The 57th BFI London Film Festival bid farewell this evening with the World Premiere of Saving Mr. Banks. This year’s event boasted a stunning range of international films, cited by many attendees as one of the strongest programmes in recent years. This year saw the Festival consolidate last year’s successful growth, welcoming an audience of 151,000. The Festival screened a grand total of 235 fiction and documentary features, including 22 World Premieres, 13 International Premieres, 29 European Premieres, 20 Archive films, and 134 live action and animated shorts from all of 74 countries. The capital also played host to 670 filmmaker guests and 941 industry delegates attending industry screenings and events.
Both the opening and closing nights received simultaneous screenings to 50 cinemas across the country with all the red carpet action screened via satellite link, as part of the Festival’s commitment to keep the UK audience at the heart of the Festival-going experience. Coupled with the all new BFI Player, the new VOD service, provided UK audiences with exclusive access to all the stars and behind-the-scenes action from the event.
A plethora of international talent from behind and in front of the cameras graced the capital’s red carpets over the course of the festival. The European Premiere of Captain Phillips launched the proceedings, attended by director Paul Greengrass and the film’s lead player, Tom Hanks. Meanwhile, tonight’s closing event saw the World Premiere of Saving Mr. Banks attended by Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson and director John Lee Hancock.
Other star studded visits included Judi Dench and Steve Coogan for the American Express Gala of Philomena and Steve McQueen‘s presentation of the Accenture Gala of 12 Years a Slave with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o. The American Airlines Gala of Gravity was attended by the film’s leading lady, Sandra Bullock alongside director Alfonso Cuarón and producer David Heyman. The Centrepiece Gala, supported by the Mayor of London, featured a screening of Inside Llewyn Davis which was attended by Joel & Ethan Coen, Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman.
The strand Galas were attended by international filmmakers and casts including director and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Don Jon and Tom Hiddleston for Only Lovers Left Alive.
Last night the BFI London Film Festival Awards were introduced by BFI Chairman Greg Dyke and hosted by Joanna Lumley. The winner of the Best Film award IDA was presented to Pawel Pawlikowski. The long-standing Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition went to Anthony Chen, director of Ilo Ilo. The winner of the Grierson Award in the Documentary Competition went to Paul-Julien Robert, director of My Fathers, My Mother and Me. Best British Newcomer went to Jonathan Asser the debut screenwriter of Starred Up.
The awards ceremony also saw Sir Christopher Lee received the BFI Fellowship, the highest accolade bestowed by the BFI. As a surprise to Sir Christopher Lee the Fellowship was by presented by actor and friend Johnny Depp.
Other then screenings and red carpet action the festival also played host to Screen Talks provided by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Catherine Breillat and actor/director Ralph Fiennes, whilst composer Clint Mansell and cinematographer Barry Ackroyd gave Masterclasses, as did VFX supervisor Tim Webber and Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón.
In line with the Festival’s commitment to keep the UK audience at the heart of the Festival-going experience we’ll leave you with our video footage from the entire festival below, in collaboration with Rightster, Getty Images and BFI.