA winner Steve McQueen will open the 68th BFI London Film Festival taking place October 9-20, 2024.

The film stars Saoirse Ronan and newcomer Elliott Heffernan, with Harris Dickinson, Benjamin Clementine, Kathy Burke, Paul Weller, Stephen Graham, Leigh Gill, Mica Ricketts, CJ Beckford, Alex Jennings, Joshua McGuire, Hayley Squires, Erin Kellyman, and Sally Messham rounding out the cast.

Blitz follows the epic journey of George (Elliott Heffernan), a 9-year-old boy in World War II London whose mother Rita (Saoirse Ronan) sends him to safety in the English countryside. George, defiant and determined to return home to Rita and his grandfather Gerald (Paul Weller) in East London, ensues on an adventure, only to find himself in immense peril, while a distraught Rita searches for her missing son.

The World Premiere of Blitz marks a return to the LFF by the London-born director, who has opened the Festival twice before with Widows in 2018 and Mangrove in 2020, and has a long-standing relationship with the LFF, also premiering Hunger, 12 Years a Slave, Shame, Lovers Rock and Occupied City at the Festival. McQueen was awarded the BFI’s highest honor, the BFI Fellowship, at the BFI London Film Festival in 2016 for his outstanding contribution to film and moving image culture.

Blitz directed by Steve McQueen
Blitz (Courtesy of Apple)

Director/Producer/Writer of Blitz, Steve McQueen, said, “Blitz is a movie about Londoners. It honours the spirit of what and how Londoners endured during the blitz, but also explores the true representation of people in London, while at its core is the story of a working-class family desperate to be reunited during times of war. I could not be more thrilled that the BFI London Film Festival have invited us to open this year’s festival, and to celebrate the World Premiere of ‘Blitz’ in my hometown.”

Blitz is a tale of resilience and humanity in the face of adversity, with the city of London forming the tapestry of the film. The 68th BFI London Film Festival Opening marks a homecoming for the film and its director and is a true celebration of British excellence in cinema.

Kristy Matheson, BFI London Film Festival Director, said, “Blitz is a film of incredible scale. Steve McQueen infuses the film with nuance at every turn; the depth of character and texture of the city are all peerless and make this subject feel completely new. It’s an astounding production that will leave audiences in awe of the Director, his cast, and creative collaborators. We are honored to share this film with audiences in London and across the UK and can think of no better way to open the 2024 BFI London Film Festival.”

Blitz will premiere in select cinemas on November 1, 2024 prior to streaming globally on Apple TV+ on 22 November, 2024.

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