New fest director makes changes

LONDON — Under new director Clare Stewart, this year’s London Film Festival will be shorter but will pack in an increased number of screenings in more venues.

The 2012 edition, kicking off Oct. 10, has been cut from 16 days to 12, which “will give a concentrated burst of film across more boroughs of London than ever before,” per Stewart.

Screenings will take place not only in the previous axis between Leicester Square cinemas and the BFI Southbank, but will be extended to the Hackney Picturehouse, the Renoir in Bloomsbury, Screen on the Green in Islington and the Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

Fest will continue to screen at the ICA and will expand its use of the Curzon in Mayfair, the Ritzy in Brixton and Cine Lumiere in Kensington, which will all screen films for the full duration.

The fest says it will up the number of evening and weekend screenings to attract more crowds and boost its commercial potential.

“The BFI London Film Festival is one of the jewels in the capital’s crown and we want to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to experience it,” said BFI head of exhibition and festival director Stewart. “Whether it’s a film aficionado diving straight into our festival program or a moviegoer coming to the festival for the first time — more screenings, more venues and more London boroughs makes it a film festival for everyone.”

Last month, LFF announced new program categories, competitive sections and enhanced awards.

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