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How to #LFF

From 2-13 October the world’s best new films come to London. With 345 films to choose from, there’s a lot to explore – here’s our guide to getting the most from the Festival.

Embankment Garden Cinema seats

What’s the Festival like?

The films

#LFF is your chance to discover the Oscar winners of the future, the most thrilling new talent from across the globe, and beautifully restored treasures from the archives. Every film screening at the Festival is hand-picked by our team of programmers, and all features are being shown in the UK for the first – and sometimes the only – time. Films don’t get fresher than this!

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The venues

We have 12 fabulous venues across Central London, each with an atmosphere and buzz all of its own. Head down to our social hub at BFI Southbank for free events and Festival chat, or discover our state of the art pop-up venue, Embankment Garden Cinema.

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The filmmakers

Each year hundreds of leading directors, writers and actors join us on stage to introduce their films and take part in audience Q&As. Our Screen Talks and LFF Connects events are a chance to hear from the world’s top creative talent. Keep an eye on the website for announcements of all guests and events.

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Suspiria red carpet 2018

What should I watch?


Our Galas are star studded premieres of some of the most anticipated films of the year. The Gala screenings are the first two screenings listed for Headline Gala films and the first screening of other Gala films. Headline Galas at ODEON Luxe Leicester Square offer the chance to walk the red carpet (and you can still watch the action even if you miss out on tickets). There’s no dress code for Galas but feel free to don your glad rags or whatever makes you happy!

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The Festival competitions bring together the most innovative, groundbreaking new films from across the world. Our judges will be deliberating over the course of the Festival and you can catch the winning films at special surprise screenings on Saturday 12 October.

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How would you like to feel? Whether you’re after a laugh or some thrills, choose a strand and you’ll find our programmers’ carefully calibrated suggestions to get your emotions stirring.

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Widows Gala 2018

How do I get a ticket?


Tickets go on sale on 12 Sep. Some films will sell out quickly, but don’t despair – more tickets are released for many titles on 26 Sep. You can also get returned tickets on the door so it’s always worth trying your luck. Becoming a BFI Member is a great way to get ahead of the queue, with priority booking before tickets go on sale.

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We want everyone to enjoy the best new films. We host a number of accessible screenings, and you can find detailed information on accessing our venues on our website. If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Box Office at box.office@bfi.org.uk or 020 7960 2102

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Dig a little deeper with our curated Passes: get 3 tickets for £30 on hidden gems from across the programme with our Discovery Passes, and 3 tickets for £21 on Experimenta screenings. We offer a range of concession tickets and 16-25 year olds can get £5 tickets on the door, with advanced booking available on selected screenings.

Browse ticket availability

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Widows Gala audience 2018

Practical tips

Now that the full Festival line-up has been revealed, we encourage you to start browsing the programme on our website or in the brochure. You can also check out a handy calendar we've put together!

Tickets go on sale simultaneously across online, phone and in person. Find out more!

What can you expect at the Festival screenings? In addition to the chance to enjoy the world's best new films, you won't escape sightings of red carpets at many of the Festival events. We are thrilled to also welcome cast and crew for introductions and Q&As at majority of the screenings.

We recommend you sign up or check your online account before booking opens, to make sure you’re all set.

The Festival takes place at cinemas across London (with some even UK-wide), so do allow enough travel time to make your screenings on time. Find directions and access info.

While we don’t discourage sartorial efforts, there is no official dress code for the Festival.

All the films in the Festival are UK premieres, and for some of them it may be your only chance to see them on the big screen.

For more tips and info, check out our FAQ.

Opening Night and Closing Night Galas

This year we are delighted to be hosting the Opening Night Gala and the Closing Night Gala across two venues, ODEON Luxe Leicester Square and our purpose built state-of-the-art cinema Embankment Garden Cinema.

There will be an extended intro at both venues, with directors and members of the cast expected to attend. Opening and Closing Night Gala tickets to Embankment Garden Cinema are available for BFI Patrons to purchase and subject to a BFI Champion and BFI Member ballot. Opening Night tickets to Cineworld are not available to buy.

Unsold tickets to the Embankment Garden Cinema screening may be released for general sale on Thu 26 Sep. For more details on tickets and how to buy them, visit our tickets page.

Get the latest #LFF news and announcements

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for the latest announcements, exclusive interviews and #LFF coverage!

To receive Festival email updates, sign up now.

Anti-piracy policy

Cameras are not permitted in Festival screenings. Recording sound, taking pictures or filming during the screening is illegal and any person caught in the act of filming will be immediately expelled.

Filming and audio recording

Many Festival events are filmed/audio-recorded. By entering Festival venues, you are consenting to such filming/audio recording and its subsequent use by the BFI and trusted third parties. Please contact the venue manager if you have any concerns.

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