Rolling Stones to walk London film fest red carpet

The Rolling Stones are likely to be a big draw at the 56th London Film Festival in October as the iconic band is expected on the red carpet for the world premiere of the documentary Crossfire Hurricane.

Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children from Canada in competition for best film award

Crossfire Hurricane combines archival footage and interviews with Rolling Stones members, past and present, who are expected on the London Film Festival red carpet. (London Film Festival)

The Rolling Stones are likely to be a big draw at the 56th London Film Festival in October as the iconic band is expected on the red carpet for the world premiere of the documentary Crossfire Hurricane.

The Stones, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, were notably absent from the London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies in August.

Brett Morgen directed Crossfire Hurricane, a documentary that pulls together historical footage and commentary from band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, and former Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.

It is one of 225 films in the London Film Festival lineup announced by festival director Clare Stewart on Wednesday.

Midnight's Children to compete

The festival revised its prizes in 2012, with the competition lineup to include the European premiere of Canadian director Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children.

Midnight’s Children, based on Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel about a group of children born on the eve of India’s independence, is among 12 films selected to compete for the best film prize.

Others include:

  • Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths, a followup to In Bruges.
  • Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone, starring Marion Cotillard.
  • Pablo Larraín's No, set in Chile under military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The festival has introduced a first feature competition and a British newcomer prize, and also offers the Grierson Award for documentaries.

Dustin Hoffman as director

Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet, about aging opera singers in a specialized retirement home, gets a gala screening. Its British cast, including Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon, is expected on the red carpet.

A scene from Mike Newell's new adaptation of Great Expectations, the closing film of the London Film Festival. (London Film Festival)

Ben Affleck’s Argoabout the CIA operation to rescue six Americans hiding out in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, also gets a gala.

High-profile British films include Paul Andrew Williams’s Song for Marion, starring Gemma Arterton and Vanessa Redgrave and Ben Lewin’s The Sessions, starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt.

Another significant change to the festival structure is the grouping of films by themes such as Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Sonic and Family as a guide to help festival-goers find films that will appeal to them.

As previously announced, the festival will open with the European premiere of Tim Burton’s stop-motion 3D animated fantasy Frankenweenie and close with Mike Newell’s lavish new adaptation of Great Expectations. 

The London Film Festival runs Oct. 10-21.