London bids adieu with Boyle’s 127 Hours
by Naman Ramachandran
This year’s festival hosted 201 feature films and 112 short films from 68 countries including 11 world premieres. There were 530 screenings and 629 filmmaker guests, including 346 UK-based and 283 from outside the UK. With 990 industry delegates accredited, the festival exceeded last year’s figures and boasts the highest ever audience attendance in excess of 132,000, compared to 130,000 in 2009.
Opening the festival was the European premiere of Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go [trailer], with British stars Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield attending, marking a very strong presence for British cinema.
Director Mike Leigh and stars Lesley Manville, Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen were on hand to introduce the Another Year [trailer, film focus] screening - an event which was simultaneously beamed to cinemas across the UK via a satellite link, taking the festival experience nationwide for the first time.
Other events included British Cinema: Breaking with Convention, with directors Patrick Keiller, Clio Barnard and John Akomfrah; and A Novel Idea: Adapting Books for the Screen, in which Thomas Vinterberg and Richard Ayoade participated.
Festival Artistic Director Sandra Hebron said, “We enjoyed two weeks of outstanding films and live events, generous and insightful filmmakers, and enthusiastic audiences, so we’re very happy with the reception that this year’s festival has received, and grateful to all our supporters.”