Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” to Open the 2023 London Film Festival

Emerald Fennell at the 93rd Oscars in 2021
Emerald Fennell at the 93rd Oscars in 2021. Photo by Matt Petit/A M P A S/Shutterstock (13962427fk)

The BFI London Film Festival is one of the most highly-anticipated fall festivals, and its opening film has finally been announced. Emerald Fennell’s drama Saltburn, starring Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi, will open the festival at the Royal Festival Hall this October.

Described as a beautifully wicked tale of privilege and desire, Saltburn centers on a college student Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan), struggling to adjust at Oxford University before becoming infatuated with a charismatic classmate Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), who invites him to meet spend summer with his aristocratic but eccentric family at their sprawling estate.

Opening the BFI London Film Festival is the realization of a life-long dream for the Oscar-winning filmmaker Emerald Fennell, who fantasized about this moment since her youth.  

“It is a festival that inspired me so much growing up, one that I followed excitedly from my bedroom on the other side of London. It feels extra-special that Saltburn, this very British tale of excess, is able to make its international debut at the wonderful BFI,” said Fennell in a press release.

In addition to Elordi and Keoghan, Saltburn also stars Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver, Archie Madekwe, and Carey Mulligan. It will open the BFI London Film Festival on October 4, before hitting the theatres on November 24 and receiving a wide release on December 1.