Londoners, to your popcorn! This autumn’s most promising film adventures

Best For Film Towers is absolutely alive with excitement at the moment. From late September, London-based readers will be able to join us for some of the most novel and innovative film festivals in the country – nay, the solar system! – right here in the Big Smoke. One of the events we’re particularly psyched about actually started next week, but we thought we’d better hold this feature back until the Pope’s visit had been and gone; he thinks that moving pictures are a trick created by the beast we call The Desolate One, all to convince him that gays aren’t actually an intrinsic source of moral evil. Ho hum.

Anyway, this Autumn sees some really exciting events explode onto the London scene, and since every minute you’re reading Time Out is a minute you’re not checking out our hypercool articles we thought we’d make things simple for you. In no particular order, these are the three film seasons we really can’t wait for…

Raindance 2010 – 29th September – 10th October

The Raindance Film Festival is one of life’s great joys. Now in its 18th year, Raindance has built a reputation as the spiritual home of independent cinema through its management of the British Independent Film Awards and habit of premièring absurdly brilliant films – in recent years, think Memento, Oldboy and Firecracker. This year the festival’s opening with our favourite animatronic WW2 epic of all time, Jackboots on Whitehall, which you absolutely must not miss if you ever want us to talk to you again. Our interview with its charming directors is here if you need more convincing. Other films on the menu include LA Zombie, reportedly the first ever gay zombie sex comedy (unless we’re counting Katherine Heigl’s slowly decomposing performance in Knocked Up.
Raindance 2010 is also screening the massively controversial A Serbian Film, which is apparently so revolting that even Frightfest boycotted it. Controversy, Nazis and the famous 99 Minute Film School – what’s not to love?

The Scoop – 15th September – 1st October

We’re due a few more weeks of mild weather, so now’s the time to capitalise on the last dregs of summer and get outside for the Scoop! Tucked up next to City Hall, this timeless amphitheatre is home to More London’s season of classic and contemporary films each September – and although a few have already been shown, there’s still a wide selection of fabulous home-grown and international cinema to be had before it packs up for the winter. Best of all, it’s free! You will have to go pretty early to beat the crowds of skint students, but this isn’t much of a price to pay for complimentary and communal cinema in a stunning Southbank setting (Alliteration, YO!). Simply rock up with a blanket, a coat and your choice of snacks/drinks/smokes, and enjoy the view from Tower Bridge to HMS Belfast before settling down to watch anything from Up to The Hurt Locker by way of Invictus and Pretty Woman.
You’ll almost certainly see us at this one, since it’s only tiny – familiarise yourself with the author snaps here and come say hello!

BFI London Film Festival – 13th – 28th October

The London Film Festival was established in 1956 by a group of critics who felt that London should be able to compete with Cannes, Venice and Edinburgh in the international-home-of-film stakes. It originally sought to screen only those films which had picked up the highest accolades at other festivals, but nowadays it offers punters a huge variety of cinema from around the world – all open to the general public and very reasonably priced, but with the exciting addition of numerous director Q&As and other one-off events and panels on a variety of topics. For example, the 2010 Festival is packing star of Cannes Chongqing Blues, B&W masterpiece Pandora’s Box and Darren Aronofsky’s latest feature Black Swan, as well as masterclasses with Peter Mullan and Olivier Assayas.
Best of all, the public is welcome at every single event, from the most obscure Q&A to the spectacular Opening and Closing galas – just make sure you get buying sooner rather than later, since some of the most high-profile events have already sold out.

Sci-fi London: Oktoberfest – 14th – 16th October

Sci-fi London is one of the UK’s top science fiction festivals. It used to be annual, a springtime affair, but the folks at Sci-fi London have plugged the autumn gap this year with a second venture: Oktoberfest.
You can expect to find an endearingly eclectic event programme. There will be a few rarely-screened treasures in the mix: the newly-restored cult classic Dougal and the Blue Cat, animated cyberpunk from Serbia and the original Jeff Bridges version of Tron. There’ll also be a tantalising screening of Alien Encounters: Superior fan power since 1979), a jewel of a documentary focusing on the people who have used the Alien franchise as a springboard to host their own events and spectacles. The festival will culminate in four gruelling all-nighters on Saturday 16th, delighting fans with a nicely-chosen mix of themes: Studio Ghibli, Anime, MST3K and Del Toro.
Sci-fi London’s Oktoberfest 2010 won’t just focus on screenings. It will also host an array of fascinating discussions, talks and Q&A sessions. You’ll be able to hear what the UK’s leading figures in artificial intelligence have to say for themselves, and witness two quite frankly mental KASPAR robots, rare examples of non-Japanese near-AI.

You may have noticed that the images above are all rather nifty links to the appropriate websites (we’re clever like that), but just so this is all idiot-proof you can also finds links below. We look forward to seeing you stretching your creative muscles at London’s best cinematic workouts some time soon!

Raindance Film Festival 2010
The Scoop (Twitter)
54th BFI London Film Festival
Sci-fi London: Oktoberfest 2010

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