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21/05/2012

New Direction For 56th Bfi London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express today announced two significant changes to its programme sections in advance of the 56th edition in the world’s most creative city in October 2012. Under the new creative leadership of BFI’s Head of Exhibition and Festival Director, Clare Stewart, the Festival is boosting its competition and awards elements and introducing 7 new focused categories to its programme to reach new audiences. The Festival, which attracted audiences of 133,000 in 2011, also today announces a new partnership with Nintendo, which includes a Gala premiere screening and a short filmmaking competition using the 3D video recorder built in to the Nintendo 3DS.
Awards and Competitive Sections
BFI London Film Festival is re-positioning an existing element of the Festival – its high profile awards event – and enhancing the relevance for audiences, filmmakers, industry and festival partners by introducing competitive sections that are given much more prominence in the Festival campaign and programme.
The Best Film Award (since 2009) in partnership with American Express; first feature film prize the Sutherland Award (since 1958); and the documentary prize, the Grierson Award (since 2005) will now be presented to the winning films from three programme sections: Official Competition, First Feature Competition and Documentary Competition. Each selection will be open to international film, including British films, and 10-12 films will be chosen for each programme section.
Since they were introduced 3 years ago the BFI London Film Festival’s Awards have grown considerably in profile. Leading figures in the film world that have supported the event include previous award presenters Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott. The awards will continue to be presented at a stand-alone event at the end of the Festival along with the prize for Best British Newcomer and the BFI Fellowship. In 2011 Ralph Fiennes and David Cronenberg were both awarded this most prestigious of BFI accolades at the award ceremony.
Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival today, BFI Head of Exhibition and Festival Director of BFI London Film Festival Clare Stewart said: “This significant change to the way we present the films competing for the Festival’s awards will be a boost for both the film industry and UK cinema goers. London’s profile as both a dynamic global capital and a gateway to Europe combined with the Festival’s strategic, awards-season position in the international calendar together provide a great foundation for launching and cementing a film’s campaign.
Introducing the awards as audience-facing programmes also gives our Festival punters more to tweet, chat and shout about. This is essential to the festival experience and indeed to expanding our already thriving audience base.”
New Programme Categories
BFI London Film Festival will also change its broad festival sections and introduce seven new focused categories that are clustered around the themes of love, adrenalin, challenge, debate, cult, journeys and laughter, the titles of these sections will be announced in the lead-up to the festival in October. With over 200 features during the Festival this new approach will help film fans find the films that mean the most to them and open up possibilities to new audiences. The new categories are based on research (see Notes to Editors) that show people choose which films to watch based primarily on story and genre. As well as guiding audiences smoothly through the programme, the new festival selection is also designed to support the films the festival champions for their transition into the marketplace.
Lisa Gregg, Vice President, Luxury Marketing, American Express said
“American Express is thrilled to continue its support for the third year of the BFI London Film Festival and are excited to embrace the new energy Clare Stewart brings to the festival. We look forward to a festival of extraordinary film experiences.”
BFI Website
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