BFI London Film Festival 2013

This year sees the 57th annual BFI London Film Festival taking place in the city. For two whole weeks the very best new films will be aired as part of London’s calendar of cultural events. If you are thinking of the event only in terms of feature presentations then you would be mistaken. Productions screened over the course of the festival will range from feature films to documentaries and shorts to animation, and will include a number of experimental films from right across the globe.

Photo by Bex Walton
Photo by Bex Walton

It all starts on October 9th with the first European showing of the Paul Greengrass film ‘Captain Philips’. Tom Hanks takes top billing in this film that is centred around the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama container ship in 2009 by a group of Somali pirates. Another screening to look forward to is the film that will bring the event to a close. ‘Saving Mr Banks’ tells the viewer the story of how the classic tale of Mary Poppins was brought to the big screen, and will be screened on Sunday October 20th at the Odeon in Leicester Square. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson star in the movie as Walt Disney and P.L. Travers the author of Mary Poppins.

About the London Film Festival

The festival is an event which is organised every year by the BFI (British Film Industry), and has been growing year upon year since it started in 1953. It attracts thousands of film lovers every year who have the option of viewing up to three hundred screenings from all corners of the world. Not only does the festival showcase the work of established names in the film industry, it is also a place where new, upcoming film makers can make a name for themselves. There is also the opportunity to view a number of restored films from the archives which are not regularly screened elsewhere. Year upon year the festival is attracting more stars from the silver screen  who agree to take part in question and answer sessions, which is something that the film going audiences enjoy immensely.

Awards and Recognition

Each year there are a number of awards presented which celebrate creativity and originality. Awards are presented to the makers of the Best Film at the festival as well the award for the Best British Newcomer which celebrates the very best of the industry’s emerging talent. The most original film screened at the festival is awarded the prestigious Sutherland Trophy, whilst the best documentary is awarded the Grierson Award. BFI Fellowships are awarded to certain individuals who have achieved something outstanding in their respective fields.

While the London Film Festival might not be on the same scale as Cannes it is definitely growing in stature every year. This growth is not only illustrated by the number of people that are attending the festival each year, but also in the number of celebrities that take to the red carpet at the event. Who knows, it may one day be set to rival Cannes and stand as a main event in its own right.

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