The 66th BFI London Film Festival closed last Sunday, after welcoming more than 750 filmmakers, 167 feature films and 23 world premieres.
Still coming out of the pandemic, this year’s edition saw audience numbers return to pre-Covid highs. The festival’s ‘LFF For Free’ events were attended in person by over 189,000 audience members, while 101,900 attended the festival online.
At the nine regional partner cinemas, attendance was 33 per cent higher than last year’s. Attendance across the festival’s London cinema screenings rose to 87 per cent capacity, an improvement on both 2018’s 84 per cent mark and 2019’s 83 per cent figure.
The festival’s director, Tricia Tuttle, said: “From the Opening Night Gala World Premiere of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical through to our Closing Gala with the European Premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, there was a strong feeling of celebration and community across the 66th BFI London Film Festival.
“This was a reflection of the extraordinary quality of the films, series and immersive works, but also created by the buzz of packed houses seeing these works together, supported by the presence filmmakers and talent from around the world.
“UK audiences are not quick to give standing ovations and we witnessed a few this year – hearteningly for a number of debut feature films which world premiered this year, as well as for big emotional moments in our Gala venue at Royal Festival Hall.
“The Festival exists to help create awareness and space for wider range of internationally and formally diverse work to reach audiences and we hope this is a sign of brighter times to come for independent cinemas everywhere in the coming months.”