BFI Film Festival

Mimi ON Oct 17, 2012 AT 4:04 pm

Frankenweenie Gala Models

The BFI Film Festival kicked off with quite the spark on 10 October in Leicester Square, beginning with the Opening Gala of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. The film’s red carpet opening was graced by none other than director Tim Burton, long-time partner Helena Bonham Carter, voice-actors Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara, as well as the legendary Martin Landau and a handful of models dressed in true Burton-esque style.

Tim Burton

The film was a welcome dose of Burton style, loaded with a perfect blend of dark humor and wide-eyed innocence that Burton’s animated films are known and loved for. Tim Burton’s determination to use a now antiquated animation model adds a dose of familiarity and charm, to which the audience’s ecstatic response was proof of it being a successful decision.

Following the screening, an after party was held at the appropriately atmospheric Wapping’s Tobacco Dock, a venue with cavernous vaults and gothic Victorian brickwork, worthy of the King of Halloween.Tim Burton is also set to receive a BFI Fellowship at the festival’s closing awards ceremony, the highest honor of BFI. The iconic director said, “I feel very touched and grateful to the BFI for this tremendous honor.  It means more than I can put into words to receive the BFI Fellowship and to be included alongside the great directors who have received it before me”.

For those who missed the premiere of Frankenweenie, the film will begin showings in cinemas across the UK of 17 October. Also through the end of the BFI Film Festival on 21 October, the puppets and art from the film will be on display in the Festival Village at Southbank Centre. “The Art of Frankenweenie” exhibition is open daily 11:00 to 20:00 and is free to all visitors.

Actors Adam Long, Nico Mirallegro, Oliver Heald, Jordan Murphy and Elliott Tittensor at the world premiere of Spike Island.

Day two of the film festival kept the ball rolling with the premiere screenings of the cop thriller Blood, Bollywood Chakravyuh, comedic drama Robot and Frank, British film Spike Island and the endearing Wadjda.

Although the cutie cast members of Spike Island certainly caught our eye on the red carpet, the film Wadjda captured our attention on and off screen. The film itself is something of a marvel, filmed entirely on location in Saudi Arabia, where cinemas themselves have been banned for over thirty years. When the filmmaker also happens to be a woman, in a country where it is illegal for women to drive let alone direct, it makes Haifaa Al Mansour’s accomplishment with this debut feature awe-worthy.


It is just as well that the innovative director created a film that follows the story of a precocious young Saudi girl from a lower-middle-class family in Riyadh who will stop at nothing to earn enough money to buy the bicycle she craves. Al Mansour certainly confirms herself as a fantastic new filmmaking talent to watch.

Actors Alice Englert and Elle Fanning attend a screening of Official Competition entry Ginger and Rosa.

Day three and four of the BFI Film Festival saw the premiere of films such as Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Hunt, and Lore and Beyond the Hills, as well as the much anticipated premieres of the coming-of-age drama Ginger & Rosa and the moving love story of Rust and Bone.

Director Jacques Audiard and actors Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts at a screening of Official Competition entry Rust and Bone.

Although Elle Fanning looked sweet in a flowing pale yellow flower-print dress, quite reminiscent of the late 1960s in which Ginger & Rosa is set, it was Marion Cottillard who stole the show at the night’s premiere of Rust and Bone. Braving the nippy autumn weather, Marion stepped out on the red carpet in a classic LBD that showed off her shapely legs. She was joined by her dashing co-star Matthias Schoenaerts, who was suited out in style.


Billy Connolly at the Premiere of Midnight’s Children

Days five and six have seen an increasing number of celebs and big names in the film industry. Billy Connolly was spotted at the premiere of Midnight’s Children a regular attendee, while director John Waters followed suit attending the premiere of Love, Marilyn.

Actor-director Dustin Hoffman and actor Maggie Smith attend the American Airlines Gala screening of Quartet.

Dustin Hoffman‘s directorial debut Quartet was not only attended by the actor-director himself and much loved leading lady Maggie Smith but also was also viewed by actor Leigh Lawson, Twiggy, and comedian Harry Hill.

The festival is well underway and is certain to see many more celebs and great films to watch. Stay tuned for more updates!


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