Preview: BFI London Film Festival 2015

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2015 marks the 59th year of the BFI London Film Festival. As ever, its central location will be the cinemas of Leicester Square, however it will also take in movie houses all across London. Given its growing popularity over recent years, you should definitely be excited about the LFF in 2015.

Firstly, it’s a great chance for people to enjoy new films in an open and active fashion. Sure, there will be journalists flooding the red carpets for the big screenings, but there will also be hundreds of smaller ones getting a good shot at large and receptive audiences, such as British indie hits like last year’s ’71 by Yann Demange. Also gala screenings like for 12 Years A Slave the year before, which was its European première, give the UK Film Press the opportunity to see hotly tipped films which eschew the indie label (or are in fact big studio productions), and often go on to be award season darlings. Then, as with all film festivals, there are the competition screenings too.

The festival also holds endless feature screenings. There are Q&As and short films, talks and workshops, led by filmmakers themselves. These may not get the largest audiences, not in comparison to the première screenings which will take place this year, but they represent the BFI’s commitment to doing more than simply showcasing films. They want to celebrate it, and it’s clearly a commitment that is paying off: in 2014, the festival had its largest ever audience of 163,000 people.

Unfortunately, at the moment we can only guess as to what the BFI have in store for attendees this year. The films on show, not to mention the gala screenings are unlikely to be revealed until August or September. However, it is possible that both Crimson Peak, the new horror by Guillermo del Toro and Spectre, the latest James Bond film, will be making appearances. Both have UK release dates that month after all. We may even get a peak at High-Rise, the latest Ben Wheatley. Although anything bigger will be unlikely. Sorry Star Wars fans.

The 2015 59th BFI London Film Festival will be held from 7th-18th October.

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