BFI London Film Festival 2021 To Open With World Premiere Of The Harder They Fall

BFI have announced that Jeymes Samuel’s upcoming western The Harder They Fall will have its world premiere at the opening night gala of the 65th BFI London Film Festival.

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The official synopsis for the film is as follows:

When outlaw Nat Love discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck is being released from prison, he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this assured, righteously new school western includes his former love Stagecoach Mary, his right- and left-hand men – hot-tempered Bill Pickett and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth – and a surprising adversary-turned-ally. Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including “Treacherous” Trudy Smith and Cherokee Bill, and they are not a group that knows how to lose.

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The film will premiere on Wednesday 6th October at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, where it’s expected that London-based director Samuel will attend along with key members of the cast. BFI London Film Festival have also confirmed that the film will have simultaneous preview screenings taking place across the UK.

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Jeymes Samuel released a statement saying:

It’s a great honour that The Harder They Fall will have its world premiere opening the 65th BFI London Film Festival. Growing up in the UK, the festival has always been the highlight of my year and I couldn’t have imagined anything better than to have my debut film included in this year’s line-up.

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Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, also released a statement saying:

Jeymes Samuel has come out with both guns blazing with his lightning-paced, witty and phenomenally entertaining new western. This is brutal and funny genre filmmaking, sometimes making you chuckle and gasp in the same breath, while each of its mega stars absolutely burns up the screen, working to a cleverly written script from Samuel and Boaz Yakin that reveals the tenderness even in the darkest villainous heart. It’s rare for a debut filmmaker to pull off something this ambitious and accomplished in their first feature and Samuel knowingly tips his hat to cinematic forbearers, but also delivers a film which is inventive and uniquely his own. It’s a total joy for us to open the festival with the work of a filmmaker from London, and we’re so grateful to Jeymes, the producers and Netflix for trusting us with their world premiere. We can’t wait to share The Harder They Fall.

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Festival venues this year will include the BFI Southbank, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall (which will be its main hub), with other London venues being the West End sites. Following the success of the festival’s hybrid edition last year that made it the most accessible festival ever, some of its popular elements will be carried over this year, with selected programming to become available at UK-wide cinema partners and a board range of films from the programme to screen on BFI Player, alongside the in-cinema premieres. The BFI London Film Festival launch programme will be revealed on Tuesday 7th September, with the festival taking place from Wednesday 6th October to Sunday 17th October 2021.

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The film is written by Boaz Yakin, with Samuel also producing alongside Shawn Carter (aka Jay-Z), James Lassiter and Lawrence Bender.

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The film stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, R. J. Cyler, Edi Gathegi, Danielle Deadwyler, Damon Wayans Jr. and Deon Cole.

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The Harder They Fall will become available on Netflix on the 3rd November 2021 following a cinematic release in UK cinemas.