SCREEN GUIDE: Film Festivals in London (A to Z)

SCREEN GUIDE: Looking for Film Festivals in London? We’re doing all the hunting so you don’t have to. Here’s our comprehensive listing (A to Z // beta version).

RADIANT CIRCUS SCREEN GUIDE: Film Festivals in London (A to Z) - THE WOUND opens Film Africa 2017.
THE WOUND opens Film Africa 2017.

Film festivals can deliver rich rewards for lovers of adventurous moving pictures. However, the variety of film festivals in London can be overwhelming. Many official sites are partial in their coverage and listings are frequently out of date. The term ‘festival’ is used to describe very different attractions from DIY community weekenders to heavyweight industry affairs.

This is our attempt at putting London’s film festivals into one simple listing. There’s world, documentary and short form cinema as well as diverse stories of people and places. A small number of events feature experimental strands – we’ll try to map these features in future updates.

RADIANT CIRCUS SCREEN GUIDE: Film Festivals in London (A to Z) - BARBARELLA screened at Fashion in Film 2017.
BARBARELLA screened at Fashion in Film 2017.

Our simple test for inclusion is that a festival has an up to date website (please!) and active social media. Festivals that only exist socially (e.g. Facebook events) are harder for us to check, as are those that screen away from cinemas we check regularly. Working out what will happen every year, over alternate years or might never happen again will take more time…

BETA VERSION: We’ll update as we go, add some extra functionality and review the entire list annually. There will be a lot of clicking and checking.

RADIANT CIRCUS SCREEN GUIDE: Film Festivals in London (A to Z) - LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM screened at BFI London Film Festival 2017.
LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM screened at BFI London Film Festival 2017.

FILM FESTIVALS IN LONDON (A-Z)

FESTVALFOCUSDATES (last/next)WEBSITETWITTERINSTAGRAM
Architecture Film FestivalMoving image & the built environment.06 to 11 JUN '17www.archfilmfest.uk@ArchFilmFestUK@archfilmfestuk
BFI FLARELGBT cinema.22 MAR to 01 APR '18www.bfi.org.uk/flare@BFI@britishfilminstitute
BFI London Film FestivalNew film.04 to 15 OCT '17www.bfi.org.uk@BFI@britishfilminstitute
Breaking The Legacy Film FestivalAfrican Holocaust Remembrance Day.10 to 31 AUG '17www.blackhistorystudies.com@BlkHistStudies@blackhistorystudies
British Urban Film FestivalUrban independent cinema.06 to 12 SEP '17www.britishurbanfilmfestival.co.uk@buffenterprises@buffenterprises
Chinese Visual FestivalContemporary Chinese language film & art.02 to 11 MAY '17www.chinesevisualfestival.org@CVF_london@cvf_london
Cinema Made In ItalyItalian film & film made in Italy.01 to 05 MAR '17www.institut-francais.org.uk/cine-lumiere/@iiclondra
Crystal Palace International Film FestivalWorld independent film.27 OCT to 18 NOV '17www.cpiff.co.uk@CrystalPalaceFF
Doc 'N Roll FestivalMusic documentary film.02 to 19 NOV '17www.docnrollfestival.com@docnrollfest@docnrollfilms
East End Film FestivalBritish & international cinema.11 to 29 APRIL '17www.eastendfilmfestival.com@EastEndFilmFest@eastendfilmfest
Essay Film FestivalEssay film as criticism.24 MAR to 01 APR '17www.essayfilmfestival.com
KinotekaPolish cinema.17 MAR to 05 APR '17www.kinoteka.org.uk@PLInst_London
Fashion In FilmExploring fashion & film.11 to 26 MAR '17www.fashioninfilm.com@FashionFilmFest@fashioninfilmfestival
Film AfricaAfrican cinema from the continent & diaspora.27 OCT to 05 NOV '17www.filmafrica.org.uk@ FilmAfrica@filmafrica
Frames of RepresentationNew perspectives in documentary cinema.21 to 29 APR '17www.framesofrepresentation.com@framesofrep
Free Film FestivalsNeighbourhood festivals.VARIOUSwww.freefilmfestivals.org@freefilmfests
French Film Festival UKFrancophone cinema.02 NOV to 17 DEC '17www.frenchfilmfestival.org.uk@lefrenchfilmfes
FrightfestHorror cinema.24 to 28 AUG '17www.frightfest.co.uk@frightfest@horrorchannelfrightfest
Fringe! Queer Film & Arts FestLGBTIQA+ stories.14 to 19 NOV '17www.fringefilmfest.com@ fringefilmfest@ fringefilmfest
GFESTLGBTQI film, performance, art & debate.13 to 25 NOV '17www.gaywisefestival.org.uk@GFEST@GFEST
Human Rights Watch Film FestivalHuman rights abuses.06 to 17 MAR '17www.ff.hrw.org/london@hrwfilmfestival@hrwfilmfestival
Irish Film LondonIrish film & animation.29 NOV to 03 DEC '17www.irishfilmfestivallondon.com@irishfilmlondon@irishfilmlondon
I Will Tell International Film FestivalFilms about the 'other'.30 AUG to 09 SEP '17www.iwilltell.com@iwilltell
LOCO Film FestivalInternational comedy film.04 to 07 MAY '17www.locofilmfestival.com@locofilmfest@locofilmfestival
London Asian Film FestivalSouth Asian art & film.09 to 19 MAR '17www.tonguesonfire.com@cometoLAFF@londonasianfilmfestival
London Drone Film FestivalCreative skills of drone pilots.25 SEP '17www.londondronefilmfestival.com@LDRONEFILMFEST
London East Asia Film FestivalCollaboration & diversity in East Asian filmmaking.19 to 29 OCT '17www.leaff.org.uk@LEAFilmFest@leafilmfest
London Experimental Film FestivalExperimental film.03 DEC '17www.londonexperimental.org@londexpfilmfes
London Feminist Film FestivalFeminist films from women directors.17 to 20 AUG '17www.londonfeministfilmfestival.com@ldnfemfilmfest
London Greek Film FestivalModern Greek film.14 to 20 MAY '17www.londongreekfilmfestival.com@londongff
London Indian Film FestivalIndian independent film.22 to 29 Jun '17www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk@LoveLIFF@loveliff
London International Animation FestivalThe spectrum of creative animation.01 to 10 DEC '17www.liaf.org.uk@londonanimation
London Korean Film FestivalKorean cinema.26 OCT to 19 NOV '17www.koreanfilm.co.uk@ koreanfilmfest@ london_korean_film_festival
London Porn Film FestSex positive queer film.07 to 09 APR '17www.thehorsehospital.com
London Short Film FestivalIndependent short film.12 to 21 JAN '18www.shortfilms.org.uk@LSFF@ londonshortfilmfest
London Spanish Film FestivalContemporary Spanish cinema.21 to 24 SEPT '17www.londonspanishfilmfestival.com@LSFFest@londonspanishfilmfestival
London Surf Film FestivalSurf film, art & culture.19 to 21 OCT '17www.londonsurffilmfestival.com@LonSurfFilmFest@londonsurffilmfest
Made In PragueFilms, visual arts, literature, theatre & music.08 NOV to 06 DEC '17www.london.czechcentres.cz@ CzechCentreLnd@ czechcentrelondon
Native Spirit Film FestivalIndigenous film, native mediamakers.12 to 21 OCT '17www.nativespiritfoundation.org@NativeSpiritUK
Ocean Film FestivalFilms from above & below the surface.16 to 21 OCT '17www.oceanfilmfestival.co.uk@ OceanFilmFestUK@ oceanfilmfestuk
Open City Documentary FestivalCreative documentary & non-fiction film.04 to 09 SEP '18www.opencitylondon.com@OpenCityDocs@opencitydocs
Origins Festival of First NationsWorld indigenous cultures.10 to 25 JUN '17www.originsfestival.bordercrossings.org.uk@BorderCrossings@border_crossings
Oz Film FestivalNew & classic Australian film.30 JUN to 02 JUL '17www.ozfilmfest.com@OZfilmfest@ozfilmfestival
Raindance Film FestivalIndependent film.19 to 30 SEP '18www.raindance.org@raindance@raindance_film_festival
Russian Film WeekRussian themed films.19 to 26 NOV '17www.russianfilmweek.org@rfw_uk@russian_film_week
ScalaramaNational celebration of cinema.01 to 30 SEP '18www.scalarama.com@scalarama@scalarama
Sci-Fi London Film FestivalScience fiction & fantastic film.27 APR to 06 MAYwww.sci-fi-london.com@scifilondon
SERET London Israeli Film FestivalIsraeli film & television.11 to 18 MAY '17www.seret-international.org@SERET_Films
Shubbak FestivalContemporary Arab culture.01 to 16 JUL '17www.shubbak.co.uk@shubbakfestival@shubbakfestival
Sundance Film Festival: LondonIndependent film.01 to 04 June '17www.picturehouses.com@sundancefestuk
UK International Jewish Film FestivalJewish & Israeli film.09 to 26 NOV '17www.ukjewishfilm.org@UKJewishFilm
UK Iranian Film FestivalIranian film.27 OCT to 01 NOV '17www.ukiff.org.uk@ifru_london@ifru_london
Underwire Film FestivalFemale talent across the film crafts.22 to 26 NOV '17www.underwirefestival.com@underwirefest@underwirefest
Utopia Film FestivalPortuguese film.13 NOV to 01 DEC '17www.utopiafestival.org.uk@Portuguesefilm
Walthamstow International Film FestivalShort film.04 JUN '17www.walthamstowinternationalfilmfestival.com@e17filmfest
Women of the LensBlack women & women of colour in the UK creative industries.24 to 26 NOV '17www.womenofthelens.com@WomenOfTheLens
RADIANT CIRCUS SCREEN GUIDE: Film Festivals in London (A to Z) - OCEAN RUBBISH screened at Ocean Film Festival 2017.
OCEAN RUBBISH screened at Ocean Film Festival 2017.

WHAT HAVE WE MISSED?

No list would be complete without the ones we’ve missed… Let us know any corrections and inclusions using the comments below or contact RADIANT CIRCUS here.


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Featured image: ANTI MATTER (2016) screened at Sci-Fi London 2017.

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