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61st BFI London Film Festival draws to a close

Overall London and UK-wide audience attendance reached 208,900, an 8% increase from 193,000 in 2016.

16 October 2017

Actors Peter Dinklage, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Sandy Martin, Clarke Peters, Frances McDormand, writer and director Martin McDonagh, actor Kathryn Newton, producer Graham Broadbent and guest attend the UK Premiere of "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" at the Closing Night Gala of the 61st BFI London Film Festival held at the Odeon Leicester Square

Actors Peter Dinklage, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Sandy Martin, Clarke Peters, Frances McDormand, writer and director Martin McDonagh, actor Kathryn Newton, producer Graham Broadbent and guest attend the UK Premiere of "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" at the Closing Night Gala of the 61st BFI London Film Festival held at the Odeon Leicester Square

The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®, closed last night with the UK Premiere of Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI with writer/director Martin McDonagh in attendance along with members of the cast and crew including Peter Dinklage, Woody Harrelson, Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.

Audience attendance for the 61st edition reached 208,900 due to a significant increase in UK-wide attendances. LFF achieved 180,900 attendances in London with 28,000 people enjoying the Festival through satellite screenings across the UK of Opening Night film Andy Serkis’ BREATHE, Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton’s BATTLE OF THE SEXES and Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s LOVING VINCENT.

The Festival welcomed over 900 international and British filmmakers to present their work from across the LFF programme at venues across the capital. The programme presented 12 Headline Galas and more Special Presentations than in previous years, with an increase to 8 from 5 at LFF 2016, while the temporary purpose built venue Embankment Garden Cinema was once again the home for Strand Galas and films in Official Competition for its second year.

Directors in attendance included Mohamed Al Daradji, Barbara Albert, Sean Baker, Greg Barker, Clio Barnard, Noah Baumbach, Xavier Beauvois, Sandrine Bonnaire, Robin Campillo, Helene Cattet, Zhou Chen, Lucy Cohen, Paddy Considine, Dominic Cooke, Denis Côté, Jonathan Dayton, Guillermo del Toro, Saul Dibb, Marco Dutra, Jeremy Dyson, Valerie Faris, David Fincher, Cory Finley, Bruno Forzani, Michel Franco, Greta Gerwig, Alex Gibney, Terry Gilliam, Alain Gomis, Emmanuel Gras, Valeska Grisebach, Luca Guadagnino, Andrew Haigh, Todd Haynes, Michel Hazanavicius, Kate Hickey, Patrick Imbert, Annemarie Jacir, Azazel Jacobs, Eugene Jarecki, Roland Joffé, Radu Jude, Isaac Julien, Semih Kaplanoğlu, Aaron Katz, Daniel Kokotajlo, Andrew Kötting, Yorgos Lanthimos, Xavier Legrand, Richard Linklater, Austin Lynch, Ruth Mader, Majid Majidi, Samuel Maoz, Lucrecia Martel, Martin McDonagh, Paul McGuigan, Takashi Miike, John Cameron Mitchell, Brett Morgen, Shirin Neshat, Susanna Nicchiarelli, Andy Nyman, Rungano Nyoni, François Ozon, Alexander Payne, Michael Pearce, Jennifer Peedom, Alex Ross Perry, Alexandre Philippe, Sally Potter, Vivian Qu, Lynne Ramsay, Dee Rees, Ben Rivers, Juliana Rojas, Julian Rosefeldt, Michaël R. Roskam, Josh Safdie, Barbet Schroeder, Andy Serkis, Léonor Serraille, Adrian Shergold, Anup Singh, Matt Spicer, Warwick Thornton, John Trengove, Joachim Trier, Nora Twomey, Frederick Wiseman, Yukun Xin, S. Craig Zahler and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Cast and Special Guests in attendance included Alun Armstrong, Corinne Bailey Rae, Eric Bana, Bérénice Bejo, Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige, Hugh Bonneville, Douglas Booth, Jessie Buckley, Raffey Cassidy, Timothée Chalamet, Hong Chau, Saara Chaudry, Sam Claflin, Jason Clarke, Olivia Cooke, Valeria Cotto, Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Willem Dafoe, Peter Dinklage, Trine Dyrholm, Colin Farrell, Oakes Fegley, Claire Foy, Martin Freeman, Bruno Ganz, Andrew Garfield, Esther Garrel, Louis Garrel, Aidan Gillen, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Woody Harrelson, Garrett Hedlund, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hollander, Billy Howle, Richard Jenkins, Toby Jones, Cherry Jones, Mathieu Kassovitz, Barry Keoghan, Ishaan Khattar, Nicole Kidman, Billy Jean King, Sam Louwyck, Stacy Martin, Helen McCrory, Frances McDormand, Simon Meacock, Jaden Michael, Jason Mitchell, Malavika Mohanan, Jim Moir, Carey Mulligan, Cillian Murphy, Robert Pattinson, Maxine Peake, Joaquin Phoenix, Tony Pitts, Aubrey Plaza, Charlie Plummer, Samantha Power, Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Andrea Riseborough, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adam Sandler, Kristin Scott Thomas, Elizabeth Shue, Bobbi Jene Smith, Timothy Spall, Mark Stanley, Emma Stone, Mark Strong, Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma Thompson, Nakhane Touré, Aidan Turner, Vince Vaughn, Daniela Vega, Bria Vinaite, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Whittaker and Ruth Wilson.

At the annual BFI London Film Festival Award on Saturday 14 October the LFF competition winners announced were:

  • LOVELESS - Andrey Zvyagintsev, won the Best Film Award (Official Competiton) 
  • THE WOUND – John Trengove, won the Sutherland Award (First Feature Competition)
  • KINGDOM OF US – Lucy Cohen, won the Grierson Award (Documentary Competition)
  • THE RABBIT HUNT – Patrick Bresnan, won the Short Film Award

This year the BFI Fellowship was received by Academy Award-nominated director Paul Greengrass, and presented by producer and Working Title Co-Chairman Tim Bevan. The Fellowship is the highest accolade the BFI can bestow.

This year’s LFF Connects series of thought-provoking high-impact talks for industry and public audiences explored the future of film and how film engages with other creative industries featured the innovative iconoclasts: Julian Rosefeldt and Cate Blanchett, Nitin Sawhney, Ian McEwan, Johan Knattrup Jensen, David Fincher.

Insightful Screen Talks were given by celebrated directors, actors and industry professionals: Annette Bening, Guillermo Del Toro, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lucrecia Martel and Takashi Miike, offering festival audiences the opportunity to learn more about these leaders of contemporary cinema.

The Surprise Film was Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated LADY BIRD, starring Saoirse Ronan.

The LFF’s increasingly significant industry programme welcomed 1,372 delegates (up from 1,240 last year) who joined stimulating debates with industry partners and experts in their field.  Guest participants included Oscar and BAFTA-winning producer Iain Canning, Oscar-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, CEO Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Dawn Hudson, the first female VFX Supervisor to win an Oscar, Sara Bennett, Ben Roberts, Director BFI Film Fund, Daniel Battsek, Director of Film4 and Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films – all speaking across a rich and varied programme of events, from understanding what Brexit will mean to the UK film landscape to looking at the everyday inclusion of disabled people both in front of and behind the camera. Panels included a look at the magic of costume design, the future of public film funding and whether the film industry needs to reimagine its model for engaging younger ‘Generation Z’ audiences, allowing delegates to share knowledge and generate business opportunities, all of which contributed to the success of the Festival’s industry services. 

Additionally, 1,020 accredited media delegates from around the world attended the Festival.

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