Industry programme announced for 63rd BFI London Film Festival

The industry programme offers an increased international focus and new bespoke events for filmmakers and the wider screen sectors.


Glen Basner, CEO from leading US independent FilmNation

Glen Basner, CEO from leading US independent FilmNation
Credit: Amanda Jones

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival unveils an Industry Programme which tackles the most pressing questions facing the industry at a time of radical change, in both the models for creating films and the channels for reaching audiences. The Festival Industry Programme also increases its international focus with leading industry speakers, and announces new partnerships with Facebook and Creative XR, alongside existing partnerships with Film London and British Council, which will open opportunities for new business, learning and networking for industry delegates working across the wider screen industries as well as policy makers.

The Festival’s series of Big Picture sessions will explore how the industry is adapting to disruption and change, from production to reaching audiences and across film, high-end television, streamers and in the immersive world. Spotlight sessions showcase the work of major game-changers within the industry and offers the chance to hear from some of the industry’s key players and big thinkers, their reflections on their careers and their perspectives on an industry in flux. While New Talent programmes and events over the 12 days of the Festival support the development of the UK’s next generation of filmmakers and other creatives from the screen sectors.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said: “This year’s LFF industry programme tunes into the fact that the film, TV and wider screen industries are experiencing huge global change, and that UK businesses are continuing to seek international collaborations despite uncertainty. We wanted to offer a platform for urgent conversations about those industry changes, and how we are adapting. We also wanted to assess developments in the SVOD, television and the immersive landscapes. As ever, the heart of our programme is aimed at offering creators and the businesses that support them the opportunity to develop deeper industry connections and knowledge, and to this end, we welcome our international and UK speakers, our new partnerships and we’re also excited about delivering refreshed programmes with returning partners.” 

Guests include Glen Basner, CEO from leading US independent FilmNation; Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Co-Presidents of Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B; Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, Co-Chairmen, Fox Searchlight as it celebrates its 25th anniversary; Vincent Maraval, Co-founder of Wild Bunch and renowned support of international director-driven cinema; Oscar winners Walter Murch, Academy Award nominee Glenn Freemantle, nominee Stuart Wilson and Emmy Primetime nominee Gillian Dodders; Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge at ILMxLAB, a division of Lucasfilm and behind Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ground-breaking VR installation, Carne y Arena; Lars Blomgren from Endemol Shine and also producer of hit Scandinavian series The Bridge, Jane Featherstone, Founder of Sister Pictures and Executive Producer of Chernobyl for HBO and Sky Sister Pictures, Andy Harries OBE, CEO of Left Bank, which is working with the major streamers and also producer of The Crown; Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International, leads a discussion on the power of storytelling and its ability to affect social and political change; Ryan Kampe, President, from New York-based sales company Visit Films; international festival programmers Giona Nazzaro, General Delegate for Venice International Film Critics’ Week, Inge de Leeuw, Programmer for International Film Festival Rotterdam and Mariette Rissenbeek, Executive Director of the Berlinale; Intimacy Coordinators Ita O’Brien and Yarit Dor who are leading best practice on set in the wake of #MeToo; Pim Hermeling, CEO of one of Benelux’s leading art-house distributors September Films; female screenwriters Moira Buffini, Charlie Covell and Nida Manzoor; Toby Coffey, Head of Digital Development, National Theatre; and first time feature filmmakers Rose Glass (Saint Maud), Philip Youmans (Burning Cane), and Claire Oakley (Make Up); amongst many more.

Organisations supporting sessions for delegates include the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Digital Catapult, Facebook, Film London, The Hollywood Reporter, Screen International, Spotlight, Time’s Up and Variety.

Highlights include a dynamic day of industry sessions with new LFF partner Facebook at its London headquarters exploring how to reach audiences in the digital age as well as the SEEN initiative working with five female filmmakers from the festival line-up on getting their films to the widest audience possible; the CreativeXR production and financing market for immersive content hosted by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England; and deep dive discussions into the changing landscape of international sales, distribution, the role of festivals, and what the boom in high-end television might mean for film. Discussions also focus on developing a distinctive voice as a director, moving from first to second features, the concept of screen authorship on the stories which are told and representation, and the art and craft of sound featuring new and established UK and international practitioners.

These events are in addition to the LFF Connects and Screen Talks. LFF Connects gives audiences the chance to hear from creative leaders working at the intersection of film and other creative industries. The Festival’s acclaimed Screen Talks offer a series of in-depth interviews with leaders in contemporary cinema. Participants confirmed so far include directors Rian Johnson (Knives Out), Kim Longinotto (Shooting the Mafia) and Lukas Moodysson (Gösta), with more to be announced nearer the Festival.

Industry accreditation closes: 17:00, Wednesday 11 September 2019. Updates on the full programme and speakers, will be publicised via all delegate channels.

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