Saoirse Ronan Leads ‘Blitz,’ Set to Open London Film Festival 5

The world premiere of Steve McQueen‘s Blitz, starring Saoirse Ronan and Harris Dickinson, will open 2024’s BFI London Film Festival (LFF) this October.

The Apple original film — directed, produced and written by Oscar-winner McQueen (12 Years a Slave) — follows the journey of nine-year-old George, played by newcomer Elliot Heffernan, in London through the Second World War. He is sent to safety in the English countryside by his mother Rita (Ronan), but is determined to make his way back to East London. As the infamous German bombing campaign concentrates on the U.K. capital, George finds himself in “immense peril” while a distraught Rita searches for her missing child.

Alongside Ronan and Heffernan star The Iron Claw‘s 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.

McQueen has opened the LFF twice before with Widows in 2018 and Mangrove in 2020. The London-born creative said of his latest film: “Blitz is a movie about Londoners. It honors 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.”

BFI’s LFF director Kristy Matheson 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.”

McQueen’s Lammas Park produces alongside Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films, Arnon Milchan, Yariv Milchan and Michael Schaefer for New Regency, with producers Anita Overland and Adam Somner.

The film will premiere in select cinemas Nov. 1, prior to streaming globally on Apple TV+ on Nov. 22.

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