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BFI London Film Festival announces expanded programming for public and industry

The BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express today announced the introduction of major new Festival programmes for both public and industry audiences.  A new public showcase will include immersive and interactive works using AR, MR, VR and feature ambitious experiential projects and creative collaborations between artists from different creative sectors. Additionally, the Festival will premiere new episodic and series work created for digital platforms and/or broadcasters from around the world.  A Gala event will headline this new showcase of approximately 30 new projects.

Building on the pilot programme ‘LFF for Free’ which brought in new audiences in 2019, the Festival will also substantially expand its free-to-access talks, events and screenings programme at BFI Southbank. These will give public audiences opportunities to engage with the Festival, be part of the collective cultural experience and join in debate and dialogue around important themes and issues emerging from the films.

Alongside this new public programming, the LFF will deliver a number of Industry programmes for international industry delegates, designed to create opportunities for business and creative collaboration.  Concentrated over the first half of the Festival, this newly enhanced Industry programme will include showcases of emerging UK creative talent and in-progress projects, and build on the success of the 2019 BFI London Film Festival talks programme with a line-up of events on urgent creative, business and cultural themes of relevance to international professionals, particularly those seeking collaboration with UK talent and partners.

With an emphasis on innovation, and expanding understanding of the cinematic form, on access for audiences, and on developing skills and talent within a global industry, these new programmes also continue to deliver on the BFI’s strategic priorities as the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image.

BFI London Film Festival Director, Tricia Tuttle said “We’ve focussed a great deal in recent years on the seismic changes in how films are reaching audiences, but there are other more creative ways the ground is shifting, with ‘filmmakers’ and producers increasingly working across different platforms, and greater connections and dialogue across different creative forms.  Film Festivals are well placed to explore the evolution of the moving image and these sites of connection. While this will be an international programme, the UK is bursting with innovators, we look forward to showing their work here, and offering a new platform where audiences can engage with different kinds of moving image-based storytelling, fiction and non-fiction”.

“Equally exciting is working to bring new audiences to the Festival, and we want to ensure price is not a barrier while giving people more meaningful ways engage with the work, and each other. Our free programme will offer greater opportunity for debate and discussion on pressing topical issues, themes and ideas that are emerging. Film helps us understand ourselves and each other and it’s this collective experience that really defines a Festival. We want to make this a richer experience for everyone”. 

The 63rd edition of the festival, which took place in October last year, welcomed over 868 International and British filmmakers to present their work at venues across London. The festival featured a diverse selection of 233 feature films from both established and emerging talent and hosted 28 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres and 32 European Premieres, with a stellar line up of cast and crew in attendance for many of the films. The Festival was widely applauded for its diversity and inclusion with 78 countries represented across short films and features and 40% of films directed or co-directed by women. Across all competitive categories, 60% were directed or co-directed by women.

Submissions for film and expanded platform works for considerations are open until Wednesday 17 June 2020, 17.00 BST via

Industry delegates can register interest in new programme by emailing:

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