Jeffrey Katzenberg to Headline London Film Festival Industry Program

Jeffery Katzenberg Headshot - H 2014
Courtesy of Dreamworks Animation

Jeffery Katzenberg Headshot - H 2014

He will speak in October, when DreamWorks Animation celebrates its 20th anniversary, after recent talks about a sale

Jeffrey Katzenberg will headline the industry events program at the BFI London Film Festival, which kicks off on Oct. 8 with many Cannes favorites part of the lineup.

Organizers said on Wednesday that the DreamWorks Animation CEO will be featured in a keynote conversation with festival director Clare Stewart. In October, the studio will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Previous keynote speakers at the festival have included James Schamus, Ken Loach, Alison Owen and Harvey Weinstein.

The news comes amid talk about the future of DWA. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Katzenberg has recently been in negotiations with Japanese telecom and tech giant SoftBank regarding a possible $32-per-share takeover of the studio. It has since emerged that SoftBank is now eyeing a stake in Legendary Pictures since no DWA deal could be reached.

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Other BFI London Film Festival industry event highlights include discussions with Philomena director Stephen Frears, Wild producer Bruna Papandrea and U.K. director Peter Strickland. Wild, along with Strickland’s new films Bjork Live: Biophilia and The Duke of Burgundy are being screened at the festival.

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Fresh off its audience award success in Toronto, U.K. drama and early Oscars frontrunner The Imitation Game will open the festival, with stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley due to attend.