How to Prepare for BFI London Film Festival How to Prepare for BFI London Film Festival
Film fans all over the world can start preparing for one of the biggest film festivals in the world. BFI London Film Festival has... How to Prepare for BFI London Film Festival

Film fans all over the world can start preparing for one of the biggest film festivals in the world. BFI London Film Festival has just announced it will take place at the start of October. The 61st installation of the magnificent festival will once again provide plenty to see and experience for audiences.

So, how to prepare for BFI London Film Festival? Here are tips to entertain you during these upcoming months.


Book your tickets and accommodation

If you want to be part of the festival, you should book your tickets and plan your stay as early as possible. Last year, the film festival achieved a 16% audience increase, showing the popularity of this event.

The screenings will take place across the capital and across the country during the 4th and 15th of October. The full schedule is not yet out, as the open submission for feature and short films has just ended. Right now, the organisers are hard at work picking the entries for this year.

However, if you are certain to come no matter what, you could start looking for accommodation. Booking early will ensure you don’t end up spending a fortune on your stay. Check Airbnb and different travel portals for cheap accommodation in the UK capital.

Once the schedule is published, you can book tickets through the official BFI London Film Festival website for the individual screenings. Check the website regularly for more information.


Get to know the history of the competition

You should also prepare yourself for the film festival by understanding its history. The popular festival is now on its 61st year, meaning there are plenty of great films to watch from the previous years.

The first film ever to be played at the BFI London Film Festival was Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood. Famous directors like Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini have all had their films featured at the festival. It’s been a stepping-stone for many foreign directors, as well as actors. The festival has never been afraid to stir the film industry either. In the 1970s, it took the bold decision to show the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, causing some outrage among certain filmgoers. However, one of the charms of the festival has been its ability to be different and challenge viewers.

You can check some of the past greats from the BFI website and organise a movie night to prepare yourself for the festival. Pick a movie from each of the seven decades the event has been running and choose your favourite. You can find the old and new films from specialist DVD stores like Zavvi and DVD Gold. VoucherBin has plenty of discounts for film lovers to help you snatch a bargain.


Learn about the entries

As well as learning about the competition and watching previous entries, you should also study the upcoming entries to ensure you get the most out of the films. Two of this year’s films have already been announced.

The opening night gala belongs to Breathe. The film is Andy Serkin’s directorial debut and it’s based on the true story of Robin Cavendish. Breathe is a love story and a warming celebration of human possibility. The leading roles belong to Claire Foy and Andrew Garfield.

You should explore the earlier work of Foy and Garfield to get a feel of what to expect. For example, Foy’s role in The Crown is the perfect introduction for the fantastic actress. Although Serkins has not directed before, you can currently see him perform in the latest Planet of the Apes movie. The script is by the Academy Award-nominated William Nicholson, whose work includes Les Misérables and Gladiator.

The other movie that’s already been announced for BFI London Film Festival 2017 is a restoration project. Shiraz first came out in 1928 and it will premiere as the Archive Gala on 14th October at the Barbican. The movie tells a love story of a princess who inspired the construction of one of the wonders of the world, the TajMahal.

The screening will also feature a live performance by the famous Indian composer and sitar player Anoushka Shankar. If you can’t make it to London, the film will be screened in a variety of locations across the UK. There are even plans to screen it in India with the TajMahal in the background!

As mentioned, keep an eye on the official website to learn about the latest entries. You can also follow BFI on social media.


Practice being a good film critic

While BFI London Film Festival is about enjoying different types of films, it’s also a chance to take a critical look at films. Movies are better when you sink deeper into them and look beyond the obvious.

Now, you don’t need to become a professional film critic to enjoy the festival, but you can practice looking at films through different eyes. The Huffington Post recently wrote a great post about how to be a good film critic. It’s worth checking out in preparation for the festival.

So, enjoy the movies and prepare yourself for some fireworks. BFI London Film Festival is going to be magnificent!

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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.