Staff Recommends: The BFI Film Festival 2013 by Cass Delano

One thing I’ve noticed, when telling people about the BFI Film Festival, is that their first question always seems to be “is it free?”

Perhaps that’s my fault – the majority of people I’ve spoken to about it do live at a hostel and are, on the whole, do tend to be broke students who enjoy free events. But part of it is, I think, that when people think “film festival” they imagine some sort of massive outdoor theatre, or maybe a drive-in, probably watching classic films. And perhaps there are festivals such as that, but the BFI is certainly not one of them.

For starters, it isn’t free. Tickets range from £9 for a matinee to £36 for a Gala Première screening, and they are located at cinemas all over the city (though the majority are within walking distance of Leicester Square, there are a few further out, notably BFI’s Southbank Cinema). And while some are more low-key (one film on my to-see list, Antboy, only has one screening in the middle of the day), there are plenty of films that contain all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood Première – and in some cases are the world-wide première, of fairly large-scale films (12 Years a Slave, or Saving Mr. Banks to name a few of this year’s major films) and so will be attended by the stars and directors, as well as a mess of press. One plus of this – besides, perhaps, the chance to meet your favourite film star – is that many of the screenings will also have Q&A hosted by said stars and directors, which can be very enlightening for those interested in film making.

The other major plus to attending film festivals is the chance to see films that you otherwise would never be able to. While films such as 12 Years a Slave and Saving Mr. Banks will get a general release later in the year, there are plenty of films which are foreign, and so will never show in an English cinema, or simply too avant-garde to do well with a general release. These films, even more than the major films, I think, are the reason to go to a film festival – because outside of festivals, you might not ever get the chance to see them again. Get outside your genre comfort zone! See something a little bit weird, but a lot of fun, or maybe get a chance to rub shoulders with major film stars, months before the general population gets a chance to see the film. Worst case scenario, maybe the film isn’t as good as you’d hoped, and you waste a few hours. And if that’s the worst that can happen, well, that’s not so bad.

Convinced? Then hurry up and book your BFI Film Festival tickets now -even though the festival doesn’t start until next month they go really fast.

And for those film fans who won’t be coming to London in October, here’s Palmers Lodge pick of the best film festivals in London for the coming months, including dates and where to click to book tickets.

Raindance Film Festival  – Indie Films: 25th September – 6th October
For more info click here

London Brazilian Film Festival: 27th September – 1st October
Tickets between £8 and £12.
ODEON Covent Garden, 135 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AH
For more info click here

London Spanish Film Festival: 27th September – 9th October
At cine lumiere at the institute francais, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT
For more info click here

October 2013

London Greek Film Festival: 7th – 17th October
Westbourne Studios242, Acklam Road, Notting Hill, London W10 5JJ.
For more info click here

BFI London Film Festival: 9th – 20th October
Tickets can be booked online (except for free events) or by telephoning the BFI Southbank Box Office on 020 7928 3232.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
For more info click here 

London Children’s Film Festival: 19th October
Main venue barbican centre.
For more info click here 

London International Animation Festival: 25th October – 3rd November
Main venue barbican centre.
For more info click here 

FrightFest Halloween Night – horror movie all-nighter: 26th October
Empire cinema Leicester square London.
For more info click here

China Image Film Festival: 28th October – 4th November
10 films pass £30 Single film screening £6 Film exhibition at Odeon Panton Street, London.
For more info click here 

UK Jewish Film Festival: 31th October – 17th November
For more info click here 

November 2013

French Film Festival UK: 7th – 30th November
Price between £6 and £12.
Institut francais – 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT
For more info click here

UK Film Festival: 13th – 16th November
For more info click here 

London Underground Film Festival: 14th – 17th November
At The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD
For more info click here 

London Latin American Film Festival: 15th -24th November
For more info click here

UK Portuguese Film Festival: 25th November – 8th December
Multiple venues:
– Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX, click here
– Barbican Centre, Silk Street London EC2Y 8DS, click here
– Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensberry Place London SW7 2DT, click here
– Trycicle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road London NW6 7JR, click here

London Feminist Film Festival
Multiple venues dates will be confirmed.
For more info click here

London International Documentary Festival
Multiple venues dates will be confirmed.
For more info click here

London Korean Film Festival
Multiple venues dates will be confirmed.
For more info click here

London Kurdish Film Festival 
Multiple venues dates will be confirmed.
For more info click here 

London Romanian Film Festival
Multiple venues Dates will be confirmed.
For more info click here 

December 2013

Year 2014

January 2014

London Short Film Festival: 10th -19th January
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

Loco London Comedy Film Festival: 23rd – 26th January
At BFI Southbank and selected cinemas.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT For more info click here

February 2014

BFI Future Film
At BFI Southbank and selected cinemas.
Dates will be confirmed.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
For more info click here

Imagine Festival 
Dates will be confirmed.
At BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
For more info click here

March 2014

Birds Eye View Film Festival – Women film festival: March/April Dates will be confirmed.
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

London Asian Film Festival 
Dates will be confirmed.
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

April 2014

London Independent Film Festival: 10th -21st April
Venues will be confirmed
For more info click here

Sundance London: 24th -27th April
At O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, Greater London SE10 0DX
For more info click here

Let’s All Be Free Film Festival
Dates will be confirmed.
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

May 2014

The London International Documentary Festival: 28th May – 8th June
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

June 2014

East End Film Festival: 13th – 25th June
At East End Film Festival, Kobi Nazrul Centre, 30 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR
For more info click here

Hot Tube Cinema – The Summer of Tub at Rockwell House: June – September
Dates will be confirmed.
Rockwell House, 10-14 Hewett Street, London EC2A 3NN
For more info click here

July 2014 

The Hidden Film Festival – Worldwide: 1st -31st July
At 82 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 0AS
For more info click here

Zero Film Festival
Dates will be confirmed.
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

August 2014
(Double-check the Dates)

London International Animation Festival:
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

Floating Cinema – “extra-ordinary” theme:  Until the 30th September
For more info click here 

Rooftop Film Club:
Classic films
• Queen of Hoxton
1 Curtain Road, The City, London EC2A 3LT
• The Roof Gardens
99 Kensington High Street, RB Kensington & Chelsea, London W8 5SA
• The Bussey Building
133 Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST
For more info click here

FrightFest – horror film festival
At empire cinema Leicester square London Festival passes £170.
Day passes variable prices between £20 and £60.
Individual tickets for single films and events £12.
For more info click here 

Reel Gate International Film Festival (Filipino):
Riverside studio at crisp road Hammersmith, London W6 9RL Cinema and studio 2 and 3
£10 ticket
For more info click here 

Portobello Film Festival: 28th August – 15th September
Free entry.
Key Venues:
– 28 Aug – 1 Sept: Louise T Blouin Institute, 3 Olaf Street, London W11 4BE
– 29 Aug – 15 Sept: Portobello Pop Up Cinema, 3 Acklam Road, W10 5TY
– 30 Aug – 15 Sep: Westbourne Studios, 242 Acklam Road, W10 5JJ
– 3 Sept – 15 Sept: The Muse, 269 Portobello Road, W11 1LR
For more info click here 

I Will Tell International Film Festival
Free entry.
Key venues:
– For the screening: Friends’ House 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
– Film pitch and seminar and workshops: Micentre 81-103 Euston Street, London NW1 2EZ
– Fun festival activities at: Euston Station Piazza, London NW1 2RT
For more info click here 

Scalarama:
At venues across London Times and ticket prices vary.
For more info click here

September 2014 

British Urban Film Festival:
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here 

Raindance Film Festival:
Independent film festival.
Venues will be confirmed.
For more info click here

London Analogue Festival:
Free entry.
The Old Police Station, Deptford Town Hall, Amersham Arms, 114 Amersham Vale, London SE14 6LG
For more info click here 

Fashion Film Festival:
At St Martin’s courtyard Upper St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9AB
For more info click here

Raindance Film Festival:
For more info click here

London Brazilian Film Festival:
Tickets between £8 and £12.
ODEON Covent Garden, 135 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AH
For more info click here

London Spanish Film Festival:
At cine lumiere at the institute francais, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT
For more info click here

October 2014 

BFI London Film Festival:
At BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
For more info click here