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55th BFI London Film Festival opens (and here’s how to make the most of it)

Posted at 10:00 am, October 12, 2011 in Arts & Entertainment

BFI London Film Festival October 2011Cannes may have been a bit beyond budget but thankfully the BFI London Film Festival is finally upon us, figuratively and literally. Here are the best ways to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun.

Get a seat at top screenings by signing up for email alerts about last-minute ticket releases, scouring the BFI website for quieter, weekday screenings of the big films, or queuing for standbys on the day.

Take a gamble on a film you haven’t heard about yet – the programmers have been scouring the globe for cinematic brilliance, so trust their choices and discover something obscure (for now) but amazing.

See more than just the movies – there are talks, panels and masterclasses from directors such as Miranda July (Oct 22) and Michael Winterbottom (Oct 23) at BFI Southbank. Also make sure you turn up in time for intros and stay for post-screening Q&As with directors and cast.

Go old school and choose to see a rare classic on the big screen if you’re wary of taking a chance on something new.

Behave yourself during the screenings. This isn’t the Johnny English sequel – this audience is here to watch cinematic skill, not tut at mobiles buzzing and popcorn crunching.

Spot celebrities in Leicester Square, where there’ll be a red carpet and photocalls for each of the premieres, despite the awkward scaffolding.

Eavesdrop at BFI Southbank, where all sensible screening attendees will head for a post-film drink and chinwag.

Get involved for free at one of the several free Time Out events at BFI Southbank, including a masterclass with Lynne Ramsay, the director, writer and producer of We Need To Talk About Kevin (Oct 16).

Hear about the must-sees by keeping an eye on www.timeout.com/lff where we’ll be running as many early reviews, interviews and bits of gossip as we can get our hands on.

 For info, see Time Out LFF microsite.

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