BFI social media highlights 2013

With 200,000 followers and counting on Twitter, let’s look back at some fun moments from the BFI’s social media adventures in 2013.

Eleni Stefanou

Our mission here at the BFI can be summed up in two words: film forever. Thus we are on a constant quest for opportunities to celebrate film, with social media giving us the license to draw endless connections. World Smile Day becomes a cause to celebrate Charlie Chaplin, a full moon offers a chance to reminisce about An American Werewolf in London. Here are some of the social media moments we will remember fondly from 2013.


When the godfather of zombie movies pays you a visit, you make sure it’s a night to remember. While George A. Romero gave an on-stage interview at BFI Southbank, those who couldn’t make the event were invited to celebrate on Twitter, sharing memories of the first time they saw Night of the Living Dead (1968) and tips on how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Buster Keaton’s birthday

When our colleagues from the BFI Reuben Library revealed their idea for a Buster Keaton tribute, there was a moment of silence in the office. They handed us a carefully crafted cardboard house and asked us to reenact Buster’s near-fatal incident from silent classic Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928). We embraced this challenge and pulled the sequence off on the second take.

April Fool’s fun: cat takeover

Our contribution to April Fool’s day was initially meant to be one of large-scale ambition: mounting an imaginary season at BFI Southbank, which would explore cats on film. The plan was to commission a programmer to curate the fake season, including special panel events and film summaries on our website. We opted for a simpler joke in the end, with the help of Meowbify, a service on a mission to “make the whole internet cat friendly” by replacing images with feline photos. We like to think that a cat season at BFI Southbank isn’t that farfetched an idea and may one day grace our cinema screens.

Terence Stamp’s Ask an Expert

Our Ask an Expert YouTube series has offered our followers the chance to interview some truly great film masters, including Ken Loach and Richard Lester. No one, however, has quite embraced the theme like Terence Stamp. Addressing each questioner like an old friend, Terence gave us an intimate interview, demonstrating disarming raconteur credentials. His facial expressions are a masterclass in the art of charm. His closing look is priceless.

Gothic Get-up competition

We asked you to don your best film-inspired scarewear for Halloween, and with enviable prizes to be won, you showed up for the occasion. After announcing the shortlisted entries, the polling station opened on our Facebook page and you crowned a bloodstained Chestburster as the winner.

Richard Ramm’s winning entry was inspired by Alien

Richard Ramm’s winning entry was inspired by Alien

Window art

After our spontaneous ‘#FilmForever’ window drawing took Twitter by storm, we decided to follow up with a series of scary sillhouetes to tie in with our Gothic project. We called upon the talented Ronnie Hackston, who took a 15-minute break from his day job at Sight & Sound magazine, to outline the iconic characters on our steamy office windows.

Standing ovation for 12 Years a Slave

If you peer closely at this photo, you can make out an awed London Film Festival audience. They have risen from their seats to salute Steve McQueen with a standing ovation for his latest film 12 Years a Slave. We cover events year-round on Twitter to bring highlights to those who are unable to come down, and while nothing compares to being part of the collective moment, we were glad we could extend this moving experience beyond Leicester Square.

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