The 59th BFI London Film Festival (LFF), in partnership with American Express, announced today the addition of various events that will be featured in this year’s industry program. Among the panels, which headline filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Tacita Dean, the 59th LFF’s partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Women in Film and Television (WFTV) stands out as a landmark event.
The festival is scheduled to host the Institute’s first Global Symposium outside the States following the UK premiere of Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette.” Film’s cultural importance on feminist issues will be discussed in terms of a global scale, with the aim being to empower those disenfranchised by gender with film’s impact. Keynote speakers include Academy Award-winning actor and Founder and Chair of the Institute Geena Davis, Chair of Women in Film and Television and Producer Elizabeth Karlsen and BFI CEO Amanda Nevill.
The London Film Festival is also launching a series of talks to explore the future of film and its relationship with the arts. LFF Connects will celebrate performance, art and technology with a respective headline speaker. It will showcase writer, director, visual artist and vocalist Laurie Anderson, who will headline on October 15 with multimedia presentations, theater and experimental music. Filmmaker and artist Guy Maddin will also discuss his latest production, “The Forbidden Room,” which screens as LFF’s Experimenta Special Presentation at the BFI Southbank on Saturday October 10. Representing the creative technologies realm, Chris Milk will discuss his development of music videos which have featured Kanye West, Arcade Fire and Beck. His digital installations and cross-media technologies will be the focus of this section of LFF Connects. On top of Milk’s discussion of Virtual Reality on October 12, Milk will speak about his documentaries “Waves of Grace,” which exposes communities ravaged by Ebola, and “Clouds Over Sidra,” about a Syrian refugee in Jordan.
This year’s LFF will also highlight opportunities for emerging talent. Industry professionals will have the chance to engage with international filmmakers and industry professionals thanks to LFF’s returning partnerships with Power to the Pixel’s Pixel Market and Cross Media Forum and the Film London Production Finance Market (PFM). From October 13-16, The Pixel Market “will present 35 cross-platform and interactive projects from across Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and South America to international financiers and commissioners.” The PFM will be a two-day event fostering one-on-one meetings between executives and artists.
The LFF will also host the Film London Micro Market, which provides 25 filmmaking teams a link to speak with financiers looking to source films which are budgeted at €1m and lower. A new partnership with Screen International will unveil the 2015 UK Stars of Tomorrow at the Festival for the first time following the markets. To wrap up the festival, Oscar-winning producer Mark Johnson, chair of AMPAS’ Foreign-Language Film Committee, will lead a panel hosted by AMPAS to discuss the impact of the Oscar Foreign Language Film Award.