Martin McDonagh's dark comedy 'Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri', Lynne Ramsay's 'You Were Never Really Here,' Yorgos Lanthimos 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer' have being scheduled to be screening at the Galas (with Ramsey and Lanthimos screening at the Headline Gala and McDonagh at the Closing Night Gala). The UK will be premiering Lanthimos' for the first time. 'You Were Never Really Here' stars Joaquin Phoenix's winning performance as a Gulf War veteran who turns into a killer-for-hire who specializes in saving girls from human trafficking. Paddy Considine's 'Journeyman', debuts the filmmaker as a director and takes the festival up a notch with an exclusive world premiere.
Following those three are Clio Barnard's family drama 'Dark River' and Andrew Haigh's 'Lean on Pete' featuring Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, and Charlie Plummer. 'Lean on Pete' is this year's contender for the Best Film Award. 'Dark River' stars Ruth Wilson and Mark Stanley and will be showcased at the Special Presentations.
Rungano Nyoni's 'I Am Not A Witch' and Michael Pearce's 'Beast' are competing for the Sutherland Award. With Pearce's 'Beast' showcasing the performances of new talent Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn. 'How to Talk to Girls At Parties' is John Cameron Mitchell takes on a punk-alien love story set in 1977's Croydon and will be screening at the festival's Love Strand. Also screening at the one festival's strands is Jon Rafman’s short 'Dream Journal' at the Cult Strand. Commissioned by Channel 4's Random Acts, 'Dream Journal' fuses 3D animation and computer generated erotica.