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London Film Festival


The London Film Festival started in 1956 when a group of film critics headed by the famous Dilys Powell - the film critic for the Sunday Times - got together over dinner.

They discussed the festivals at Cannes and Venice and agreed that London needed one too. Its aim was to give the public the opportunity to see films from around the world that were not being shown in the cinema. Originally conceived as a 'festival of festivals', screening a selection of strong titles from other European festivals, the first London Film Festival screened 15 films from an impressive array of directors, including Luchino Visconti, Akira Kurosawa and Andrzej Wajda. Most screenings are attended by the people involved in making the films, from actors and directors, to producers and stuntmen! This gives the Festival screenings a unique and intimate feeling, as the audience interacts with the stars.


The Times BFI London Film Festival Grierson Award- For the best feature-length documentary.

FIPRESCI International Critics Award- Advancing the art of cinema and rewarding talent.

UK Film Talent Award Sponsored by Alfred Dunhill- Celebrating and supporting new and emerging UK film talent.

The Sutherland Trophy- For the most original and imaginative first feature.

The Annual Satyajit Ray Award- For a first-time feature director whose film best captures the artistry, compassion and humanity of Ray's vision.

TCM Classic Shorts- Six shortlisted films are screened during the award ceremony after which prizes are awarded to the top three film-makers.