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BFI London, London Overview

Conceptualised by James Quinn almost 66 years ago in 1953, the London Film Institute (BFI), UK’s principal arts promotion and preservation organisation, hosts the London Film Festival every year. It is a celebration of the world of cinema, with over 300 screenings of movies and documentaries from talent across 70 countries taking place every year.

What started as a casual conversation about the lack of a film festival in London amongst people like James Quinn and Dilys Powell, a Sunday Times film critic, materialised into a festival which is now regarded as one of the biggest and most diverse in the world. The first ever film screened at the Festival was in 1957 by Akira Kurosawa and was called the Throne of Blood.

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2nd October - 13th October 2019

Festival Director

Tricia Tuttle

The BFI Fellowship

As part of the BFI London Film Festival, the BFI Fellowship is awarded to individuals with an exemplary contribution to the field of motion arts and culture and is accorded as one of the highest honours in this field possible. The ceremony takes place at the National Film Theatre, with the 1st one taking place in 1983.

Till date, 86 BFI fellowships have been given including to Satyajit Ray, Martin Scorsese, Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Boyle, Al Pacino, Cate Blanchett, and Hugh Grant, amongst many. Harvey Weinstein was also conferred with this honour in the year 2002 but was later stripped off of the title following numerous sexual assault and harassment cases against him.

Venue & Fee

The festival takes place at multiple venues across London and the fee for the festival and the movies running depends on the venue.

About the Festival

Attended by the general public, this festival also hosts critics and journalists around the world. For the ease of the visitors, the films/screenings are divided into categories or genres. It is a great place for upcoming talent to show case their art and for the people to get to see different kinds of cinema, which may not get screened in the UK otherwise.

The festival also has an opening and closing ceremony, which is now a huge red-carpet event and is covered internationally.

Fun fact: It wasn’t before 1967 that feature films directed by women were screened at the BFI London Film Festival, which included Agnès Varda’s Les Créatures.

Art is a great mode of expressing oneself and movies or short films are a depiction of a film maker’s world view, ambitions, desires, and vision. If you are a movie buff and would like to explore the best of cinema from across the world, don’t forget to book your tickets to the BFI London Film Festival.

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