New direction for 56th BFI London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival has announced two significant changes to its programme sections in advance of the 56th edition in October 2012.

BFI Press

Clare Stewart

Clare Stewart

We are re-positioning our awards event by introducing competitive sections that will be given much more prominence in the Festival programme. The Best Film Award in partnership with American Express, first feature film prize, the Sutherland Award, and the Grierson Award for documentary filmmaking will now be presented to winning films from three programme sections: Official Competition, First Feature Competition and Documentary Competition. Each selection will be open to British and international films, and 10-12 titles will be chosen for each section.

Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, BFI Head of Exhibition and Festival Director, 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.”


Additionally, we will introduce seven new programme categories focused 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.

We have also announced a new partnership with Nintendo, which includes a gala premiere screening and a short filmmaking competition using the 3D video recorder built into the Nintendo 3DS system.

The 56th BFI London Film Festival runs from 10-25 October and is now open for entries: Short film deadline is 22 June, feature film deadline is 6 July.

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