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Festival season continues at the movies

Summer may be all but over, with only Bestival and No.6 happening this weekend, but in the growing global programme of film festivals the best is yet to come, says Zoe Jones, marketing director at Digital Cinema Media.

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

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Are you ready for the UK’s premier film extravaganza that is the 58th BFI London Film Festival?

DCM is a proud partner of the British Film Institute (BFI) and has supported the London Film Festival (#LFF) for the last 10 years.

What sets the London Film Festival apart is the fact it’s open to the public, unlike the Cannes Film Festival, for example, where everyone needs to apply for accreditation.

Everyone has the opportunity to attend in participating cinemas, predominantly in London, but screenings and live cinecasts from the red carpet will also be screened in cinemas across the UK.

Participating cinemas include BFI Southbank, Odeon Leicester Square, Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Covent Garden, the ICA, Hackney Picturehouse, Rich Mix and Vue Islington.


I was lucky enough to attend the programme launch on Wednesday at Odeon Leicester Square and was blown away by the scale and diversity of the event which includes a huge 245 feature films and 148 shorts.

It also includes an official competition, a documentary competition and The Sutherland Award which is given to the most original and imaginative directorial debut. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are also taking part in career retrospectives, masterclasses, Q&As and other special events.

Taking place over 12 days, the festival kicks off on 8 October with the Opening Gala screening of Alan Turing drama The Imitation Game. Man of the moment Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the genius mathematician who helped crack the Enigma code which was instrumental in the allies winning the war. After its premiere at the Telluride film festival, Cumberbatch is already being talked up as a serious awards contender.

Closing the festival and continuing the WWII theme is the European premiere and gala screening of David Ayer’s Fury.

Brad Pitt stars, and will also be in attendance, as Wardaddy, a battle-hardened sergeant of a tank command in World War II, who leads an incursion behind enemy lines. If the stunning trailer is anything to go by, the action sequences look to be some of the most visceral we’ve seen since Saving Private Ryan.

Among the gala screenings we can expect to see quite a few probable Oscar contenders including Foxcatcher the wrestling drama from Bennett Miller, Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, Sundance favourite Whiplash and Wild, starring Reece Witherspoon.

The two films I’m most looking forward to are Foxcatcher and Whiplash. Foxcatcher tells the true story of champion wrestling brothers, Dave and Mark Schultz and their relationship with multi-millionaire benefactor, John du Pont.

The performance of comedic powerhouse Steve Carell, playing drastically against type as du Pont, is garnering huge Oscar buzz, but all three of the main performers, including Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are awards-worthy.

According to our head of film, Tom Linay, who saw Foxcatcher in Cannes: "It’s an eerie, captivating thriller that confirms Miller as one of America’s premier directors."

Check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PypvNBTdxnY

Whiplash is an action film about jazz. Up and coming actor Miles Teller plays Andrew Neyman, an ambitious jazz drummer, who joins a New York conservatory group led by sociopathic instructor, Terence Fletcher, played by the terrific JK Simmons.

According to Tom, who’s also watched this film: "The friction caused by Neyman’s ambition and Fletcher’s decidedly unorthodox methods is more thrilling than a hundred big budget action films. The final 20 minutes alone make a breathtakingly arresting piece of cinema."

Check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvOksqh1Td0

Other films to look out for include Serena, starring the now regular on-screen pairing of Bradley Cooper and Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, a new big screen Moomin adventure and a film adaptation of the literary classic Madame Bovary.

With the breadth and depth of talent and work on show at this year’s British Film Festival, this year will continue to show why the LFF is one of the world’s most important events for the film industry.

To find out more, listen to DCM’s monthly podcast where I join Tom our Head of Film to discuss the festival. https://soundcloud.com/digitalcinemamedia/september-podcast

Tickets go on sale on 18 September, find out more at http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff.

Zoe Jones is marketing director at Digital Cinema Media (DCM)

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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