Date posted: 07.11.2007
The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival drew to a close last week with a gala screening of The Darjeeling Limited. The screening follows an action-packed two week programme dedicated to showcasing the best of UK and international film talent, with Film London enjoying a particularly successful year with various events taking place.
One of the key highlights for Film London’s festival programmes was the first ever Production Finance Market (PFM), an industry event held over 2 days. Producers and Financiers attended 500 meetings in a speed-dating style pitching event which included seminars by Mark Gill and Warp X. The event was deemed a huge success with requests for it to be repeated next year.
Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London, said "The calibre of both the producers and financiers who took two days out of their busy schedules to attend really says it all about the need for such an event in the UK and I don’t think we could have hoped for a better response.
Early feedback suggests that a good proportion of the 1,000 or so ‘dragon’s den’-style pitches made by producers have created serious investment interest and we’ve heard that a few deals were struck on the day. One financier reckoned that he’d had a one in three hit rate for projects that he would seriously consider investing in. It’s very early days, but watch this space over the coming months."
Londoners were also treated to London Thrills Me, a two night feast of archive footage shown on an outdoor screen in Trafalgar Square with live piano accompaniment. Films included Hitchcock’s Blackmail, a dark tale of manslaughter and blackmail in 1920s London and Ivor Monatgu’s Blue Bottles, a comedic caper starring silent movie actress Elsa Lanchester. The event was attended by over 3,000 people and had very positive feedback, hopefully leading to a repeat next year.
Other events included:
- The Mayor of London’s Gala, a public screening of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, a beautifully shot drama set in 1940s Shanghai during Japanese occupation.
- Power to the Pixel, a conference exploring the distribution of film online in the digital age.
- London Calling showcased Film London’s PULSE awardees digital shorts at the BFI Southbank.
- In conjunction with Skillset, Think-Shoot-Distribute was a five-day programme that provided 25 film-makers with creative and business training in key areas of the pre-production process.
Film London looks forward to an equally exciting festival in 2008.