The London Film Festival by numbers

The 61st annual London Film Festival kicks off this week, with a programme of 242 feature films from 67 countries around the world. 

So I thought I’d take a quick look at the festival and its films.

The London Film Festival by numbers

Last year, the London Film Festival screened to a total audience of 184,000 people, making it the UK’s largest film festival by a big margin. 

And it’s growing; the 2016 attendance figure is 70% higher than a decade ago.

Note: I could not find the figures for 2002 and 2005 but the festival did run.

Good value

One possible reason for this large attendance is that tickets compare favourably with average cinema ticket prices in London.  A few years ago, I looked at the average …

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What’s changed in the world of film festivals?

Just over a year ago I published a long piece about the huge changes we’ve witnessed in the film festival market over the past fifteen years.  It covered the emergence of online submission service Withoutabox, how the industry fell in love with Withoutabox, how it then fell out love thanks to poor service and monopolistic practices (due to their all-powerful patent) and finally the emergence of a rival, FilmFreeway.

If you’ve not read the piece then I recommend you do now as (a) it’s quite an entertaining, shocking story and (b) it will provide context for today’s article.

A year later, I thought I’d check in and see what’s changed.  I spoke to Withoutabox, FilmFreeway and senior people within major film festivals.  Throughout the article, I …

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How many Cannes-nominated films get a theatrical release?

The Cannes Film Festival kicks off next week, and at the centre of all the glitz and glamour is competition for the film world’s greatest artistic prize – the Palme d’Or.  This year, nineteen films are in the running including work by Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola, Todd Haynes and Michel Hazanavicius.  The films will be screened over the festival’s eleven days, following which a jury of luminaries, headed by Pedro Almodóvar, will decide which film is worthy of walking away with the Palme d’Or.  

But once the festival is over, what happens to the Cannes-nominated films?  In Cannes gone by, I have met filmmakers whose work was being admired in the festival and who excitedly talked about the “inevitable” and “huge” theatrical release awaiting …

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How much does it cost to exhibit at the Cannes Marché?

In just over two weeks, the Cannes Film Festival and Marché will open its doors, commencing twelve days of drinks, deals, dailies and daring new cinema (plus a fair amount of double-dealing, dehydration and depression). It’s the biggest date in the film industry’s annual calendar, both for celebrating the best new movies (via the festival) and negotiating distribution for movies of all levels of quality (in the film market).  

I have covered Cannes for a few years now, so there are a number of older articles which you may find interesting or useful.

  • Attending Cannes
    • Cannes film festival mysteries explained (via Nicolas Cage)
    • Ultimate tips for attending the Cannes Film Festival
    • Will it rain at the Cannes Film Festival?
    • What types of films win the Palme d’Or at Cannes?
    • How …
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How big is the European Film Market?

The European Film Market is currently in full swing in chilly Berlin.  I have been contacted by a reader who asked how big the European Film Market (EFM) is, and how it compares with its American and French counterparts (i.e. the American Film Market and Cannes Marché du film).  

There are three major film markets in the year: EFM (held in February), Cannes (May) and the AFM (November).  Throughout the year there are other smaller and more specialised festivals but the EFM, Cannes and AFM are regarded as the ‘Big Three’.

Today, I’m focusing on the European Film Market, rather than the Berlin Film Festival.  Although the two events are heavily connected, they fundamentally serve different purposes.  Film festivals are primarily a way for …

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What kinds of films do well at the BAFTA awards?

Next Sunday sees the glitz and glamour of the 70th annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) film awards, so I thought it was timely to look at the kind of films that have previously succeeded at the awards, and how BAFTA compares to other awards and major film festivals.  

I looked at all films nominated for one of the three main categories – best film, best British film and best foreign language film over the past twenty years.

What kinds of films compete for BAFTA awards?

I have previously reported on British filmmakers’ penchant for making dramas, with around a fifth of all British films made between 2001-13 having drama as one of their principal genres.  Therefore perhaps it’s not a surprise …

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When and how the film business went digital

Last week, I looked at six trends for how the film business is changing.  It got a great response and I was heartened to see such interesting, lively debate about it.  One of the topics raised by a few people was the move from analog to digital processes.  I didn’t include the move to digital as a trend because it’s not one single thing, with each corner of the industry transitioning at a different pace.

So this week I thought I would take you through a quick tour of when and how various aspects of the film industry moved to digital technology.  For some aspects, I have lots of data, while others are a little scant.  If you have knowledge or data on anything …

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The cost, income and films of the Toronto International Film Festival

I am currently at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), experiencing Canadian hospitality, international films and British jetlag.  

TIFF is a lot larger than I suspect most people realise.  The annual festival is huge, attracting over 5,000 industry professionals and selling 530,000 tickets in 2015, but this is just one aspect of TIFF.  Throughout the rest of the year, they run screenings, talks, exhibitions, training, industry and charitable events.  

In order to get a better idea of the scale of TIFF, I combed through Annual Reports, audited accounts and other public documents to look at TIFF’s costs and income.  To give you a sense of scale, at the end of 2015 they had $9.1 million in cash in the bank and …

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Tips for attending the Toronto International Film Festival

The film industry is good at generating wisdom but not so good at disseminating it.  A case in point is all of the tips and tricks learnt by attendees of a festival or market.  The first time someone attends they spend the first half of their trip totally lost, but after a few days they start to get the hang of it, thanks in part to the things they learn from their fellow attendees.  Everyone new feels like they have got the hang of it exactly at the moment it finishes. We then all return to our four corners of the globe, only for the same cycle to play out the next year.

And so I have taken on the task of collecting some of …

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How do British films fare at the Cannes Film Festival?

Cannes is currently in full swing, following the same annual pattern with sales agents selling, buyers buying and filmmaking drinking.  

Two of this year’s hottest festival films are British films, American Honey from Andrea Arnold and I, Daniel Blake from Cannes veteran Ken Loach, both of which are up for the highest award in Cannes, the Palme d’Or.

One in five wins and one in ten nominations

Since the first Cannes Film Festival in 1939, 159 British films have been nominated for a Palme d’Or.  In fact, out of the 69 festivals to date, only 14 haven’t featured at least one British film ‘in competition’.  

While under 10% of Cannes-nominated films have been British, over 18% of wins have gone to British films (16 films at the time …

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