LFF FOR FREE – 63RD BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL ANNNOUNCES NEW FREE PUBLIC EVENTS PROGRAMME AND NEW PUBLIC FESTIVAL HUB AT BFI SOUTHBANK LFF FOR FREE – 63RD BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL ANNNOUNCES NEW FREE PUBLIC EVENTS PROGRAMME AND NEW PUBLIC FESTIVAL HUB AT BFI SOUTHBANK
LONDON, MONDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER:  The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express today announces LFF For Free, a new initiative for... LFF FOR FREE – 63RD BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL ANNNOUNCES NEW FREE PUBLIC EVENTS PROGRAMME AND NEW PUBLIC FESTIVAL HUB AT BFI SOUTHBANK

LONDON, MONDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER:  The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express today announces LFF For Free, a new initiative for 2019 with 30 exciting free events to complement and expand the Festival fun.  The BFI Southbank becomes a Festival Hub for the public, with free events concentrated over the two weekends in the BFI London Film Festival, October 4th -6th and October 11th-13th.

The LFF For Free programme offers an eclectic, thought-provoking and creative mix of events for all ages and families, and for audiences of all tastes. Events will include talks and Q&As with The Quay Brothers, critic Peter Bradshaw, BAFTA-winning screenwriter Tony Grisoni and acclaimed feminist filmmaker Nina Menkes, as well as DJ nights inspired by films of the festival, discussions on film genres and themes – from new genre cinema to documentary. The programme also includes short film showcases from NETWORK@LFF and Film4, immersive album listening sessions in the dark with Pitchblack Playback, a family animation workshop, a movie quiz hosted by Little White Lies and a live concert with BBC Radio 3’s Sound of Cinema exploring the world of Dickens on film.

PROGRAMME OF FREE EVENTS:

(BFI London Film Festival runs 2nd – 13th October)

Friday 4th October

BBC Radio 3 Sound of Cinema: What’s the Score With Dickens? Alexandra Palace Theatre, 20.00-21.30. The LFF hosts a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s weekly film music programme Sound of Cinema with a concert of live music performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Ben Palmer and presented by Matthew Sweet in the decayed Victorian splendour of Alexandra Palace Theatre. The programme reflects our Opening Night gala: The Personal History of David Copperfield, with a wide- ranging selection of music exploring the world of Dickens on film.

DJ Night: My Friend Fela: BFI Bar & Kitchen, BFI Southbank, 21.00-01.00. DJ Volta 45 (Doin’ Our Own Thing) and Aquila (Zilla Nights) will keep the dancefloor grooving with their collection of West African and pan-African vinyl; including tunes from Fela, along with those he inspired and those who inspired him.

Saturday 5th October

Animation Imagination! The Blue Room, BFI Southbank, 10.30-12.00. Join us for a family animation workshop where you can set your imagination free and create animated masterpieces you will be proud of! Don’t worry if you’ve never animated before as there are tutors on hand to show you how to make them like a pro – and all materials are supplied! You can get busy and messy on the crafting table making puppets and backgrounds too… all you need to bring is your love of animation! Age: 5+ Parents are welcome to stay for the duration and must accompany children below the age of 8. Children over 8 can be left to enjoy the workshop without parents in attendance.

Network@LFF Shorts Screening Programme 1: Atomisation & Loss The Studio, BFI Southbank, 12.00-12.45. NETWORK@LFF is an internationally focused talent development programme at the very heart of the BFI London Film Festival, delivered by BFI NETWORK. Now in its sixth year, we’ve selected 12 new UK-based writers, directors and producers to join us for an intensive programme of masterclasses, screenings, events and one-to-ones with industry professionals. This year, we’ve focused on filmmakers telling stories with global ambitions; stories that can be culturally specific whilst resonating internationally. Join us to see a selection of shorts from this year’s selected filmmakers. This programme brings together films that explore the importance of community and companionship through the prism of immigration and bereavement.

Anatomy of a Film – A Q&A with Tony Grisoni The Studio, BFI Southbank, 13.15-14.15. BAFTA Winner Tony Grisoni is one of the UK’s great established film and TV screenwriters with hugely impressive credits ranging from In This World directed by Michael Winterbottom to C4 series, Red Riding Trilogy and Southcliffe; his longstanding film collaboration with Terry Gilliam included the dazzling Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland and LFF2018 Laugh Gala The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. As writer/director, he has also made a number of short films (including BAFTA-nominated Kingsland #1: The Dreamer) and the brand new The Sands of Venus. Using his new short film as a jumping off point, we host a Q&A on his creative process – where do film ideas come from, are there different storytelling ‘muscles’ used for writing and directing, do you ever stop learning, and does it ever get any easier?

Film4 Shorts The Studio, BFI Southbank, 15.00-16.00. A selection of recent Film4 shorts including Naptha, directed by Moin Hussain, which was selected for Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival 2019, Pompeii from directors Harry Lighton, Marco Alessi and Matthew Jacobs Morgan, and Rebecca, the directorial debut from screenwriter Keith Akushie (Fresh Meat, Siblings, The Festival).  There will also be a sneak peek at some upcoming Film4 shorts! Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, both new and established.

In an Age of Consent: A Discussion: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 16.00-17.00 In the wake of #MeToo the issue of consent in filmmaking and in the industry has become an urgent topic. The filmmakers in our In An Age of Consent programme tackle the complex issues of consent and here we invite you to join them for a discussion and Q&A around the questions raised in their films around consent, intimacy and sexuality in film.

Pitchblack Playback: Fela Kuti – Fela’s London Scene: The Studio, BFI Southbank, 16.30-17.15. Immersive, meditative album listening sessions in the dark. Enjoy classic album playbacks in our Studio screen, picked to complement some of our music film selections. Prepare to experience music with more detail and focus than ever before. Fela Kuti: Fela’s London Scene – Recorded at Abbey Road in London in 1971, this stunning record captures Fela at the beginning of his purple patch of studio recordings. The jazzy, sprawling arrangements will truly come alive at Pitchblack Playback’s free listening session in the dark, which compliments the LFF screening of My Friend Fela.

DJ Night: White Riot: BFI Bar & Kitchen, BFI Southbank, 21.00-01.00. DJs Dapper D and Jaybyrd Slim (The Nitty Gritty) play reggae and new wave inspired by the Rock Against Racism movement of the late 70s and early 80s including Steel Pulse, The Clash, Misty In Roots, X-Ray Spex, The Beat, Aswad, The Slits and The Specials.

Sunday 6th October

Film Criticism Read-along: BFI Reuben Library, BFI Southbank, 11.00-12.00. From waxing lyrical on Letterboxd, to reeling off a late-night drunken IMDb review, if everyone’s a critic, who should you be reading? Where’s the good writing at? Hear from some of the most exciting film critics of today on the writing that inspires them, and where to find it. Come with an appetite for wit, critical analysis and sparkling insight, and leave with a free copy of Sight & Sound!

Cult in the Canon: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 12.00-13.00. Horror is back in vogue amongst filmmakers at LFF this year; just don’t call it ‘Elevated Genre’. Filmmakers can’t keep their hands-off horror this year, with many of your favourite arthouse auteurs using supernatural or sci-fi elements in their films to tell political or very personal stories. Here programmers and podcasters survey the scene, checking on the pulse of cult cinema, and ask what draws filmmakers to the genre?

Network@LFF Shorts Screening Programme 2: We Are Family The Studio, BFI Southbank, 12.00-13.00. NETWORK@LFF is an internationally focused talent development programme at the very heart of the BFI London Film Festival, delivered by BFI NETWORK. Now in its sixth year, we’ve selected 12 new UK-based writers, directors and producers to join us for an intensive programme of masterclasses, screenings, events and one to ones with industry professionals. This year, we’ve focused on filmmakers telling stories with global ambitions; stories that can be culturally specific whilst resonating internationally. Join us to see a selection of shorts from this year’s selected filmmakers. We Are Family explores family relationships from conception to death; prospective parents, absent fathers and disconnected brothers all attempt to understand each other.

 The Films That Made Me with Peter Bradshaw: BFI Reuben Library, BFI Southbank, 13.00-14.00. Join one of the UK’s most respected film critics as he explores the films that have had the biggest impact on him over the last twenty years. Peter Bradshaw is the film reviewer for intelligent, curious cinemagoers; he has worked at The Guardian for twenty years. The Films That Made Me collates his finest reviews from the last two decades, which carry with them his deep experience, knowledge and understanding of film.

Network@LFF Shorts Screening Programme 3: Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves The Studio, BFI Southbank, 13.15-14.15. NETWORK@LFF is an internationally focused talent development programme at the very heart of the BFI London Film Festival, delivered by BFI NETWORK. Now in its sixth year, we’ve selected 12 new UK-based writers, directors and producers to join us for an intensive programme of masterclasses, screenings, events and one to ones with industry professionals. This year, we’ve focused on filmmakers telling stories with global ambitions; stories that can be culturally specific whilst resonating internationally. Join us to see a selection of shorts from this year’s selected filmmakers. Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves explores a multitude of female experiences in the 21st century. In this selection we find films that feature women striving for empowerment, respect and actualisation; from playing in punk bands to grappling with their sexuality. 

Burning Questions on Non-Fiction: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 13.30-14.15. An interactive and thought-provoking event involving a series of lightning presentations from a group of programmers, writers and filmmakers involved with non-fiction work, to discuss what is exciting and/or perplexing them in this dynamic form at the moment. The audience will then be encouraged to get into groups, with speakers joining them, to discuss the questions that have been raised. Participants include Cintia Gill (Sheffield Doc Fest Director), Chloe Trayner (Open City Doc Fest Director), Sophie Brown (Associate Programmer at Bertha Doc House, LFF Programme Advisor, and writer), and Roz Mortimer (Director of The Deathless Woman (LFF 2019).

Film4 Shorts The Studio, BFI Southbank, 15.00-16.00. A selection of recent Film4 shorts including Naptha, directed by Moin Hussain, which was selected for Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival 2019, Pompeii from directors Harry Lighton, Marco Alessi and Matthew Jacobs Morgan, and Rebecca, the directorial debut from screenwriter Keith Akushie (Fresh Meat, Siblings, The Festival).  There will also be a sneak peek at some upcoming Film4 shorts! Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, both new and established.

Is Laughter Still The Best Medicine? BFI Reuben Library, BFI Southbank, 16.00-17.00. Comedy for troubled times: join our funny bone-obsessed film programmers, Leigh Singer (Programme Advisor for the LFF’s Laugh strand and Features Programmer for LOCO, the London Comedy Film Festival) and Manish Agarwal (LFF’s Assistant Programmer) to discuss the challenges facing humour-inclined creatives amid an ever more fraught world.

Wednesday 9th October

Little White Lies Movie Quiz: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 19.00-22.00. From heroic heroines, famous final lines and award-winning directors, to Hollywood’s golden age, memorable movie flops and the film world’s biggest franchises – come and test your film knowledge. Prizes to be won, glory to be claimed…

Friday 11th October

LFF Immersive Showcase Powered by CreativeXR: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 15.00-17.00. CreativeXR, developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, gives creative talent the opportunity to experiment with immersive technologies to create new experiences that inspire audiences. Focused on the creative industries, particularly the arts and culture sector, the programme gives the best creative teams the opportunity to develop concepts and prototypes of immersive content (virtual, augmented and mixed reality). This showcase features three projects that CreativeXR has supported from prototype funding through to funded projects, Common Ground (East City Films), Immersive Histories Dambusters (All Seeing Eye) and When Something Happens (Boom Cap Play). Full details of the projects can be found at whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff.

DJ Nights: Black Bus Stop: BFI Bar & Kitchen, BFI Southbank, 21.00-01.00. Black Bus Stop, which screens in our Experimenta Strand as part of the Strategies of Refusal programme, pays tribute to an iconic university gathering spot where young black students gathered in the eighties and nineties listening to music, talking politics, dancing, and flirting. Come and hang out at our own gathering spot, the BFI Bar & Kitchen, and dance and flirt to classic hip hop and R&B from the 80s/90s with DJ collective Born ‘n’ Bread.

Saturday 12th October

LFF Immersive Showcase Powered by CreativeXR: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 11.00-17.00. As on Friday 11th October.

An exploration into the creation of Immersive Histories Dambusters. The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 12.15-13.00. Olie Kay, Associate Creative Director (All Seeing Eye), will talk about the history of the famous WWII mission and discuss how Immersive Histories Dambusters, a virtual reality experience accurately recreating the events of the famous raid, was designed and created.

Altered Estates: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 15.00-15.45. Darren Emerson, Director of Common Ground, an immersive journey into the history and legacy of one of the most controversial housing estates in Britain: the Aylesbury Estate, discusses the issues of regeneration, gentrification and displacement raised by his VR film with Anthony Badu, a resident from the South London Estate. See Common Ground as part of our LFF Immersive Showcase powered by CreativeXR

Boston ‘The Orator’ Williams The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 17.00-17.45. When Something Happens, which is showing as part of our Immersive Show case, is an animated VR film about 13.4 billion years of the history of the universe. The film was written and narrated by Boston ‘The Orator’ Williams. Poet, traveller and all round talky-man, The Orator has had a voracious year. Whilst travelling across the globe, his debut poetry collection, Vernacular, grew and became a tall tale of its own. Vernacular will be bought to life with a hearty and jovial performance endowed with passion. Opening the set will be a reading of The Manifesto of Artist Integrity, followed by readings and performances of some of the author’s personal favourites.

DJ Nights: It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It): BFI Bar & Kitchen, BFI Southbank, 21.00-01.00. Inspired by the Ronnie Wood chronicling documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me, Festival favourites Sadie Lee and Jonathan Kemp celebrate the best of classic rock. Expect to hear The Rolling Stones, The Faces, Bowie, The Kinks and more.

Sunday 13th October

LFF Immersive Showcase Powered by CreativeXR: The Blue Room. BFI Southbank, 11.00-17.00. As on Friday 11th October.

Sex & Power: The Visual Language of Oppression with Nina Menkes: The BFI Reuben Library, BFI Southbank, 14.00-15.15. In this fascinating talk, celebrated independent filmmaker Nina Menkes presents and analyses a series of film clips by established film directors and delves into the way the formal visual language of cinema infiltrates our consciousness and contributes to the epidemic of sexual assault, sexual harassment as well as employment discrimination that has plagued Hollywood as well as our culture at large. “Nina Menkes blows the cover off the systematic undermining of female empowerment in one of our culture’s most influential forms of media,” Maria Giese, Director, Women’s Media Summit.

The Doll’s Breath + Q&A with The Quay Brothers NFT3, BFI Southbank, 15.00-16.00. Influenced by a tradition of Eastern European animation, the Quay Brothers display a passion for detail, a breath-taking command of colour and texture, and an uncanny use of focus and camera movement that make their films unique and instantly recognisable. Commissioned by Syncopy Films Inc., the production company owned and run by Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, The Quays’ latest 22-minute animated work The Doll’s Breath tells the story of Horacio, a former window dresser, who sets up complicated charades where women and life-sized dolls change places in a web of jealousy, betrayal and murder. Shot and presented on 35mm. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the Quay Brothers hosted by film critic, programmer and lecturer Geoff Andrew.

The Culture: A Discussion: The BFI Reuben Library, BFI Southbank, 16.00 -17.00. Has the careful editing of our lives through social media made directors out of all of us? Online culture is all-consuming, constantly changing and, so far, unstoppable. We join a selection of the filmmakers behind ‘The Culture’ shorts programme in a discussion about how the internet has changed our relationships with each other, how it has changed our perceptions of ourselves and how far the personal editorialising of online culture reflects the act of filmmaking itself.

Pitchblack Playback: Miles Davis ‘Kind Of Blue’ (5.1 Surround Sound Mix) The Studio, BFI Southbank, 16.30-17.15. Immersive, meditative album listening sessions in the dark. Enjoy classic album playbacks in our Studio screen, picked to complement some of our music film selections. Prepare to experience music with more detail and focus than ever before. Hear the best-selling jazz album of all-time like never before at Pitchblack Playback’s free immersive listening session in the dark. With increased separation between the instruments in this special remaster, it will make you feel like Miles & Co. are there in the room with you. A perfect pairing with the LFF screening of Miles Davis: Birth of Cool.

TICKET AND BOOKING INFORMATION: LFF For Free

These events are FREE and open to all (subject to age ratings for different events). Please note that places are limited and can be booked at the LFF For Free desk in the foyer from 10am on the day of the event.*

*Advance booking required for:

  • BBC Radio 3’s Sound of Cinema: What’s the Score with Dickens? Can be reserved online here.
  • Little White Lies Movie Quiz – Tickets for this event are FREE but should be booked in advance from the BFI Box Office in person or by calling 020 7928 3232. Tickets available from 24.09.19. Max team size 4. Max  4 tickets per person
  • The Doll’s Breath + Q&A with The Quay Brothers – Tickets for this event are FREE but should be booked in advance from the BFI Box Office in person or by calling 020 7928 3232. Tickets available from 24.09.19. Max 2 Tickets per person

BFI Members booking:  24.09.19 @ 10.00

BFI Champions booking: 24.09.19 @ 11.00

Public Booking:  24.09.19 @ 16.00

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Jon Dingle Editor

A film journalist, writer and a filmmaker in business for over 20 years. I am passionate about movies, television series, music and online games.