In 2012, the London Film Festival moved out of its West End and South Bank heartland to spread out across the city, and this year, celebrating its 57th annual event, the LFF has one of its most dynamic, strongest and engaging line-ups yet of movies you
absolutely must see.
There are more than 200 films at this year’s 12-day-long cinematic party, meaning there is something for everyone, no matter what your taste. So whether you’re hankering after a restored movie about the first ascent of the highest mountain in the world, The Epic Of Everest, the latest Hollywood star-laden mega-flicks that will be coming your way over the next few months, such as the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, or the up-andcoming indie talent that will be making waves over the next few years, such as actor-turned filmmaker Joseph Gordon Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon, the LFF programme will have just what you are after.
“This year it was important to consolidate that [the city-wide spread from last year], and let those changes really prove themselves,” festival director and Aussie Clare Stewart told the BBC after introducing a raft of updates to the festival’s focus last year, her first in charge, which saw a 13% increase in attendance as well as 33% of all moviegoers coming to the festival
that year doing so for the first time. Keeping this renewed city-wide focus and vibrancy has been key for Stewart, with screenings this year taking place everywhere from Brixton to Hackney and Bethnal Green as wellas in the traditional West End.
The festival programme itself is broken up into a number of categories including cult, laugh, thrill, dare, debate and more, along with a series of shorts. There is also the big name Gala screenings that see Hollywood A-lister Tom Hanks bookend the festival with opening night gala screening Captain Phillips about the 2009 hijacking of a US container ship, and closing night gala Saving Mr Banks, about bringing Mary Poppins to the big screen. A number of films, will be up against one another to claim the big award in the official competition, with Parkland, a star-studded ensemble featuring Zac Ephron about the assassination of John F Kennedy and Richard Ayoade’s (The IT Crowd) sophomore outing The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg, strong contenders to pick up this year’s crown.
Fittingly, for a British film festival led by an Australian, there are a load of Aussie, Kiwi and Saffa movies taking place across the programme, too, details of which you can find overleaf. In preparation for the festival, Stewart watches around 500 movies a year, which sounds a staggering amount of films to find time for. Even more staggering, though, is the revelation that this is actually down on her previous annual average. “I surprised someone the other day when I said it used to be about800,” she told the BBC of her moviewatching habits.
So it’s time to grab some popcorn and check out the hottest movies out there right now, and find out if you agree with Stewart’s choices.
£5 , October 9th-20th, times vary
Various venues across London