London fest boosts industry events

Int'l fest programmers to meet Brit helmers

The 55th London Film Festival has unveiled an expanded program of industry events, including a fresh initiative to introduce British filmmakers to international buyers and fests.

The festival, which runs Oct. 12-27, is working with the British Council to bring a greater number of overseas festival programmers to meet with new and established directors, and to attend industry screenings.

The fest has also joined forces for the first time with Festival Scope, the on-demand Web service, which will make selected titles from the New British Cinema and Experimental sections available to film professionals around the globe.

There will also be a one-day symposium to discuss how film research can inform public policy-making; an event in which leading casting directors will discuss their role; and a panel discussing whether 3D is living up to expectations.

Regular events include the Film London Production Finance Market, which takes place Oct. 19-20 to broker relationships between producers and financiers. The 2010 market attracted projects with budgets totalling $310 million.

Also returning is the Film Festivals Forum, and the Power to the Pixel Cross-Media Forum, whose speakers include Jeff Gomez, chief exec of Starlight Runner, which created story universes for “Avatar” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.

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