Much like the previous 2020 festival, which worked wonderfully around all our restrictions, the BFI London Film Festival 2021 have announced that they’re keeping the film game open and expansive to as many viewers as they can!
While the majority will stay in London, the BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, has restructured, so as well as utilising the flagship venue BFI Southbank, a new partnership with the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall will make London’s Southbank the heart of the film festival experience, with this iconic cultural neighbour hosting red carpet gala premieres. The 65th BFI London Film Festival runs from 6th – 17th October 2021.
Other London venue partners will return with the West End remaining a key hub for the Festival’s film programme. This year’s LFF will bring back some of the most popular elements of 2020’s hugely successful hybrid edition that made it the most accessible Festival ever, with a selected programme available at UK-wide cinema partners and a broad range of films from the programme screening on BFI Player alongside the in-cinema premieres. Again in 2021, special events and Screen Talks will be available digitally to audiences internationally – which I think is perfect.
Also, in 2020, LFF expanded public programming by including artists working across different forms – from Series television to VR – with a successful first edition of our LFF Expanded strand of XR and Immersive Art delivered digitally for the hybrid LFF 2020. LFF Expanded will once again be available across the UK and internationally via our virtual exhibition space, The Expanse, with the details of a major physical exhibition in London to be announced soon.
Following the high profile inclusion in 2020 of two works from Steve McQueen’s historic and excellent ‘Small Axe’ series for BBC, the full LFF Series programme will be launched this year with 8-10 brand new international series receiving premieres at the Festival, and including a high profile red carpet event for a major new show. Programming will spotlight the diversity of episodic filmmaking, from high end television to indie web series.
BFI London Film Festival Director, Tricia Tuttle, had this to say:
“Despite many challenges and restrictions, last year allowed us to work in new ways with important cultural cinemas around the UK, and also take Festival films to audiences outside of London via BFI Player, so I am delighted to bring these elements into our model for this year. We’re also raring to get back to the large scale live Festival in London, and what better way to do this than launch a new partnership with our legendary neighbours at the Southbank Centre, with the iconic and beautiful Royal Festival Hall becoming home to our Galas. And with our dual hubs on Southbank and in the West End, we look forward to BFI London Film Festival playing a big part in London’s cultural recovery as the capital’s arts venues, festivals and night life bloom again.”