The London Film Festival 2012

56th London BFI Film Festival

The 2012 London Film Festival (otherwise known as the BFI London Film Festival) may not be until October, but nominations are already open and movie producers from over 50 countries will be submitting possibly thousands of features and movies for the panel to consider.

Finding a place to stay

If you love films and you can get there, then the London Film Festival is a must. In October there should be no shortage of hotels. London should be reasonably quiet after the Olympics, and you should be able to book into one of the hotels in Leicester Square which will put you right in the heart of cinema land.

The 4 pillars

The 2012 Film Festival will be the 56th to be held and as always it will showcase the very best of cinema worldwide. Its mission is to focus on the four vital aspects of modern cinema which are imagination, creativity, vision and originality. As well as established film makers it also focuses strongly on emergent ones.

Aiming for London

Before 1953 the major international film festivals that were held in Europe were hosted by Cannes, Venice and Edinburgh. Crucial to the pressure for developing a new one for London was the Sunday Times along with a number of established film critics.

The aim was to develop an entirely different type of festival; rather than pitching it for the cinema industry it was to be pitched for Joe Public enabling cinema audiences to see movies that would not usually appear on British cinema. The vision was to create the ultimate festival of festivals and to present the very best of Cannes and Venice and other festivals.

The beginnings

The first festival was held at the National Film Theatre, which became subsequently the BFI Southbank. A much smaller affair than the current festival, only 18 or so films were screened and most of them were directed by important directors of the day.

Over the years the festival developed and grew and now as well as presenting the best of the best in modern cinema, it also concentrates on new discoveries and new talented film makers. Another change is that although it still focuses on the public, it is now a very important event for cinema industry professionals, film critics and journalists from all corners of the world. For many films that are shown it will be their only screening in the UK, but many others will go on to receive general release in the UK.

Red carpet treatment

If you are able to make either the opening or closing days then you will enjoy some of the most important red carpet events that are likely to happen in London this year with world premier screenings which will be watched by the actors, directors, producers and many of the film crew. Many of these will be held in Leicester Square cinemas and other large venues in the city. There is also a separate awards ceremony.


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