58th BFI London Film Festival announces events programme for filmmakers, industry leaders and business executives

Industry events programme pushes forward priorities for developing UK film creatively and commercially.


Testament of Youth (2014)

Testament of Youth (2014)

The 58th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express announces today a refreshed industry events programme creating new opportunities for UK and international filmmakers and film professionals to share their knowledge and experiences, and push forward priorities for developing UK film creatively and commercially as set out in the BFI’s five-year plan Film Forever.  

The new programme creates enhanced pathways for emerging UK filmmaking talent to meet and benefit from exposure to international filmmakers and film professionals.

Clare Stewart, Festival Director, BFI London Film Festival, says:

The industry programme is a vital part of the LFF, offering film professionals a range of valuable opportunities to acquire knowledge, make new connections and develop partnerships, supporting them in growing their business and expertise.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, whose office supports the Festival industry programme and the Centrepiece Gala in recognition of the Festival’s role in facilitating business as well as audience opportunities says:

The BFI London Film Festival brings together the powerhouse of talent that drives the British film industry with key overseas players in order to forge creative collaborations in a way that can only enhance the capital’s world-leading reputation for cinema.

The new industry events programme is structured into four strands: In Conversation, Talking Points, Meet the Commissioners and New Talent.

Industry programme highlights include

  • LFF Industry Keynote Conversation with Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation CEO and Co-founder, to celebrate 20th anniversary of the animation powerhouse
  • Industry events include Meet the Commissioners, Talking Points and In Conversation sessions with filmmakers, financiers and industry professionals including Clio Barnard, Nick Fenton, Stephen Frears, Sisse  Graum Jørgenson, Sam Haillay, Debbie Isitt, James Kent, Kristian Levring, Bruna Papandrea, Ira Sachs, Celine Sciamma, Peter Strickland, Susanna White, Jon Wright and many more
  • Major new talent events with Creative England, the British Council, the Casting Society and Screen International
  • Returning partnerships with  Power to the Pixel’s Cross Media Forum and the Film London Production Finance Market (PFM)
  • LFF press and industry screening programme with special Buyers and Sellers selection, new delegate centre and online viewing library

In conversation

The Duke of Burgundy (2014)

The Duke of Burgundy (2014)

The 58th BFI London Film Festival in association with Creative Skillset is delighted to announce that Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO and Co-Founder of DreamWorks Animation, will headline the 2014 Industry events programme in a keynote conversation with Clare Stewart.  Prior to DreamWorks Animation, Katzenberg’s career highlights include roles as President of Paramount Pictures and Chairman of the Walt Disney Company, where he has overseen the production of some of the most influential films of our time including Oscar winners Ordinary People and Terms of Endearment as well as some of the beloved animated movies in history including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. The keynote conversation is particularly potent in the month DreamWorks Animation celebrates 20 years, during which time the studio has produced some of the most successful animated franchises including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon under Katzenberg’s leadership. Previous keynote speakers have included James Schamus, Ken Loach, Alison Owen and Harvey Weinstein CBE.  

Director Stephen Frears, whose career has brought audiences exhilarating British and international films over decades including My Beautiful Launderette, Prick Up Your Ears, The Queen, PhilomenaDangerous Liaisons and The Grifters, will join Scott Foundas, chief film critic of Variety and one of the Festival’s Official Competition jurors, to discuss his career and his approach to directing. Presented in association with Variety.

Bruna Papandrea, producer of Jean-Marc Vallée’s Gala title Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, and executive producer of David Fincher’s thrilling Gone Girl, will reveal what it takes to thrive as a leading producer working out of Australia, London, New York and Los Angeles.

British filmmaker Peter Strickland who has two very different new films in the Festival, Björk Live: Biophilia and The Duke Of Burgundy, will be joined by his Biophilia co-director Nick Fenton to talk about how to depict notions of technology, creativity and nature on screen under the banner of From Butterflies to Björk, in association with the Wellcome Trust.   

Talking points

Listen Up Phillip (2014)

Listen Up Phillip (2014)

The Festival will bring filmmakers and industry delegates together for debates and meetings about compelling cultural, creative and commercial priorities for filmmakers today.

A roundtable session hosted by Ed Vaizey, Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, with producers, distributors, sales agents and exhibitors will discuss the challenges and opportunities of broadening diversity in the UK  film industry.

As family films flourish at the local box office The art of making a family film will be discussed by directors working successfully in the genre. Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant), Debbie Isitt (the Nativity trilogy), Jon Wright (Robot Overlords) and Peter Lord (co-founder, Aardman Animations) will be joined by the BFI Film Fund’s Ben Roberts and the BFI’s young audiences specialist Justin Johnson.

Susanna White, director of films such as Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang and the upcoming Our Kind Of Traitor, as well as the TV series Parade’s End, Generation Kill and Boardwalk Empire will talk with James Kent (Testament Of Youth), US director Jen McGowan (Kelly & Cal), and Bryn Higgins (Electricity) to consider what a director needs to know to maintain a successful career in working across features, high-end TV, music promos and commercials in The big picture on small screens, presented with Directors UK.

Foxcatcher (2014)

Foxcatcher (2014)

Leading US casting directors Deborah Aquila (The Shawshank Redemption), Jeanne McCarthy (Foxcatcher) and Susan Shopmaker (Listen Up Philip) will join with their UK counterparts, including Gary Davey (Hunger) to talk about the vital role they play in discovering new international talent and the subtle art of matching them with the world’s leading producers and directors in Working with a casting director, presented with the Casting Society of America (CSA).

Festival Director Clare Stewart, Carola Ash, the director of Europe at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, leading awards consultant Liz Miller from Premier and further expert guests will discuss how to craft a pitch-perfect awards season run, including the role festivals play in creating critical buzz, in Building a successful awards campaign, presented with The Hollywood Reporter.

The different ways to put together a UK-European co-production will be showcased in case studies of two fascinating collaborations. Producer Sam Haillay will talk to international finance consultant Angus Finney, at the Film London Production Finance Market about working with Sweden’s Film I Vast, the Torino Film Lab, Film Agency Wales and Germany’s The Match Factory to make Bypass, while Danish producer and director team Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Kristian Levring will reveal the journey from page to screen of The Salvation, the English-language Western, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green. Presented with weareukfilm.

This year, the Festival is launching two rising talent initiatives, NET.WORK @LFF and Screen International and the British Council’s UK Stars of Tomorrow at the LFF presented with the British Council and the CSA, underlining its commitment to discovering, developing and nurturing the best of the UK’s rising creative writing, producing, directing and acting talent.

NET.WORK @LFF is an internationally-focused development programme managed and delivered by Creative England on behalf of the BFI, the BFI London Film Festival and other NET.WORK partners.  Emerging British talent will participate in masterclasses, private screenings, facilitated networking and one-to-ones over three days with Festival visitors Teddy Schwartzman (The Imitation Game), writer/director David Robert Mitchell (It Follows), UTA talent agent Bec Smith (Son of A Gun), director Susanne Bier (A Second Chance, Serena), financier Claudia Bluemhuber (Silver Reel Partners) and producer Sisse Graum Jørgensen (A Second Chance, The Salvation).   

The Salvation (2014)

The Salvation (2014)

Screen International’s and the British Council’s UK Stars of Tomorrow at the LFF including actors Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Queen and Country) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (The Iron Lady) will meet international players including casting directors, packaging agents, Festival curators, producers and financiers.

The Festival is welcoming back flagship industry events Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum and the Production Finance Market (PFM) with Film London. The Power to the Pixel Cross-Media Forum will open this year with a keynote address from John S Johnson, the co-founder of Buzzfeed, which has announced a dedicated feature film division, and Executive Director of the Harmony Institute, a world-leading research organisation analysing the impact of entertainment media on society.  The event comprises a conference, The Pixel Market and the annual Think Tank. The Forum will play host to over 500 international delegates including key decision-makers from some of the world’s leading finance and production organisations, who will present, discover and discuss new projects.

The Production Finance Market (PFM) returns for an eighth year. Over two days international producers and financiers meet to build relationships and source financing for specific projects. The hugely popular and dynamic Film London Market Place Live confronts an experienced industry panel with the challenge of getting a fictional feature project to market and the innovative Micro Market will provide 25 filmmaking teams with a day of dedicated meetings with financiers.  

Meet the commissioners

Girlhood (Bandes de filles, 2014)

Girlhood (Bandes de filles, 2014)

The UK’s leading creative film executives have chosen a film from this year’s Festival — one with which they may not have had any involvement — to talk about what they like and admire about the film with the writer or director. Ben Roberts and Lizzie Francke from the BFI, Joe Oppenheimer from BBC Films and Anna Higgs from Film4 will be talking to filmmakers including Celine Sciamma (Girlhood) and Ira Sachs (Love is Strange).

With more screenings for industry delegates than ever before, and a new Delegate Centre located at the BFI’s Stephen Street office, the LFF industry programme offers essential film industry events for talent and professionals at every stage of their career.

Press and industry screenings

The Odeon Covent Garden will become a hub of activity for press and industry delegates this year, with the cinema hosting dedicated and centralised press and industry screenings of films from the Festival programme from 9am to 5pm from 9 to 17 October. Running simultaneously will be five days of Buyer and Seller screenings from 13 to 17 October, with a focus on titles seeking UK distribution and culminating in the Festival’s Meet the Buyer event on Tuesday 14 October overseen by the Festival’s Buyers & Sellers Facilitator, Mary Davies.

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