THE 51st LONDON FILM FESTIVAL kicks off tonight with Eastern Promises, a film set in a subterranean London world of Russian gangsters.

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Directed by David Cronenberg, it stars Naomi Watts as an accidental tourist visiting murder and brutal exploitation. Watts, pictured, is also the star of a public interview session this Friday.

Other highlights of the festival include Wes Anderson’s Americans do India movie, The Darjeeling Limited, which is the closing night gala film, I’m Not There, an intriguing Bob Dylan sort-of biopic with Bob played by six different actors and Lust, Caution, a spy thriller set in Shanghai from Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee.

But it is probably away from the big names that the most enjoyment comes from the London Film Festival.

With hundreds of films to choose from, the thrill of unearthing a hidden nugget by your own instincts and luck is a welcome antidote to the hype that draws us into cinemas the rest of the year.

For much more info go to our festival pages here