To Do In London 2011: Winter Film Events

Well, it looks like it’s going to be a busy month for the London Film-goer, especially if you love all foreign films with equal intensity. So relax and turn out the lights as we rub you all over with information until you’re glistening and supple with knowledge of cinema events for November and December.


International Film Festivals

November is absolutely replete with nations of the world that have decided to hold a film festival showcasing the best their nation has to offer, many of them running into December. The fifth Russian Film Festival, taking place at the Apollo Picadilly Cinema (04-13 Nov), has just kicked off, as indeed has Film Africa 2011 and the London Korean Film Festival. They’re running in various venues from the 3rd November until the 13th and 17th respectively.

Looking a little bit further into the future, we have various venues (see their websites for details according to film) hosting several smaller festivals. The UK Portuguese Film Festival (10-30 Nov), as well as the London Iranian (18-26 Nov), Latin American (18-27 Nov) and Turkish (24 Nov-08 Dec) Film Festivals, not to mention Zipangu, the Japenese Film Festival (18-24 Nov).

There’s also the UK Jewish Film festival that started on the 1st November, and will be running on until the 20th of the month.


Cinema Seasons

Next up we have a selection of cinemas running thematic seasons through the long winter months. The Cinema Museum has a good looking selection of events and screenings, including a Sci-Fi screenwriting workshop on the 19th November and “Ribticklers” – an evening of vintage comedy on the 15th December.

Meanwhile, the Prince Charles Cinema is kicking it up a whole bunch of notches, already a few weeks into a barnstorming series of kickass double bills. The Crow and Lost Boys? Yes please! How about a Kill double-Bill? Sounds ace.

Up-market brasserie Hush have decided on “Classics in the Courtyard”, putting the silver screen on a big ol’ plasma screen. Highlights look to include The Godfather, Part 1 and Casablanca, but they’re all good, of course, they’re classics. That’s the point.

Finally, BFI Southbank has a shedload of good things on, including celebration of one of the greatest Russian filmakers of the last few decades. More importantly, though, MUSICALS! With two whole months of MGM’s best, brightest and songiest musicals, taking us right through its not-too-shabby history. Don’t miss that one.



If such epic programs don’t appeal, are several smaller events going on throughout the next couple of months. The Barbican has plenty of independent experiences to liven up your meaningless grey lives, including a discussion on controversy and censorship on the 9th November, paired with a showing of the original Straw Dogs, and a big-screen evening of celebration for the 50th Anniversary of old-school super-spy show The Avengers.

Then, on the 14th November, pop-up film festival Future Shorts will be popping up at the Hackney Picture House for some fun, frolics and f… short films. Check it out, they’re loads of fun. Also, if you don’t like them, they haven’t wasted much of your time at all.

And we’re not done yet, as the Riverside Studios is spicing up their standard programme of films with a bit of Lynchian lunacy, playing host to the second year of the Twin Peaks UK Festival all day on the 26th November. We’re going as the log!


Other Festivals

But wait, there’s more! We’ve got yet another thing happening at BFI Southbank, this time in the form of onedotzero_adventures in motion festival 2011 (23-27 Nov). Describing itself as “the world’s most innovative audio-visual festival”, it looks mad as a box of pretentious frogs, but definitely worth a look.

Then we’ve got GFEST, which covers all forms of media in celebration of everything L,G,B,T or Q. The queer scene’s always rife with excellent stuff, so check this out whatever your inclinations: the film portion’s goes from the 8th to the 10th of November, in the Prince Charles Cinema.

Finally, we have the Underwire Film Festival. Running from the 24th to 26th of November, this outstanding event is dedicated to raising the profile of women within the film industry, and celebrating those who manage to make it. The atmosphere’s always great, and the films are usually the same, spread between the Shorwave Cinema and the Bermondsey Square Hotel. Be there.

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