London Film Festival Draws Record Audience

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'The Imitation Game' opened the London festival on Oct. 8

The festival closed Sunday with the European premiere of Brad Pitt's 'Fury'

The BFI London Film Festival has revealed that its 58th edition — which closed Sunday with the European premiere of Fury — drew the highest attendance figures in the event's history.

According to the festival, 163,000 turned out to watch its lineup of 248 features, which included 18 world premieres, nine international premieres and 35 European premieres. Organizers also said that 773 filmmaker guests were in attendance.

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Speaking on Sunday ahead of the Fury red carpet screening, star Brad Pitt told reporters about the joys of working on the WWII tank drama while his wife, Angelina Jolie, prepared for her own WWII film, Unbroken.

"It was a lovely experience. We don't normally work at the same time," he said. "I was studying the European theater [of war] while she was studying the Pacific theater. I was studying tanks, and she was studying bombers."

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At a ceremony held on Saturday, the festival awarded its best film prize in the official competition category to the Russian film Leviathan. U.K. director Stephen Frears was honored with the British Film Institute's top award, the BFI Fellowship.

On collecting his statuette, the Philomena director said: "I've always made films about the marginals: the Pakistanis, the Irish, homosexuals, women, the Queen."

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