From the 9th October, London will play host to its annual film festival; an event increasingly becoming recognised alongside the likes of Venice, Cannes and Toronto for launching an impressive array of films as the best in world cinema head to Leicester Square to showcase the best filmmaking on the planet.

Tom Hanks Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks Plays Captain Phillips Whose Ship Is Hijacked By Pirates.

Actor Tom Hanks will certainly hold a strong presence at the event, which will run from 9-20th October, with his two films providing the opening and closing movie of the whole festival. Captain Phillips will be the film to kick off the fortnight's celebration of cinema, having also opened the New York Film Festival.

Captain Phillips
A True Story, Captain Phillips Has Already Been Lauded Ahead Of Its Release.

Directed by Paul Greengrass, who also made the Bourne films and Green Zone, Captain Phillips tells the real-life story of Somali pirates hijacking an unarmed American cargo ship in 2009. Hanks takes the role of commanding officer alongside actress Catherine Keener who plays his wife. There's already an Oscar buzz surrounding his performance, which would give him another 'Best Actor' to add to the two he already has.

The Hanks film to close the festival will be Saving Mr Banks; a Disney film where he takes on the role of Walt Disney alongside Emma Thompson who plays Mary Poppins author, P. L. Travers, as she is persuaded to sell the screen rights to her novel. The movie won't be released widely until December so its reception at the LFF will be important to gauge how successful it will be come Christmas.

Saving Mr. Banks
Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson Star In Saving Mr Banks.

If you're not a Hanks fan, there are plenty more films - 180 more feature films and 130 shorts - to keep filmgoers entertained. The Scarlett Johansson-starring Under The Skin will also show at the festival. In the creepy, Jonathan Glazer-directed thriller, Johansson plays a man-eating alien with a penchant for fur coats. The movie has seen polarised reception from newspapers, but has mainly been awarded five stars after its Venice showing.

Saving Mr. Banks Still
How Will Walt Disney Persuade The Mary Poppins Author To Let Him Turn Her Book Into A Film?

Elsewhere, Alfonso Cuaron's hotly anticipated space thriller, Gravity, will also be screened. Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as the movie's only cast members, where the narrative's lacking in strength, the film's stunning space-scape cinematography has been adored by critics. Look out for 3D screenings that will really make you feel like you're in space.

Watch The Gravity Trailer:

Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Philomena, with Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, will also be doing the festival rounds as the interest around this very human story steadily builds up to potential awards success. Philomena stars Coogan as a journalist whose investigative skills are enlisted by a woman named Philomena (Dench) who wants to search for her son. He was taken from her as a result of forced adoption upon his birth and is living life in America, but now his mother wants to be reunited.

Watch The Philomena Trailer:

Look out for Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave that sees Michael Fassbender team up once again with the Shame director, as well as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt in a high impact, Oscar-tipped historical drama about a man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.

If none of the big-hitters tickle your fancy, there are scores of other films, feature-length and short, in an array of genres that mean guests at this year's film festival will never be presented with a cornucopia of enthralling cinema.