The London Film Festival came to a close last night with the European premiere in Leicester Square of ‘Great Expectations‘ (above), a new film of Charles Dickens’s novel from ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ director Mike Newell. This year, the slightly shortened 12-day festival of movies from across the globe spread to more London cinemas than ever, from The Screen on the Green in Islington to The Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, via all four cinemas in Leicester Square and the Hackney Picturehouse. Unsurprisingly, then, the festival saw a 12% hike in admissions – meaning that over 149,000 Londoners watched films from around the world at this year’s LFF. It was also the first year that the festival’s awards were placed centrestage, with French melodrama ‘Rust and Bone‘ picking up the Best Film award and US indie drama ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild‘ nabbing Best First Film. Both prizes were handed out at a lively dinner in Whitehall on Saturday night – where Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, respectively director of opening-night film ‘Frankenweenie‘ and star of ‘Great Expectations’ (and, of course, also a couple in real life), were given prestigious BFI Fellowships. This year’s festival was a triumph for new artistic director Clare Stewart, whose aim of attracting new punters to the festival and raising the event’s profile must surely be judged a success. Once again, Time Out was thrilled to partner with the festival, and our critics will be banging the drum for the Time Out gala film at the festival, ‘Amour‘, right up until it opens in London’s cinemas on November 16.
For more info, see our London Film Festival Guide.