Following up last year’s epic documentary Occupied City, Steve McQueen has returned to the WWII era with a narrative feature. Blitz, starring Saoirse Ronan and Elliott Heffernan, which will world-premiere as the Opening Night Gala of the 68th BFI London Film Festival on October 9 before arriving in U.K. cinemas on November 1 and an Apple TV+ debut on November 22.

Also starring Harris Dickinson, Benjamin Clementine, Kathy Burke, Paul Weller, Stephen Graham, Leigh Gill, Mica Ricketts, CJ Beckford, Alex Jennings, Joshua McGuire, Hayley Squires, Erin Kellyman, and Sally Messham, Blitz follows the epic journey of George (Elliott Heffernan), a 9-year-old boy in World War II London whose mother Rita (Saoirse Ronan) sends him to safety in the English countryside. George, defiant and determined to return home to Rita and his grandfather Gerald (Paul Weller) in East London, goes on an adventure, only to find himself in immense peril while a distraught Rita searches for her missing son.  

Blitz is a movie about Londoners,” McQueen said. “It honours the spirit of what and how Londoners endured during the blitz, but also explores the true representation of people in London, while at its core is the story of a working-class family desperate to be reunited during times of war,” said McQueen. “I could not be more thrilled that the BFI London Film Festival have invited us to open this year’s festival, and to celebrate the World Premiere of Blitz in my hometown.” 

Blitz is a film of incredible scale. Steve McQueen infuses the film with nuance at every turn; the depth of character and texture of the city are all peerless and make this subject feel completely new,” said Kristy Matheson, BFI London Film Festival Director. It’s an astounding production that will leave audiences in awe of the Director, his cast, and creative collaborators. We are honoured to share this film with audiences in London and across the UK and can think of no better way to open the 2024 BFI London Film Festival.” 

See the first images below.

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