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Ava DuVernay, Rufus Norris, Tabitha Jackson, Ted Hope
Ava DuVernay, Rufus Norris, Tabitha Jackson, Ted Hope

The 64th BFI London Film Festival unveiled an industry program that probes key learnings and experiences that have emerged during a tumultuous and historical 2020.

Talks and panel events will explore themes arising from the rupture of business models accelerated by the pandemic and also as a response to demands to tackle systemic bias in the cultural industries. Ava DuVernay, Rufus Norris, Jane Tranter, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Tabitha Jackson, Ted Hope, Kemp Powers, Jane Alison, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, Ed Guiney, Ameenah Ayub Allen, Allon Reich, Joy Ghatoro-Akopojotor, Matthew Wilkinson, Elhum Shakerifar, Helen Simmons, Natalie Erika James, Yemi Bamiro and Aleem Khan are among the featured speakers at Spotlight talks and panel discussions.

Talent development continues at the Festival via the recently announced new Works-in-Progress showcase for UK films, television and immersive work and also through NETWORK@LFF.

The Industry Programme will be presented digitally this year for the first time offering wider opportunities for international and UK industry delegates to participate.

BFI London Film Festival Director, Tricia Tuttle said: “We always planned to make changes to our 2020 industry programme to reflect the Festival’s evolution to include series and also XR and immersive arts but we also launch this all digital edition at a time of immense uncertainty. Our screen and cultural industries are grappling with unprecedented change due to the enormous economic uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, but also as we question the long term viability of cultural industries which have
excluded so many and privileged and centred so few. As we emerge from this period and look for answers, we are delighted to be joined by established international leaders and also some bold emerging leaders who are highly regarded as risk-takers, innovators, great collaborators and creative thinkers”.

64th BFI London Film Festival Industry Program

 Spotlight conversation – Ava DuVernay and ARRAY
 Spotlight conversation – Jane Tranter from Bad Wolf
 Taking Black Writers Seriously pitching event with Ida Rose and the Young Vic
 Telling Black Stories on Screen – Kemp Powers and Kwame-Kwei-Armah in conversation
 From Big Screen to Small Screen, How Film Producers Navigate the World of Television with Ed Guiney and Allon Reich
 In Focus – Independent Producers with Ameenah Ayub Allen, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, Matthew Wilkinson, Joy Ghatoro-Akopojotor, Elhum Shakerifar and Helen Simmons
 Where Do We Go From Here? with Ted Hope, Tabitha Jackson and Ben Roberts
 Question Time with Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive
 Captive Audiences: in Lockdown and Beyond
 Creating a Pandemic Recovery Plan for UK Distribution and Exhibition with Bird’s Eye View
 The Immersive Art Revolution (LFF Expanded program) with Rufus Norris, Jane Alison and Nell Whitley
 LFF Works-in-Progress Showcase for UK film, television and immersive work
 First feature case studies in presented by BFI NETWORK@LFF
 Film London Production Finance Market
 Film Audience Network – Exhibitors’ Breakfast: BFI London Film Festival Special


This year the Festival is introducing its first new works-in-progress showcase as part of its industry program. In what is to become an annual event, the Festival will present a showcase of works made for cinema, television and immersive platforms by UK emerging talents. The seven projects featured in this year’s event are currently in production, post-production or near completion, and will be presented to an invited audience of international buyers and festival programmers. The projects are:

 8 BAR (working title), dir Ewen Spencer, prods Aleksandra Bilic, Jamie Clark, David Upshal. Documentary by photographer and filmmaker Ewen Spencer.
 THE FEAST (GWLEDD), dir Lee-Haven Jones, scr/prod Roger Williams, starring Anne Elwy, Nia Roberts, Julian Lewis Jones.
 HERE BEFORE, dir/scr Stacey Gregg, prods Sophie Vickers and Julia Godzinskaya starring Andrea Riseborough, Martin McCann, Jonjo O’Neill.
 IF THE STREETS WERE ON FIRE, dir Alice Russell, prod Gannesh Rajah, exec prod Julia Nottingham, documentary.
 THE SCORE, dir/scr Malachi Smyth, prods Matthew James Wilkinson, Ben Pullen, coprod Isabelle Georgeaux, starring Johnny Flynn, Naomi Ackie, Will Poulter.
 SWEETHEART, dir/scr Marley Morrison, prod Michelle Antoniades, starring Jo Hartley, Nell Barlow, Ella-Rae Smith.
 UNTITLED BAFF AKOTO PROJECT, dir Baff Akoto, prods L-A Appiah, Baff Akoto, experimental artist film, featuring Lazara Rosell Albear, Odilon Ngonda, Suhyene Idrissu.


This year’s NETWORK@LFF offers a series of online webinars exploring some of the exciting debut feature films in this year’s program, delving deep into the triumphs and challenges of getting the films made, as well as sharing valuable insight and advice for new filmmakers looking to make their first feature.

Natalie Erika James: Relic
Writer/director Natalie Erika James will be talking about her experiences making Relic, at once a heartbreaking allegory for the debilitating effects of dementia and a no-holds-barred exercise in pure horror.

Yemi Bamiro: One Man and His Shoes
Filmmaker Yemi Bamiro will be talking about One Man and His Shoes (supported with BFI National Lottery funding), the compelling documentary, examining the cultural and commercial phenomena of Michael Jordan against the increasing commodification of black culture.

Aleem Khan: After Love
Writer/director Aleem Khan will be talking about making After Love, a BFI National Lottery funded drama whose tenderness is a testament to the quality of its writing and performances.

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