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56th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch

Following an introduction from BFI CEO Amanda Nevill, incoming Festival Director Clare Stewart took to the stage to unveil an extensive programme to run from 10-21 October 2012 as a 12-day celebration of international cinema. For video coverage of this year’s Festival, please visit:


Amanda Nevill

It’s fabulous to welcome you all here for the press launch of the 56th BFI London Film Festival, which, for the third year, is being brought to you in partnership with American Express.

The festival is, this year, really flying the flag for Film GB. We’ve got 34 UK features in the festival, which are stood up against the best that you find around the world. So I think that’s very, very exciting.

Clare Stewart

This year we kick start the festival with the European premiere of Tim Burton’s funny, dark, gloriously crafted, stop-motion 3D animation Frankenweenie.

[Clip of Frankenweenie]


Rise, Colossus, from your tomb!





[End of clip]

Clare Stewart

The beauty of the hand-crafted puppets, the 3D and where that takes you, it’s all a very cinematic journey, and of course, Tim, having chosen London as his home, and the film also having been made here at 3 Mills Studios, it felt like a very good fit as an opener for the festival.

Amanda Nevill

This year is, I think, sort of doubly exciting in a way because, obviously, we’ve got a new Artistic Director, Clare Stewart. Clare has structured the festival programme, as you know, so instead of structuring it geographically, she’s really, with her teams, done a lot of research on if audiences would respond to films being themed.

Clare Stewart

So the idea that we might come up with a structure and giving more entry points for both existing festival goers and new audiences through that sort of more, if you like, thematic approach to the programme. So that’s how we’ve sort of come up with the introduction of both the competition sections and the Thrill, Love, Dare, Laugh kind of sections.

[Clip of Spike Island]

Mat Whitecross

I’m thrilled to be here at the London Film Festival because the whole time I spent in London, the first time I arrived here, my first year I snuck into the Film Festival, started going to screenings, and actually having a film here means a hell of a lot to me.

[Clip of My Brother The Devil]

Sally El Hosaini

What I’m excited about this year is that London Film Festival has gone out to kind of Hackney, Islington, Shoreditch, because our movie, My Brother The Devil, is set in Hackney, and a lot of the cast and crew come from that surrounding area. So having those new venues means that, within the London Film Festival, we not only have our UK premiere, but we also have our Hackney premiere as part of it, which is really bringing the film home.

[Clip of Village at the End of the World]

Sarah Gavron

It began as really such a small little venture, and it evolved into a film. I mean, first we were just sort of researching and seeing if there was anything in it, a little germ of an idea, and unlike a fiction film, where you set out to make something that will screen on the big screen. So it’s particularly exciting to be here.

[Clip of A Liar’s Autobiography]

John Cleese

For the rest of life he rests in peace. I feel that I should say, “Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard.”


What’s that supposed to mean?


It means phbbbt.

[End of clip]

Jeff Simpson

We’re really thrilled that the UK premiere, in fact the European premiere of A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman will be at the London Film Festival because it’s a great place to be.

[Clip of Sightseers]


Dear mum, Yorkshire is lovely. Not like you said at all. They can smile, and they do sell my pasta sauce. The caravan bed is quite short, but Chris is a sensitive lover.

Alice Lowe

This is the first time we will have shown it in the UK, and it’s a very British comedy. So I think that’s going to really be sort of emotional for us actually, because we’ve developed the film for five years, and it’s very much important to us and of sentimental attachment. So I think once we show it to a UK audience, it will be really special.

[End of clip]

Clare Stewart

Visually ravishing and rippling with immediacy, Mike Newell’s Great Expectations will provide a fitting conclusion to both the festival and London’s bicentenary celebrations of the life and work of Charles Dickens.

[Clip of Great Expectations]


Be happy, Pip. This will pass in time. I’ll be out of your thoughts in a week.


Out of my thoughts. You’re in every thought. You’re part of my existence. You’re part of me.

[End of clip]

Clare Stewart

Tickets are on public sale from the 24th of September. And I will see you in the dark. Thank you very much.

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