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Barbie, Scorsese and Nuggets: Everything you missed at London Film Festival

For all of the film buffs who were too busy studying to make it to the BFI


From the 4th to the 15th of October this year, the London Film Festival, in collaboration with BFI, returned for the 67th time, yet again proving immensely popular and continuing to thrive post-Covid. Of course, it’s easy to see why, with the festival boasting showings of a whopping 252 titles this year, 29 of which were world premieres.

For those of you who didn’t make it to the festival this year, perhaps because, like me, you were overwhelmed by assignments and desperately just trying to make it to reading week, do not be disheartened! You can live vicariously through this article instead and take a look at what you missed…

Huge names in film

This year, as with every year, big names in the industry flocked to London for the festival. Fresh off the back of her overwhelming Barbie success this summer, Greta Gerwig was in attendance to discuss her career, in conversation with Jesse Armstrong as part of BFI’s Screen Talks, a series of live interviews with high profile directors.

For any of our business students here at KCL who may consider themselves to be a normal version of Jordan Belfort, try not to be too devastated at the news that Martin Scorsese – director of Wolf of Wall Street – was also on stage for a similar talk earlier on in the festival.

World exclusives

One of the festival’s biggest draws is, undeniably, the opportunity to be the first in the world to see anticipated upcoming releases, and there truly was something for everyone. All of the true 2000s babies who know and love Chicken Run will, undoubtedly, be excited to hear that the festival premiered the film’s long-awaited sequel, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget!

For those with a slightly more mature taste in film, however, there were certainly a plethora of other options, such as The End We Start From, director Mahalia Belo’s latest film set to release in January 2024, with critical acclaim for Jodie Comer’s performance in the new drama already rolling in.

Interactive exhibits

This year, Bargehouse at OXO Tower Wharf hosted the LFF Expanded Exhibition, offering festival-goers the chance to immerse themselves in art and storytelling, with a range of exhibitions to get their teeth into.

The exhibition truly combined art, film, and technology, showcasing work such as Colored – an augmented reality installation telling the true story of Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old girl in 1950s America who fought segregation laws – and Consensus Gentium – an interactive film by UK artist Karen Palmer exploring modern surveillance technologies and the frightening potential they hold.

Learning from the best of the best

For those interested in getting into the industry, the festival presented highly valuable opportunities to take advice straight from the horse’s mouth and listen to talks given by industry professionals.

To name just one of many, the final Sunday of the festival saw Victor Erice and Pedro Costa in conversation, a unique chance to hear two major figures in European cinema talk candidly about their approach to filmmaking, and to learn directly from people who know their art intimately.

With tickets starting from £5 for 16 to 25-year-olds, and events all day every day for two weeks, the film festival was an ideal activity for both the student budget and the student schedule.