About London Film Festival
Conceived as a 'festival of festivals' to screen the best films from Cannes, Venice and Edinburgh, the BFI London Film Festival has grown into one of the world’s most important celebrations of the moving image. Now in its 60th year, the festival screens more than 300 films from around 50 countries, and this year saw the creation of a temporary 780-seater riverside cinema – scroll up for a 60-second time-lapse of its construction.
An international focus
Testament to the international significance of the London Film Festival is the heartfelt introduction given by director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra to his film Mirzya, a Hindi fantasy epic. Mehra tells a packed auditorium that there 'couldn’t be a happier moment' for him. Scroll down to watch the introduction in full.
Lion, a new film starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel, wears its international outlook on its sleeve: the plot sees an adopted Indian (played by Dev Patel) who decides to leave his Australian mum (played by Nicole Kidman) in order to find his birth family. Below, watch the team behind the film give their introduction at the film's London premiere.
The festival is run by the British Film Institute (BFI), the primary organisation for the promotion and preservation of the screen arts in the UK. Alongside London Film Festival, the institute also organises BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival and the youth-focused Future Film Festival, as well as maintaining the biggest film archive in the world.
As part of the BFI’s remit to 'promote education about film', hundreds of hours of film and television material are viewable on their Screenonline platform. Explore the resource for yourself via the link below.
InView is the BFI’s non-fiction portal, with thousands of documentary films spanning over a century. There is much to be learned about British culture, history and politics through this extraordinary collection, and a link to the site can be found at the bottom of this page.
An important aspect of British history and politics is its colonial past, and the BFI offers a unique opportunity to explore this period through film. Its archives contain over 6,000 films depicting life in former colonies, and more than 150 of these can be viewed online. See below for the link.
An international home for film
Since its foundation in 1933, the BFI has expanded to become the most important single institution in the life of British film.
With the London Film Festival attracting an increasingly international crowd of filmmakers and spectators, and the BFI’s commitment to be an open educational platform, London continues to build on its reputation as an international centre for film.