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British Council at the BFI London Film Festival 2013

  • Rob Brown's Sixteen competing for the LFF First Feature Competition

Rob Brown's Sixteen competing for the LFF First Feature Competition

October 2013

All eyes are on London's cinemas this week as the BFI London Film Festival gets underway - and British Council’s Film Team is delighted to be in the thick of it.

This year’s LFF programme includes a giant selection of British films – over 60 shorts and features – continuing the bumper year we've been enjoying on the international stage with UK films filling the premier festival slots from Venice to Toronto.

Sandwiched between screenings, we’ll be welcoming many of those UK filmmakers to a special festival tea with a very celebratory tone, in which they'll be introduced to a group of international curators and programmers who are visiting London for the Festival to scout for new films.

We’re also adding our support to the Festival in a new way this year by helping selected visiting international filmmakers to attend. We’ve prioritised filmmakers from those countries where British Council is focussing arts programmes in the coming few years, and particularly where we're working to make links between the UK film communities and those in each country, including South Africa, Russia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Brazil. The result is our support for nominated international filmmakers attending the BFI London Film Festival Awards:  Of Good Report, with director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka and cast in attendance, nominated in Official Competition; B For Boy nominated in the Sutherland category with director Chika Anadu in attendance; and Pipeline,  nominated in the Grierson category with Vitaly Mansky in attendance. Also with their films screening in the Festival Out of Competition, director Yusup Razykov will join us from Russia to present Shame; Marcelo Lordello will travel from Brazil to present They'll Come Back; and  Riri Riza, director of Atambua 39°Celsius will join us from Indonesia.

Colleagues in British Council international offices have also contributed funds to bring a small number of additional guest delegates from the international festival circuit. We’ll be joined by programme teams from two festivals in South Africa, Encounters Documentary Festival and Durban International Film Festival, from Rotterdam’s International Film Festival, from SANFIC in Chile, BAFICI in Argentina, and by a nominated reviewer from Odessa Film Festival, Ukraine.

Alongside our guests in London this week will be a delegation drawn from across the Russian film industry - a return visit following our own UK film industry delegation to Moscow earlier this year. The 9-strong group joining us this week includes film exhibitors, film and TV producers, as well as specialists in animation, script development and documentary, who will take part in a packed programme alongside the Festival itself which will see them meeting teams from BBC Films, NFTS, Working Title, BFI and Sheffield Doc/Festival among others.

We’re staging our own event too – ‘Understanding Kickstarter’ - in partnership with the LFF and BAFTA where we’ll be joined by Elisabeth Holm, Kickstarter’s Film Program Director, alongside members of the production teams behind LFF features Sixteen, Leave to Remain, and The Punk Singer, to explore the possibilities, pros and cons of Kickstarter, explain how to get the best from your campaign, and to discuss how some of the films on-screen in London this week are here as a direct result of the crowd. (Read our latest BLOG post Call on the Crowd for more on Kickstarter).

Members of the British Council Film team will also be put to work throughout both the Festival’s Industry and Education programmes – Will Massa leads ‘Building a Strategy for the International Film Festival Circuit’, one-to-one surgeries for Festival industry delegates, while Rachel Robey offers an Education event exploring Festival Strategies.

With all that lined up we’re looking forward to a packed 10 days! Have a look at the complete BFI London Film Festival 2013 line-up here - and look forward to seeing you in the dark...