Writer-director Julius Avery's debut feature Son of a Gun will have its international premiere in official competition at the BFI London Film Festival next month.

The heist thriller stars Ewan McGregor, rising star Brenton Thwaites (The Giver, Maleficent), Alicia Vikander, Matt Nable, Damon Herriman, Tom Budge, Nash Edgerton and Jacek Koman.

Timothy White at Southern Light Films produced the movie with co-producer Janelle Landers, backed by Screen Australia.

 “It is such a proud and exciting moment for everyone involved in Son of a Gun to be in official competition at a festival as historic and respected as the BFI London Film Festival,” Avery said.

Thwaites plays 19-year-old JR, who is drawn into the lawless world of a notorious criminal. Serving six months for a minor offence,  he quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. After a chance encounter, he finds himself under the watchful eye of Brendan Lynch (McGregor), a calculating crime boss with extensive connections both inside and out.

In exchange for protection, JR becomes apprentice to Lynch and upon release orchestrates Lynch’s daring prison escape. As a reward JR joins the crew on their next job,  a high stakes heist that promises to deliver millions. Planning the heist, he begins to suspect he is being played and finds himself on a collision course with his mentor.

Avery's short film Jerrycan won a jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Son of a Gun had its Australian premiere at the CinéfestOZ Film Festival.

The 58th BFI London Film Festival runs from October 8-19.  Entertainment One Australia will release the film on October 16. A24 is the US distributor.

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