Great Expectations to close BFI London Film Festival

Mike Newell's Dickens adaptation will screen its European premiere at the event

The annual BFI London Film Festival will close this year on 21 October with the new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations.


Great Expectations, which is directed by Four Weddings and a Funeral director Mike Newell and adapted by One Day author David Nicholls, will be released in the UK on 30 November.

The film stars Jeremy Irvine, who recently wowed viewers as the lead in War Horse, as Pip alongside Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch.

Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Exhibition, who chose the closing night film said: “Visually ravishing and rippling with immediacy, this new adaptation of the classic novel, directed by Mike Newell, provides a fitting conclusion to both the 56th BFI London Film Festival and London’s bicentenary celebrations of the life and work of Charles Dickens.”

Director Mike Newell added: “It’s a great honour to be invited to be the BFI London Film Festival’s Closing Night film. I’m proud that our new version of Great Expectations should be presented this year, the bi-centenary of Dicken’s birth.”

“I’ve tried to make a film that is true to the theatrical vividness, energetic characters and high colour that he is loved for, while mining the deep seams of emotional cruelty and madness that underlie one of Dickens’ darkest-shadowed stories.”

“I’ve tried to make a film for a young modern audience in which Pip and Estella’s fated love affair is shown through feelings and stresses that are of today and in a city that was, then, full of brawling energy, was unimaginably wealthy and very bad…”


Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie has recently been revealed as the festival’s opening night film. The full programme for this years BFI London Film Festival will be available on 5 September.