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COVID-19 statement - BFI Southbank

BFI Southbank events and screenings cancelled or postponed

It is with great regret that, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and following Government's updated advice on 16 March, we have taken the decision to close BFI Southbank effective immediately, and all forthcoming events and screenings are now cancelled or postponed.

Our priority is first and foremost the health of our staff and of our audiences and visitors to BFI Southbank.

Our teams work incredibly hard on developing our programmes, and the decision to close the venue and cancel all events has not been taken lightly, particularly as the financial implications on us as a charity are considerable.

Please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and we will be contacting people in due course. However, by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to the BFI during these unprecedented times.

Though we are unable to join each other in cinemas across the country for the time being, we are all part of a global community of film lovers and film makers and will continue to champion the art form that we love.

In the meantime you can enjoy the best of British and World Cinema at home on BFI Player and we are looking forward to opening our doors again and welcoming our fellow film lovers as soon as it is safe to do so.

From BFI Chief Executive Ben Roberts and the everybody at the BFI

Read the BFI's COVID-19 advice and information

BFI Southbank closure FAQ

How long will the venue be closed for?

At this stage we are not able to say how long the venue will be closed for, but will keep audiences updated via BFI social media channels and email communications.

How do I find out when BFI will reopen?

Please sign up for email updates on the BFI website, or follow us on social media, where we will be keeping audiences informed.

Is the BFI & radio Times Television Festival cancelled?

Yes, the TV Festival – scheduled for 17-19 April is now cancelled.

Are BFI distribution postponing any of the planned releases?

Yes, the BFI release schedule will change. County Lines, which was due for release 17 April has been postponed, with a new date to be announced in due course. Women Make Film – due for release on 18 May is postponed, as is the BFI Southbank season of films that accompanies the theatrical release. The BFI Blu-ray and BFI Player release of Women Make Film will continue as planned on 18 May. We will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision about the release of La Haine – currently scheduled for 29 May – and update in due course.

Will any seasons or events planned for March or April be rescheduled?

The BFI Southbank programme planned for the rest of the year will be put on hiatus while we try to plan for an uncertain future. Some events and seasons may be rescheduled and more information on this will be issued in the coming weeks.

Can I book for May / June and beyond?

The programme for the rest of the year is currently on hiatus as we are unsure of when we will be able to reopen. As we plan for an uncertain future we will endeavour to keep audiences updated by email and on our social media channels. For the time being, the May programme – due to go on sale in early April – is on hold and will not be mailed out to customers at the end of March as per our usual timelines. Customers will be advised if and when this changes.

When can I have a refund?

Ticket holders will be contacted directly by box office in the coming days with their returns options.

BFI is a charity and we rely on the support of audiences to help us not only run screenings at BFI Southbank and year-round at our Festivals, but also to preserve and exhibit the national film and TV collection and inspire and support filmmakers of the future. We’d be incredibly grateful if you would consider donating to the BFI to help us more confidently navigate these uncertain times for us and the wider film community.

I have been to BFI Southbank in the last week, is there a risk I have contracted covid-19?

The health of our employees and visitors is our priority. Our staff have been following the hygiene guidelines issued by the NHS and we respectfully requested our visitors to do the same, asking anyone who displayed any of the symptoms (cough, high temperature or shortness of breath) to stay at home. We have also ensured that adequate hand washing and sanitizing facilities are available to all throughout the building.

Can I still buy from the BFI shop?

Our physical shop at BFI Southbank is now closed until further notice. Our online Shop  is open as usual. However, orders will not be posted until we have reopened (date TBC). If you have any questions about your order, please contact bfishop@bfi.org.uk. BFI Blu-rays and DVDs are still available to buy via other online retailers, and BFI Player can also be enjoyed from your own home.

Is the BFI Reuben Library open?

The library is now closed until further notice and we apologise for the impact this will have to your research needs.

Is the BFI mediatheque open?

The mediatheque at BFI Southbank is now closed. Please visit BFI Player to enjoy content from the BFI National Archive from the comfort of your own home.

I am a BFI member, will there be any discount or benefit applied to my membership to recognise closure?

The duration of the closure of BFI Southbank is unknown at this time and we will continue to monitor the situation to ensure BFI Members are getting value for money from their memberships, including looking into additional offers which we will update BFI Members on in the coming weeks. In the meantime BFI Members have access to discounts on BFI Player, and on subscriptions to Sight & Sound.

Are either of the bars and restaurants still open?

BFI Riverfront and the Bar & Kitchen are both closed until further notice.


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