This year’s LFF for Free line-up at the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express will include events with filmmakers Michael Winterbottom, Asif Kapadia, Mike Leigh Jeremy Thomas and Mark Cousins, as well as Fiona Lamptey, founder of Fruit Tree Media and director of UK features for Netflix. 

The festival’s programme of free events at the will include talks and debates, short film screenings, XR and immersive experiences. BFI Southbank will become a festival hub for the public, with these free events concentrated predominantly over the two weekends of the festival, 9 to 10 October and 16 to 17 October.

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The LFF for Free programme, supported by Col & Karen Needham, offers an eclectic, provocative and creative mix of events for audiences of all tastes. Events will include thought-provoking Q&A and panel discussions with guests that also include The Rope (LFF 2021) series creators Eric Forestier and Dominique Rocher, Artizine UK’s Ioana Simion, Rebecca Barden (BFI Publishing at Bloomsbury), Rebecca Harrison (Open University), Manishita Dass (Royal Holloway University of London), Alex Dudok de Wit (deputy editor, Cartoon Brew) and some of the inspiring women who set up the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in 1981. 

The programme will also include short film showcases from Film4 and Fruit Tree Media, NETWORK@LFF, BFI NETWORK and Film London, immersive album listening sessions in the dark with Pitchblack Playback and a guided walk-through comedy genius Charlie Chaplin’s early life as well as talks organised by BFI Film Academy’s Young Programmers. Audiences can also find out about the history of the BFI London Film Festival through the free festival trail in and around BFI Southbank, with a route peppered with artwork from past editions, festival photography and fun LFF trivia for everyone to enjoy.

LFF Expanded will also offer free events throughout the duration of the festival including Baff Akoto’s augmented reality artwork UP:RISE, interactive VR dance performance Future Rites, Museum of Austerity, a mixed reality exhibition that preserves memories of public and private events from the austerity era, Asif Kapadia’s striking VR animation Laika, immersive audio walk Only Expansion as well as access to The Expanse, the festival’s free digital platform where you can explore interactive artworks, 360-degree films and network with other festival visitors. 

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