As the birthplace of the moving image in 1888 when Louis le Prince took to Roundhay Park and Leeds Bridge to defy his critics and create the world’s first short film, it is only right that Leeds should continue to be a platform for British and international film-making talent.
Leeds International Film Festival, fondly known as LIFF, has been inviting the most creative, enigmatic, inspiring and provocative filmmakers, directors and producers to meet with audiences for film culture across the North of England, for more than 30 years now, a tenacity that has earned it accreditation as a qualifying event for the Oscars and BAFTAs, and the lead host in the UK for the European Parliament’s prestigious LUX Film Prize.
A champion of under-represented voices and stories the festival features over 4500 films from more than 90 countries, competing for seven international awards. The programme has a broad appeal with everyone from world cinema and niche horror, to major Hollywood productions and independent film that will become the cult classics of our time.
LIFF Director, Chris Fell said: “The festival attracts an attendance of over 40,000 people across in excess of 350 screenings, events and exhibitions, many of which are free of charge. Our programme opens up some of the city’s most treasured buildings some of which are stalwarts of film, such as Hyde Park Picture House, where others are rare opportunities to experience some of the best film and cinematography in the world in unusual and intriguing venues like Left Bank House or our own Leeds Town Hall.”
The festival is organised by Leeds City Council’s Leeds Film team who are kept busy throughout the year presenting the Golden Owl Awards every March for films made by children, Leeds Young Film Festival every Easter, the INDIs Film Festival for young independent directors every July and a year-round programme of projects including Leeds Film Academy and Leeds Film City.
The annual LIFF offers a chance to open up and share film culture with increasingly diverse audiences through a programming that supports local, regional, national and European filmmaking and makes it easy and affordable for new audiences to try to something new. This year’s festival will see the team expand its curation and promotion of British film culture, launching a new section for young audiences and filmmakers and a Meet the Makers programme bringing leading directors, producers, script writers and industry figures to the city to share their knowledge and build new collaborations with the regions’ film makers.